1. The 15th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 10 March 2005. The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU), the European Commissioner for External Relations and the Secretary General of ASEAN. The Meeting was co-chaired by Indonesia as the ASEAN country coordinator and Luxembourg acting as Presidency of the EU. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of openness, mutual confidence and understanding that is the corollary of more than 30 years of dialogue and cooperation.

2. The Ministers expressed their sympathy to and solidarity with the governments and peoples of the countries affected by the earthquake and tsunami disaster of 26 December 2004.

3. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the ASEAN-EU dialogue and relationship as a fundamental cornerstone for the strategic partnership between Asia and Europe. To this end, the Ministers renewed their commitment to intensify the longstanding and deep rooted dialogue between ASEAN and EU in order to further strengthen and enhance the ASEAN-EU cooperation to the mutual benefit of ASEAN and EU and all their peoples.

Development in ASEAN-EU Relations

4. The Ministers reiterated that the ASEAN-EU relationship is based on shared historical and cultural, economic, scientific and educational ties, and commitment to the promotion of peace, stability and development in the two regions.

5. The Ministers reviewed the progress of ASEAN-EU cooperation since the 14th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Belgium in 2003. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the overall advancement of the ASEAN – EU relationship, including positive developments in political and security cooperation, growth in trade and investment between the two regions, and the progress and achievements in various areas of development and technical cooperation. The Ministers acknowledged the full implementation of all previously agreed cooperation in particular in the field of regional integration, renewable energy, higher education, biodiversity conservation, standards and intellectual property rights. Ministers also took note of the agreed EC- ASEAN cooperation program for 2005-2006 including continued support for ASEAN integration, fight against terrorism, statistical cooperation and on the visibility of the EU-ASEAN partnership. The EC will also provide support to the legal establishment within ASEAN of an ASEAN Biodiversity Centre (ABC) with a view to promote co-operation on environmental protection and biodiversity co-operation.

6. The Ministers recognized that the successful outcome of the 5th Asia-Europe Meeting in Hanoi in October 2004 has made an important contribution to the development of Asia-Europe cooperation in general and ASEAN-EU cooperation in particular.

7. The Ministers discussed the continuing threat of international terrorism and reiterated their strong condemnation of acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism in  accordance with international obligations, the UN Charter and general norms of international law, including respect for human rights and humanitarian law. In this connection, the Ministers emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of terrorism and avoiding the identification of terrorism with any particular religion or ethnic group or nationality.  The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress and follow up of the ASEAN-EU Joint Declaration on Cooperation to Combat Terrorism adopted at the 14th AEMM and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation to combat terrorism as well as transnational crime. In this regard, the Ministers expressed their commitment to support regional efforts in combating terrorism, including centers established in ASEAN countries, namely the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, Thailand, the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) in Semarang, Indonesia.

8. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the 15th ASEAN-EC Joint Cooperation Committee which was held in Jakarta on 25-26 February 2005. The Ministers noted with appreciation the European Commission’s strategy on “A New Partnership with Southeast Asia”. In particular they noted the progress made under TREATI which objective is to build the foundations for a future FTA by sharing knowledge and experience between our different regulatory systems and establishing greater transparency and understanding between the two regions. The Ministers recognized the need to engage in regional sectoral policy dialogue also in areas not related to Trade. With this in view, the Ministers endorsed the principle of READI. They tasked the Informal Coordinating Mechanism (ICM) to meet in the near future – in an opened ended format – to finalise the implementation modalities, mechanism and to discuss and agree on possible areas for dialogue.

9. The Ministers took note of trilateral cooperation, initiated in 2004, which combine the development assistance of individual ASEAN member countries and the EC to the benefit of the CLMV countries. Trilateral co-operation will allow the EU to support directly the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), which aims to bridge the development gap within ASEAN.

10. The Ministers tasked the ASEAN-EU SOM to promote dialogue and exchanges on international political matters of mutual concern and interest and to explore ways and means to promote constructive dialogue between the EU and ASEAN.

11. The EU noted the significant development in ASEAN with regard to the strengthening of regional integration. In this connection, the EU reiterated its support for narrowing development gaps in ASEAN, particularly for the less developed members of ASEAN. The Declaration of ASEAN Concord II to establish ASEAN Community by 2020, the Plans of Action for the three pillars of the ASEAN Community, and the Vientiane Action Programmes (VAP) set the strategic goals and priorities of ASEAN’s integration and community building process. The EU also noted the complementarity of sub-regional economic cooperation frameworks, such as GMS, ACMECS and BIMP-EAGA to the integration process of ASEAN. ASEAN also noted the historic achievement of the EU’s latest enlargement which include 10 new members and that the EU now represents a market of over 450 million people and a 9,739 billion euro combined economy.

12. The Ministers expressed their conviction that the increasing political and economic integration in the two regions would contribute positively to the strengthening of ties between Europe and Southeast Asia. The Ministers reaffirmed their determination to further promote and enhance ASEAN-EU dialogue and cooperation based on common interests, in line with their respective regional priorities and needs. In this regard, ASEAN and the EU could further enhance dialogues and cooperation, with a view to strengthening ASEAN’s regional integration process. The EU stands ready to share its relevant experience on regional integration and contribute where possible, towards narrowing the development gaps among ASEAN member countries.

13. The Ministers were informed on the follow up to the Special ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami held on 6 January 2005 in Jakarta, including the Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements held on 28 – 29 January 2005 in Phuket and ASEAN’s role in dealing with the effects of tsunami. They welcomed the initiative to establish regional early warning systems in accordance with national priorities and under the coordination of relevant UN agencies. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-initiated General Assembly resolution 59/279 entitled “Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and prevention in the aftermath of Indian Ocean tsunami disaster” on 19 January 2005. They welcomed efforts to develop stand-by arrangements for disaster relief and emergency response at the global and regional level. ASEAN also expressed its appreciation to EC’s as well as EU member states’ commitment, support and delivery of assistance to the affected ASEAN countries. The Ministers underlined the crucial importance of coordination of assistance program and their alignment with national reconstruction strategies as essential to the effective use of the assistance.

International Issues

14. The Ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East, in particular regarding the occupied Palestinian territory. The Ministers welcomed the successful holding of the Palestinian Presidential elections on 9 January 2005 and hoped that it will provide an impetus for all parties concerned to move forward the Middle East peace process. The Ministers also welcomed the result of the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit on 8 February 2005 and supported its implementation to accelerate peace and stability in the region. The Ministers expressed hope that the international community would assist to realize the Road Map towards its stated aims and goals. The Ministers look forward to a final, just and comprehensive settlement with the realization of two states; Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace within secured and recognized borders, based on relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

15. The Ministers welcomed the full reassertion of the sovereignty of Iraq in June 2004 and were encouraged by the results of the recent general election held in January 2005. The Ministers looked forward to the full implementation of the Security Council resolution 1546 (2004). The Ministers hoped that a durable solution could be attained in order to achieve peace, security, stability and national reconciliation for the well being of the Iraqi people. The Ministers expressed concern in the on-going situation in Iraq, particularly the continuing violence resulting in civilian victims and hostage takings. The Ministers condemned the barbaric killings and acts of terrorism, and consider those acts as offences of grave concern to the international community.

16. The Ministers exchanged views on developments in the Korean Peninsula and recognized the impact of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula on peace, stability and international security, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. The Ministers noted the results of the Third Round of Six Party Talks held in Beijing on 23-26 June 2004 and supported the commitment of all parties concerned to the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Deep concern was raised on the DPRK’s February 10th Declaration. The Ministers emphasized the need for the parties concerned to find a peaceful solution through dialogue based on the principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect among states. The Ministers urged the DPRK to return to the negotiating table and appealed on all parties concerned to continue their efforts to seek a lasting solution to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

17. The Ministers had a frank exchange of views on the situation in Myanmar. They noted the briefing given by Myanmar. They noted that the national convention reconvened on 17 February 2005 for which they expressed their strong hopes for concrete results. They underlined the need for constructive involvement of all political and ethnic groups in the country. The Ministers reiterated the need for the early lifting of all restrictions. The Ministers called on Myanmar to grant access to the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and to continue effective cooperation with all United Nations agencies. The Ministers discussed ways to promote positive development in Myanmar and agreed to continue dialogue on this issue.

18. The Ministers exchanged views on the importance of the multilateral trading system as embodied by WTO and welcomed the framework agreement concluded on 1 August 2004 for achieving progress in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). They called for significant progress to be made in all areas covered by the DDA including agriculture, Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), development issues, trade facilitation and services. The Ministers also emphasized the importance of the development dimension in the multilateral trading system and stressed the need to achieve a balanced and meaningful result in the DDA negotiation. The Ministers recalled the need to review the special and differential treatment for developing countries with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational. The WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005 should aim at bringing the round to a successful and rapid conclusion. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the expeditious accession of Viet Nam and Laos and urged that appropriate assistance be extended to theses countries to facilitate their accession.  

19. The Ministers noted that the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly in September 2005 will undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the outcomes and commitments of the UN conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. In this regard, the Ministers underlined the need to translate commitments into actions, including through the creation of a genuine global and regional partnership among governments, international organizations and all relevant stakeholders. The Ministers agreed that the attainment of the MDGs required a comprehensive approach, which included, among others, the fulfillment of the commitments adopted by the major international conferences held in the recent years, namely the Monterrey Consensus of March 2002, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of September 2002, the Doha Development Agenda of November 2001, and the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of December 2003.

20. The Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol and stressed the need for all parties to take concrete steps in dealing with climate change and reducing global emissions. To this end, ASEAN and the EU countries, at bilateral, regional, as well as at multilateral level, would strengthen their cooperation in promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development.

Next Meeting

21. The Ministers agreed to meet again for the 16th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Europe in 2007. They tasked the ASEAN-EU SOM to work out necessary practical arrangement in order to further strengthen and to reinvigorate the ASEAN-EU process.