1. The Post-Ministerial Conference of the 36th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting convened in plenary (10+10) in Phnom Penh on 19 June 2003 under the chairmanship of H. E. Mr. Hor Namhong, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
2. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its Dialogue Partners or their representatives attended the conference. The ASEAN Secretary-General was also present. The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme participated in part of the conference.
3. ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners are Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States of America. The UNDP is also a Dialogue Partner.
4. The Ministers affirmed that the ASEAN Dialogue system remained a valuable forum for dialogue and in building cooperation among the 19 countries and the European Union on international and regional political, economic and development issues.
EXCHANGE OF VIEWS ON INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ISSUES
The Middle East
5. The Ministers exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and expressed support for the “roadmap” peace process as worked out by the Quartet states and for the efforts of the Arab nations. The Ministers welcomed the acceptance by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority of the roadmap, which should lead to establishing a democratic Palestinian state existing side by side with Israel in peace and within secured borders.
6. The Ministers deplored the continued violence being carried out by extremist organizations in the Middle East. The Ministers believed that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority shared the responsibility in maintaining peace, stability and law and order in the region.
7. On the situation in Iraq, the Ministers urged international cooperation in the provision of basic necessities of the people of Iraq, including the security of their persons and property, reconciliation among them, the revival of the economy, and the rebuilding of appropriate national institutions. They envisioned a vital role for the United Nations in this endeavor in accordance with the UN’s responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security. They agreed to facilitate a situation that would enable the people of Iraq to govern themselves as soon as possible, including the use of their natural wealth for their benefit.
8. The Ministers renewed their resolve to counter international terrorism. They noted the successes in preventing planned terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia as a result of national efforts and bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The ASEAN Dialogue Partners expressed support for ASEAN’s efforts and measures to combat terrorism, particularly in the implementation of the work plan adopted by ASEAN’s Special Ministerial Meeting on Terrorism in May 2002. The Ministers also noted ASEAN’s cooperative arrangements with China, the United States, the European Union, and Russia in counter-terrorism and other non-traditional security issues.
9. The Ministers agreed to cooperate towards an effective global system to counter terrorism, particularly through international conventions and diplomacy as prerequisites for mobilizing all tools of statecraft, including law enforcement, defense, intelligence, immigration and customs, and financial systems.
10. The Meeting recalled that during their courtesy call on Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen of Cambodia this morning, the Prime Minister stressed the need to promote international cooperation on counter-terrorism. The Prime Minister said, “If terrorists exist, we cannot exist peacefully. If we exist and cooperate, terrorists cannot exist.”
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC, FINANCIAL AND TRADE ISSUES
International and Regional Economic Developments
11. The Ministers reviewed the progress of the work being done pursuant to the November 2001 Doha Declaration of the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization, including the negotiations on implementation-related issues and concerns. They exchanged views on the outstanding issues to be addressed by the 5th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancún, Mexico, in September 2003. The Ministers reiterated their support for the expeditious admission of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam into WTO.
12. The Ministers were briefed on the progress of ASEAN economic integration and the strengthening of ASEAN’s linkages with its Dialogue Partners. They appreciated ASEAN’s commitment to an integrated market that remained open and linked to the rest of the world.
Group of 8
13. The Ministers were briefed by the European Union and Malaysia on the outcome of the 3 June 2003 Summit of the G8 in Evian, France. The Ministers noted the following issues discussed by the G8: (a) measures to promote international security, (b) sustainable development including realizing the millennium development goals; and (c) improving international economic situation. They welcomed the G8 Enlarged Informal Dialogue with representatives of the developing world, including Malaysia as chair of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
14. The Ministers welcomed the commitment of the G8 leaders to structural reforms, sound economic policies, and concerted actions to create a climate of confidence in the global economy. They also welcomed the expression of their intent to assist in the sustainable development of developing countries, particularly in terms of clean water, food for those threatened by famine, access to health care, the alleviation of poverty, and debt relief. The Ministers noted with appreciation the G8’s call for assistance to enable the developing countries to participate fully in WTO negotiations, implement trade agreements and respond to trade opportunities. The Ministers expressed the need for continued cooperation in reforming the international financial architecture.
15. The Ministers reviewed the state of development cooperation between ASEAN as a group and its Dialogue Partners. They agreed to place emphasis in their development cooperation on supporting the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, which they considered to be a key priority for enhancing ASEAN integration and for narrowing the development gap within the regional grouping. Recognizing the national policies and actions being taken by the newer ASEAN members and commending the assistance programs of the more advanced ASEAN members, several non-ASEAN Ministers re-affirmed their readiness to support projects in the IAI work plan.
16. The UNDP Administrator briefed the meeting on the state of global development cooperation and on various efforts towards achieving the millennium goals. The Ministers expressed appreciation to UNDP’s commitment and current efforts in assisting the least-developed countries in Southeast Asia in poverty alleviation, reducing income disparity, and in building up capacity.
17. ASEAN thanked Japan for its assistance in implementing some infrastructure projects within the framework of the East-West corridor development, China for its support of the Singapore-Kunming rail link outside of China, and the Republic of Korea for its support of the IAI projects, as well as Thailand for its “prosper thy neighbor policy” through various technical assistance, particularly in the area of transport.
18. The Ministers noted that many human problems today had, to an increasing extent, transnational dimensions and that, therefore, transnational, regional and international cooperative measures had to be taken to deal with them. Accordingly, they addressed the transnational concerns that they considered to be most important to tackle in a cooperative manner – trafficking in persons, drug-related problems, HIV/AIDS, SARS and other infectious diseases, and the environment.
Trafficking in Persons
19. The Meeting agreed that trafficking in persons is a transnational issue, which calls for transnational mechanisms and a shared responsibility, particularly for the developed world to assist the least developing countries. The Meeting discussed the need to intensify exchange of information on perpetrators and crime organizations among the immigration and law enforcement authorities. ASEAN requested the support of the Dialogue Partners in implementing the “ASEAN Declaration Against Trafficking in Persons, Particularly Women and Children,” which is expected to be adopted at the forthcoming ASEAN Summit.
20. The Meeting recognized that the challenges posed by narcotic drugs and other stimulants could only be overcome by more determined and concerted efforts at the national, regional and international levels. The meeting recalled the commitment of ASEAN to a drugs-free ASEAN by 2015 and the need to continue working together against drugs trafficking.
21. The Meeting recognized that HIV/AIDS epidemic has steadily worsened with more than 42 million people estimated to be infected. The Meeting stressed the need for heightened joint cooperation on prevention and treatment activities. The Meeting agreed to work on exploring access to affordable drugs for AIDS. The Meeting expressed appreciation to the United States of America for the approval of Global AIDS, TB and Malaria Act providing for US$15 billion emergency plan for AIDS relief over a five-year period.
22. The Meeting welcomed the successes in the fight against SARS. While recognizing that the battle against SARS is yet from over, the meeting acknowledged the need to be continually vigilant to prevent its new outbreak. The Meeting discussed the economic impact of SARS and the need to be more cognizant of the consequences of travel advisories.
23. The Meeting emphasized the need for greater political will and partnership to marshal the resources needed for the successful implementation of the programmes under Agenda 21.
Statement & Communiques