29 April 2017 | MANILA
1. We, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, gathered for the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila on 29 April 2017 under the Chairmanship of the Republic of the Philippines with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” which envisions an integrated, peaceful, stable and resilient ASEAN Community that actively takes a leading role as a regional and global player in advancing political-security cooperation, sustainable economic growth and socio-cultural development in Southeast Asia and in the world.
2. We engaged in productive and fruitful deliberations reflective of our commitment to renew the aspirations and the enduring values of the ASEAN Founding Fathers, in adherence to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Bangkok Declaration which launched ASEAN in 1967 and the ASEAN Charter and to realize the six thematic priorities selected by the Philippines as ASEAN’s main deliverables for 2017, the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN, namely: (a) A people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN; (b) Peace and stability in the region; (c) Maritime security and cooperation; (d) Inclusive, innovation-led growth; (e) ASEAN’s resiliency; and (f) ASEAN: a model of regionalism, a global player.
3. We signed the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
ASEAN COMMUNITY BUILDING AND THE WAY FORWARD
ASEAN Community Vision 2025
4. We commended the work of all ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs for their endeavour to fully and effectively implement the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprints 2025. We were pleased to note the efforts and work of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force in the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020), which constitute an integral part of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
5. We reaffirmed our commitment that the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be implemented in a mutually-reinforcing manner to build a truly inclusive and people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community for the benefit of our peoples. We welcomed the High-Level Brainstorming Dialogue on Enhancing Complementarities between ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the progress made in the development of priority areas to promote the complementarities and looked forward to a joint study to be prepared by Thailand, the ASEAN Secretariat and UN ESCAP on this matter. We also welcomed the efforts by other UN agencies such as UNDP and UN Women as well as the World Bank to present concrete ideas to support sustainable development in the region and looked forward to their realization in support of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We appreciated Thailand’s efforts and leadership in coordinating with all parties to take this matter forward and tasked our Ministers to explore additional ways to promote these complementarities.
6. We noted the New Format of the ASEAN+1 Summits and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) to be done in 2017, with the view of providing more scope for interactive discussion among the Leaders and Ministers, and facilitating effective and efficient time-management. Further, we agreed that holding back-to-back summits or two separate summits be left to the prerogative of the Chair based on consultation with ASEAN Member States.
7. We reaffirmed the shared commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs
8. We recognized the necessity of productive and efficient coordination on cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues across the three pillars of the ASEAN Community. In this regard, we reaffirmed our shared commitment to continue implementing and addressing the recommendations of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs within the targeted timelines. We expressed satisfaction with the progress on the implementation of the HLTF recommendations and encouraged the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) and the ASEAN Community Councils, with the support of the CPR, relevant Senior Officials and the ASEAN Secretariat, to expedite the implementation of the remaining immediate and medium-term deliverables in a concrete and timely manner.
Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI)
9. We were pleased to note the progress in the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020) since its adoption in September 2016. We expressed appreciation to ASEAN Member States, Dialogue Partners and other external parties for their continued support in narrowing the development gap within and among ASEAN. We welcomed closer collaboration between sub-regional cooperation frameworks including Greater Mekong sub-regional cooperation in the implementation of ASEAN regional initiatives. We reaffirmed our commitment to assist Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) in meeting their region-wide targets, through the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III, with a view to realizing regional integration and advancing sustainable development.
10. We appreciated the efforts undertaken by the ACCC and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in strengthening the implementation arrangements, including the monitoring and evaluation mechanism, for the MPAC 2025, which is more focused and action-oriented with five strategic areas, towards realizing ASEAN Community Vision 2025. In this regard, we welcomed the ACC’s adoption of the respective Terms of Reference (TORs) for the ACCC, National Coordinators (NCs), National Focal Points (NFPs) and Lead Implementing Body for Sustainable Infrastructure.
11. We underscored the importance of cascading the MPAC 2025 to relevant stakeholders through, among others, multi-stakeholders networks and forums. We noted the work of the ACCC and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in translating the MPAC 2025 initiatives into project concepts and tangible deliverables and, in this regard, urged all relevant stakeholders to work together to implement the MPAC 2025. We looked forward to the convening of the Workshop/Forum on MPAC 2025 Initiatives and Project Concepts to develop project ideas for the MPAC 2025, and the Eighth ASEAN Connectivity Symposium with a theme to focus on monitoring and evaluation of the MPAC 2025.
12. We also appreciated the valuable support and interest expressed by our Dialogue Partners and other external parties and looked forward to their continued support in implementing the MPAC 2025 and to exploring synergies with other connectivity initiatives in the region.
13. We noted that the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), as directed by our Ministers, are considering factual updates and revisions of certain articles of the ASEAN Charter. We noted the direction the Ministers gave for a precise and cautious approach in this exercise taking into account the views and positions of all Member States. We underlined the importance of strictly adhering to relevant articles of the ASEAN Charter in further proceeding with this exercise. We looked forward to the findings and recommendations on the study to update the ASEAN Charter.
ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary
14. We noted with a great sense of pride, the significant achievements ASEAN has made on this very momentous milestone as we celebrate the Jubilee of ASEAN’s Anniversary. We remain committed to bringing an open, peaceful, inclusive, resilient, stable and prosperous region closer to the hearts of our peoples.
15. We, therefore, welcomed the efforts of the ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat in preparing various activities to commemorate this landmark occasion, and looked forward to the Grand Celebration of ASEAN’s Golden Anniversary on 8 August 2017. We encouraged further collaboration among Member States, ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs, ASEAN Committees in Third Countries, Entities Associated with ASEAN, the private sector and other stakeholders to ensure a timely and fitting celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN. We especially looked forward to the full and active participation of all ASEAN citizens in this occasion with a view to taking the opportunity to deepen people’s awareness of ASEAN and to instilling a sense of community among our peoples, as well as to harvesting tangible benefits of ASEAN cooperation.
ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with AIPA
16. We had a productive interface with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). We took note that the interface between ASEAN Leaders and AIPA is a reflection of the commitment between the executive and legislative bodies in ASEAN on this aspect. Through its law-making functions and accelerating the process of ratification of ASEAN agreements, AIPA plays an integral role in ensuring that the regional agreements are carried out and implemented at the national level so that the benefits of integration are felt by our peoples in the region.
ASEAN POLITICAL-SECURITY COMMUNITY
Implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025
17. We were pleased with the progress made in the implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 since its adoption in December 2015 to bring about a rules-based, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community that is peaceful, stable, resilient, and outward-looking. We reaffirmed our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 and encouraged all relevant ASEAN Organs and Sectoral Bodies to follow through with measures to implement the Blueprint, including effective coordination on cross-pillar issues in order to ensure effective implementation. We looked forward to the first review and evaluation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 in 2018.
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC)
18. We reaffirmed the TAC as the key code of conduct governing inter-State relations in the region, an important instrument in the promotion of an ASEAN-centered regional architecture, and a foundation for the maintenance of regional peace and stability. We are committed to further promoting the purposes and principles contained in the TAC and emphasized the need for all High Contracting Parties to continue to fully respect and promote the effective implementation of the TAC. We looked forward to Iran’s accession to the TAC, as well as the decision of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ on new requests made by countries to accede to the TAC in accordance with its Revised Guidelines. We looked forward to further discussing the regional security architecture in the next EAS Workshops.
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
19. We noted with satisfaction the AICHR’s progress on the promotion and protection of human rights through implementation of its Priority Programmes and Activities on various topics, including rights of vulnerable groups, combating trafficking in persons, human rights education and judicial cooperation, and capacity development, in collaboration and cooperation with relevant ASEAN organs and other related stakeholders. We were pleased with the continuous efforts to mainstream human rights across all pillars of the ASEAN Community. We noted AICHR’s cross-pillar and cross-sectoral consultation and cooperation with relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in its work. In this regard, we were encouraged by the establishment of the Task Force on Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community in cooperation with the Senior Officials on Social Welfare and Development, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, and looked forward to the development of a regional action plan. We also welcomed the AICHR’s efforts in reviewing processes and streamlining of attendance and workflow of meetings. We also noted AICHR’s progress on the promotion and protection of human rights such as through the AICHR Judicial Colloquium which paved the way for closer interaction with Judiciaries from ASEAN Member States and dialogue with the Senior Economic Officials on the intersectionality between human rights and business.
Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ)
20. We reiterated our commitment to preserve the Southeast Asian region as a region free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
21. We noted the Philippines’ hosting of a Working Group meeting of the SEANWFZ Executive Committee in May 2017 to continue discussions on the accession of the Nuclear Weapon States to the Protocol to the Treaty.
ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus)
22. We noted with appreciation the efforts in advancing the practical defence and military cooperation under the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus. We reaffirmed our support to the on-going process towards the completion of Phase 1 of the ASEAN Direct Communication Infrastructure (ADI) in the ADMM Process and the operationalization of the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (AMRG on HADR). We welcomed the work of the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM) in Thailand in promoting cooperation in this field as well as supporting HADR activities. We also recognized the ADMM’s constructive deliberation on streamlining initiatives to avoid duplication of efforts in view of better managing limited resources.
23. We acknowledged the ADMM-Plus as an effective platform for defence cooperation between ASEAN and the Dialogue Partners. We welcomed the progress made in strengthening cooperation within this framework and encouraged our defence establishments to explore further areas of collaboration with the Plus partners to benefit our region. We extended our support to the new Co-Chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups (EWGs) in leading the cooperation under the ADMM-Plus priority areas for the period 2017-2020. We welcomed the adoption of the seven ADMM-Plus EWGs Work Plans that will guide the cooperation on maritime security, counter-terrorism, HADR, military medicine, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian mine action and cyber security for the next three years.
24. We noted the endorsement of the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM) of the Concept Paper on ADMM and ADMM-Plus Initiatives, which provides recommendations on promoting synergy among related platforms, and the Concept Paper on Streamlining EWGs, which provides parameters on how to assess if the task of an EWG has been fulfilled, and whether an EWG should be retained, dissolved, or merged with another EWG.
25. We noted the decision of the ADSOM to submit the Guidelines Regarding the Conduct of the ADMM’s Informal Engagements or Meetings with Plus Countries, the Concept Paper on the Annualization of the ADMM-Plus, and 2nd Additional Protocol to the Concept Papers on the Establishment of ADMM and ADMM-Plus to the ADMM for consideration. These provide provisions on engaging both Plus countries and non-ADMM-Plus members while maintaining ASEAN Centrality, among others.
26. We further noted initiatives such as the Concept Papers on Guidelines of Maritime Interaction and Principles for ADMM-Wide Education and Training Exchanges to promote maritime security cooperation as well as education and training among ASEAN defense establishments, respectively. We also noted ADSOM’s endorsement of the Concept Paper on Establishment of Ad-Hoc Working Group to Develop Guidelines on Air Encounters between Military Aircraft to promote aviation safety. We also noted the endorsement of ADSOM of the Concept Paper on Linkages between ADMM and Network of ASEAN Defense and Security Institutions (NADI).
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC)
27. We looked forward to the 11th AMMTC later this year and the adoption of a new ASEAN Plan of Action (PoA) in Combating Transnational Crime. The PoA would further demonstrate and strengthen ASEAN’s commitment to effectively address in a timely manner the existing as well as emerging transnational and trans-boundary challenges and threats that have the potential to undermine the stability and well-being of ASEAN Member States and the region.
28. We commended the work of the AMMTC in addressing threats posed by terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism in the region and, in this regard, looked forward to the review and revision of the ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action on Counter-Terrorism (ACPoA on CT) to adapt with these new trends. We also looked forward to the convening of the Second Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRVE) in Manila later this year.
29. We welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) on 8 March 2017 in the six Member States that have ratified the Convention and looked forward to the ratification by the remaining ASEAN Member States. We called for the effective implementation of the ACTIP and the ASEAN Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA). In this regard, we also commended the work of the SOMTC in taking the lead in the on-going discussion of a cross-sectoral work plan to implement the ACTIP and APA, involving other relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs.
30. We acknowledged the contributions made to the Trust Fund to Support Emergency Humanitarian and Relief Efforts in the Event of the Irregular Movement of Persons in Southeast Asia. We reaffirmed our commitment to addressing the irregular movement of persons in the region. We reiterated the need to explore the establishment of a Task Force to respond to crisis and emergency situations rising from irregular movement of persons in Southeast Asia.
31. We noted the issuance of the Joint Statement of the Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of Ministries of Foreign Affairs Meeting (DGICM) on the Prevention of the Movement of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. We appreciated the ongoing work of the DGICM in developing the Guidelines on Consular Assistance by ASEAN Member States Missions in Third Countries to Nationals of Other ASEAN Member States, including the first two meetings of the Working Group and looked forward to the 21st DGICM to be held in Vientiane this year and the finalization of the Guidelines before the 31st ASEAN Summit. We looked forward to the further study on the proposed ASEAN Common Visa and the Joint Task Force Meeting to study the feasibility of developing the ASEAN Business Travel Card or similar mechanisms.
32. We welcomed the endorsement of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy by the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers’ Meeting and its subsequent finalization at the TELSOM-ATRC Leaders’ Retreat in March 2017, which will enhance the capacity of ASEAN to address challenges to cybersecurity. We also welcomed the development of initiatives to enhance cybersecurity, including the ongoing studies that will examine the feasibility of setting up an ASEAN Cybersecurity Hub and an ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Team.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMD)
33. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Work Plan on Securing Communities Against Illicit Drugs 2016-2025 to address illicit drug activities and mitigate its consequences to society. We also noted the new regional theme – “Securing ASEAN Communities Against Illicit Drugs” – in combating the drug menace. We also took note of the on-going work in developing the ASEAN Cooperation Plan to Tackle Illicit Drug Production and Trafficking in the Golden Triangle 2017 to 2019.
34. We commended the work of the ASEAN Narcotics Cooperation Center (ASEAN-NARCO) in developing the annual ASEAN Drug Monitoring (ADM) Report 2015, the first-ever drug report produced by ASEAN Member States which includes drug-related information, with the aim of identifying early warning signs of emerging drug problems as well as establishing information networks. We looked forward to the completion of the ADM Report 2016. We acknowledged the continuing efforts of the ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force and the ASEAN Seaport Interdiction Task Force in strengthening ASEAN cooperation, especially on information sharing and intelligence exchange among drug control and law enforcement agencies in the region. We supported the on-going work of AMMD as they prepare for the High Level Segment of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2019.
ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR)
35. We appreciated the on-going work of the AIPR in promoting reconciliation, conflict management, conflict resolution and peace-building to enhance peace and stability in the region and noted that a symposium will be conducted on the convergence between international humanitarian law, humanitarian principles, religious norms and customary practices, and interfaith dialogue in ASEAN, in accordance with the AIPR’s Terms of Reference. We looked forward to the operationalization of the AIPR with the establishment of the AIPR Secretariat in Jakarta and looked forward to the AIPR contributing to the promotion of ASEAN’s interests and centrality in its work programme. We underscored the importance of all ASEAN Member States’ full support to ensure the full operationalization of the Institute.
ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC)
36. We noted the successful outcomes of the Second Steering Committee of ARMAC in November 2016, which, among others, endorsed Cambodia’s proposal for the Post of Ad Interim Executive Director of ARMAC, and adopted the Guidelines for Recruitment of the Executive Director of the ARMAC. We welcomed the formal assumption into office of the Ad Interim Executive Director on 20 April 2017 and looked forward to the full operationalization of the ARMAC and the successful recruitment and appointment of its Executive Director.
37. We underscored the importance of enhanced regional cooperation on border management, in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, in order to better protect the people of ASEAN from transnational crimes and other cross-border challenges, as the ASEAN Community becomes increasingly inter-connected. We therefore welcomed the convening of a High Level Regional Conference on Enhancing Cooperation on Border Management in the ASEAN Region: Ensuring a More Interconnected, Safe and Secure ASEAN Community co-chaired by Thailand and the UNODC on 1-2 May 2017.
ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
38. We were pleased that ASEAN’s combined GDP stood at USD2.55 trillion in 2016 with a robust year-on-year real GDP growth rate of 4.7% despite the challenging global environment. We noted that growth in the region’s economy is expected to accelerate to 4.8% in 2017 supported by solid growth of private consumption and investment as well as expansionary fiscal policy. We also noted that ASEAN’s merchandise trade remained resilient at USD1.06 trillion in the first half of 2016, of which 24.02% was intra-ASEAN. We were also pleased to note that ASEAN also attracted a total of USD52.94 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, in the first half of 2016, of which 23.36% was intra-ASEAN. We emphasized the importance of continuing to promote initiatives that directly benefit the people of ASEAN, including the need to redouble efforts to increase intra-regional trade and investment.
39. We reaffirmed our commitment to effectively implement the AEC Blueprint 2025. To this end, we welcomed the adoption of the AEC 2025 Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (CSAP) by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the AEC Council, which serves as a single reference of key action lines drawn from the AEC sectoral work plans for the implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025. We noted that the AEC 2025 CSAP has been made available to the public and will be periodically reviewed to ensure its relevance. We also welcomed on-going efforts to operationalize the AEC 2025 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework, including with support from the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS). The framework serves as a key reference for institutionalizing and implementing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the AEC to help ensure timely and effective implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025. We also welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce (ACCEC), which would support implementation of this important element in the AEC Blueprint 2025. To this end, we further welcomed the adoption by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the endorsement by the ASEAN Economic Community Council (AECC) of the ASEAN Work Plan on Good Regulatory Practice (2016-2025) and the adoption by the ASEAN Finance Ministers of the Strategic Action Plan 2016-2025 for ASEAN Taxation Cooperation.
40. Acknowledging that the global economy is undergoing a transformational phase brought about by rapid technological and scientific advancements, we recognized the need for ASEAN to be well prepared and able to maximize the opportunities from the “4th Industrial Revolution”, so as to foster the region’s economic growth, and promote inclusive and equitable economic development.
41. We applauded the overall thematic priority of “Inclusive, Innovation-led Growth” for the AEC under the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship, which would be pursued through three strategic measures, namely, increasing trade and investment, integrating micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Digital Economy, and developing an innovation-driven economy. Noting the lessons learned from Brexit, we underscored that the benefits of ASEAN community building must be felt by its citizens.
42. We were pleased with the progress made in the implementation of trade facilitation measures and initiatives in ASEAN with a view to reduce cost and time of doing business in the region. We welcomed the entry into force of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation on 22 February 2017, which creates a new momentum for ASEAN to further enhance our trade facilitation regimes in line with international best practices. We strongly encouraged ASEAN to continue strengthening public and private sector engagement, promoting transparency of non-tariff measures, streamlining and simplifying customs procedures, trade regulatory regimes, and reducing technical barriers to trade while ensuring quality and building confidence in ASEAN products. In this regard, we welcomed the target set by the AEM at the 23rd AEM Retreat in March 2017 to reduce 10% of trade transaction costs by 2020. The timely realization of this target will contribute to the achievement of a highly integrated and cohesive ASEAN economy as envisioned in the AEC Blueprint 2025.
43. We welcomed the outcomes of the 21st ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) and the 3rd ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM). We are pleased with the signing of the agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia and the completion of negotiations between Malaysia and the Philippines under the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework. We welcomed the signing of agreements among Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand on the settlement of trade in domestic currencies to promote the use of local currency in facilitating intra-ASEAN trade and investment. We noted the progress of the ratification of the Protocols to implement the Sixth and Seventh Packages of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services and looked forward to the signing of the Eighth Protocol in 2018, in line with the vision of progressive financial services liberalization.
44. We welcomed the significant interest of the private sector as key stakeholders to partner with ASEAN working bodies in the implementation of relevant AEC sectoral work plans. Consistent with the AEC Blueprint 2025, we urged relevant ASEAN bodies to take concrete steps to institutionalize within each relevant body a consultative process with lead private sector entities (business associations and business councils) as well as the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) representatives to support the implementation of initiatives under the sectoral work plans.
45. We were pleased with the stronger focus on MSME development in this year’s ASEAN economic agenda. Increased emphasis on ASEAN MSMEs as drivers of inclusive and innovative growth in the region demonstrates the significance placed by ASEAN on the strong potential and well-being of this sector, in particular the micro enterprise stake-holders, which comprise up to 99% of registered businesses and generate a large proportion of total employment in the region. This recognition will translate into pro-active steps in line with the Strategic Goals incorporated in the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAPSMED 2025) towards promoting ASEAN branding for MSMEs and enhancing the ecosystem for MSME development, which is expected to help enhance MSMEs’ competitiveness to participate in and take advantage of domestic, regional and global market opportunities and have increased access to financing. We noted that various MSME development initiatives are on-going and have been prioritized for delivery throughout the year.
46. We congratulated the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) as the apex private sector body for the successful organization of the “Prosperity for All” Summit, which brought together key institutional and professional enablers to collaborate and champion the cause of MSME empowerment towards inclusive growth across ASEAN. This huge challenge of ensuring that the fruits of the AEC reach the citizens of ASEAN is what we, the ASEAN governments, and the business sector must address together as a team.
47. We commended the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) and the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WBCP) for bringing together women leaders and prominent business leaders from the region at their “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) Ahead in ASEAN,” held on 16-17 March 2017 in Manila.
48. We were pleased with the progress in strengthening ASEAN competition regimes and welcomed the development of an ASEAN Regional Capacity Building Roadmap for Competition Policy and Law (2017-2020) as part of on-going efforts to build and strengthen the necessary capacities for effective enforcement of competition law in ASEAN. Changing consumption trends and the rise of the digital economy will require the realignment of consumer rights and policies to ensure compatibility with such developments within society and the economy. We urged the expeditious finalization of the ASEAN High-Level Principles on Consumer Protection to provide a broad framework for consumer protection in tandem with the economic developments in the Community.
49. We were pleased to note that the revamped ASEAN IP Portal (https://www.aseanip.org/) has provided a consolidated platform to access IP information, including the databases on trademarks, geographical indications and case law. We commended the increasing use of the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) platform, with work-sharing requests having doubled since its launch in 2012. We looked forward to the completion of the diagnostics study across all areas of intellectual property to support the implementation of strategic policies for enhanced delivery of services.
50. We welcomed the progress made in the realization of ASEAN RO-RO shipping network, particularly the maiden voyage of the ASEAN Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) Sea Linkage Route between Davao–General Santos (the Philippines)–Bitung (Indonesia), which is set to be launched on 30 April 2017 in Davao City, Philippines and is among the economic priority deliverables under the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship. The initiative would enhance the connectivity of archipelagic ASEAN and further facilitate trade and tourism, as well as provide greater impetus to the implementation of multimodal transport in the ASEAN region.
51. We welcomed the adoption of the Framework of Cooperation on certification of competency for Near Coastal Voyages (NCV) issued by ASEAN Member States, which aims to address the issue of disparities in areas of trading limits and syllabus requirements between ASEAN Member States on NCV certificates. We commended ASEAN’s efforts to maximize road network efficiency capacity as well as to improve traffic flow with the adoption of the ASEAN Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Policy Framework 2.0, which sets out guiding principles for ASEAN Member States in identifying, planning, evaluating and facilitating ITS applications in their respective countries. On transport facilitation, we welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) Pilot to further enhance cross-border trade in three participating ASEAN Member States – namely Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, with the completion of its System and Parallel Tests Run.
52. We welcomed the adoption of the Brunei Darussalam Declaration on Connected Innovative Community by the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) to advance ASEAN’s vision of establishing an innovative and inclusive community whereby the stakeholders, be it businesses or end users, will be able to fully capitalize on the technological advancement to further improve their well-being. We commended the efforts by the Ministers to steer ASEAN towards a more dynamic, creative and innovative region in an interconnected and interoperable digital economy by utilizing ICT to further support and drive the AEC, which include strengthening personal data protection and enhancing cybersecurity through the adoption of the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection, and the in-principle support of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy.
53. We were pleased with the steady growth of the tourism sector in 2016, bringing in 6.5% more international visitors compared to 2015. We welcomed the various initiatives by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025 with a view to sustaining the sector’s development as well as to contributing to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, including the development of new tourism products and experiences in the areas of yachting, river cruises, youth and sports tourism; further enhancing the development of cruise tourism; promoting sustainable tourism development through the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Awards. We also noted that substantial works have been done to implement the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign to showcase the region’s rich natural and cultural diversity in welcoming international visitors to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN together with us.
54. Recognizing the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) as a key driver in economic growth, we welcomed the adoption of the Implementation Plan by the ASEAN Science and Technology Ministers to operationalize the adopted ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025. We appreciated the progress made towards the drafting of the ASEAN Declaration on Innovation, which encompasses the guiding principles and strategies to strengthen the ASEAN innovation ecosystem. We welcome the initiative on the establishment of the ASEAN STI Partnership Contributions and were pleased to note that the Philippines and Thailand had individually pledged USD 1 million towards this Contribution.
55. We commended the achievements made in ASEAN cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry, particularly the harmonization of agricultural standards to facilitate ASEAN trade of the agricultural products as well as to improve quality assurance, enhance quality of products, and minimize hazards in food safety and environmental impacts. We noted that the Intra-ASEAN Phytosanitary Guidelines for mango and corn and the ASEAN Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) for Animal Welfare and Environmental Sustainability were endorsed by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) in October 2016. We were also pleased with the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Food Security (SPA-FS) 2015-2020, particularly the development of the Matrix of Key Areas of Cooperation and Joint Activities for ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Cooperation on Food Security and Nutrition to enhance the cross-sectoral coordination in ensuring supply of sufficient, affordable, safe and nutritious food.
56. We noted the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Animal Health and Zoonoses (ACCAHZ) also in October 2016 for the purpose of facilitating and providing a framework of cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States, with relevant ASEAN Dialogue Partners, Development Partners and other stakeholders to enhance the prevention, control and eradication of transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases in ASEAN.
57. We welcomed the efforts made to enhance our ASEAN Plus One Free Trade Agreements (FTA). We noted the good progress in the negotiations of the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China FTA towards the targeted conclusion within the year. We also welcomed the launch of formal region-to-region talks on a framework setting out the parameters of a future Free Trade Agreement between ASEAN and the European Union.
58. We welcomed the progress made in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations. We emphasized that the sluggish economic environment and trends toward protectionism increases the need to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial RCEP Agreement, which has the potential to boost global economic growth, deepen regional economic integration and facilitate equitable economic development for all RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs). We instructed our Ministers and negotiators to redouble efforts building on the good momentum achieved thus far and reiterated our call to uphold ASEAN Centrality in finding resolutions to outstanding issues. We reiterated our commitment to work together in a cooperative manner in line with the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the RCEP towards the swift conclusion of the RCEP negotiations.
59. We further welcomed the strengthening of our economic cooperation with Dialogue Partners through the renewed ASEAN-Japan 10-Year Strategic Economic Partnership Roadmap, the implementation of U.S.-ASEAN Connect, the 2016-2020 Work Plan to implement the ASEAN Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment, the Post-2015 ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Work Programme, and the 2017-2018 ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme.
Resolution on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforest by the European Parliament
60. We noted the concern expressed over the adoption of the Resolution on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforest by the European Parliament on 4 April 2017 which discriminates against oil palm cultivation by singling it out as being the largest contributor to deforestation, to the detriment of the palm oil industries in the region. We urged the European Union to recognize the certification of the Sustainable Palm Oil Schemes in the countries concerned which is a manifestation of our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY
Implementation and Review of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025
61. We noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the ASCC Blueprint 2016-2025, including the ten (10) outcome documents issued at the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits in Vientiane and the finalization of 14 out of 15 Work Plans of sectoral bodies. We noted the development of the Guide to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of ASCC Blueprint 2025, which is a key reference in institutionalizing M&E coordination scheme within ASCC.
People-oriented, People-centered ASEAN
62. We appreciated the current progress of multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder consultation being undertaken by the ASEAN Health Sector through the ASEAN Multi-sectoral Collaborative Workshop on Nutrition Security held in March 2017 in Manila which served to initiate high level advocacies on ending all forms of malnutrition as well as to develop an ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance System that includes initiatives on assessment, capacity building and advocacy on nutrition security. We noted the importance of such initiatives as an investment to improve the livelihood of the peoples of ASEAN towards achieving optimal nutritional well-being, which subsequently will contribute to the Member States’ overall development. In this regard, we looked forward to the 13th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting and Other Related Meetings to be held in Brunei Darussalam in September 2017.
63. In view of enhancing the resiliency and well-being of our people, we welcomed the initiative of the ASCC Council to promote a “Culture of Prevention Agenda” as this is an important cross-cutting issue affecting all pillars of the ASEAN Community and aims to fully realize the potential contribution of relevant sectoral frameworks under the ASCC in preventing violent extremism and other forms of violence at their root causes in a more coordinated and systematic approach in accordance with the ASEAN Charter and principles. We noted the efforts to develop a Clark Declaration on Promoting the Culture of Prevention and Protection in ASEAN for adoption at the 31st ASEAN Summit.
Appreciation for ASEAN’s Cultural Heritage and Strengthening ASEAN Cultural Identity
64. We acknowledged the continuing efforts of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) to expand cultural exchanges, which facilitate inter-cultural understanding and the promotion of ASEAN identity, in line with the implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016-2025. We recognized AMCA’s robust partnership with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other stakeholders to bring the cultures of ASEAN to a wider audience within the ASEAN region and with the rest of the world. We acknowledged AMCA’s initiative to expand its partnership with other stakeholders through the inaugural ASEAN Culture and Arts Dialogue in 2016, which paved the way for deeper partnerships with the non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations on our shared goals. We appreciated the culture sector’s plans to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, particularly through the Best of ASEAN Performing Arts, which will showcase the cultural vibrancy and harmony in ASEAN.
65. We appreciated the strong role of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI) in strengthening ASEAN identity and awareness through strategic communications and in tapping multimedia platforms to further promote the opportunities and benefits of the ASEAN Community. We noted the continuation of the ASEAN Television News, Voice of ASEAN: Beyond Boundaries, and the ASEAN Quiz, which maximize the region’s resources to bring ASEAN consciousness to a wider audience. We looked forward to the effective implementation and fruitful outcomes of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media 2016-2025, especially as the AMRI takes steps towards closer coordination with all the Three Pillars of ASEAN and their sectoral bodies to enhance and complement their respective communication activities. We commended the information sector’s leadership to further advance the ASEAN Communication Master Plan, which aims to establish a coherent and concerted ASEAN messaging and branding that cut across all elements of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. We also looked forward to AMRI’s rewarding engagement with stakeholders through the planned ASEAN Information and Media Dialogue in 2017.
ASEAN Leaders Interface with Youth Representatives
66. We had a productive Interface with ASEAN Youth Representatives and took note of their aspiration to contribute towards the realization of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 with their innovation and creativity. We recognized the role that the youth has in community-building, and gave our highest assurances of support for the five priority areas of the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020 to encourage youth (1) entrepreneurship, (2) employment, (3) awareness, (4) volunteerism, and (5) resilience.
Dialogue Between ASEAN and Civil Society Organizations (CSO)
67. We recognized the importance of engagement and regular dialogue with civil society organizations (CSOs) as an important part of building a people-centered, people-oriented Community, and of attaining ASEAN Vision 2025. We note the initiative of the Chair to organize a Dialogue between ASEAN and the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) and the recommendations of the latter.
68. We reaffirmed our commitment to the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region and commended the measures taken by ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) to effectively implement the Declaration which, amongst others, include the adoption of the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP) and the ASEAN Standard Operating Procedures for Regional Standby Arrangements and Coordination of Joint Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Operations (SASOP) Chapter VI on the facilitation and utilization of military assets and capacities to enhance civil-military coordination and response in times of disasters.
69. We reiterated our full support to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) including the effective implementation of the ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment team (ERAT), the ASEAN Standby Arrangement and the Disaster Emergency Logistic System for ASEAN (DELSA) as well as the on-going satellite warehouse projects to enhance regional capacity in disaster management and timely and effective logistics operations.
70. We were pleased with the participation of ASEAN at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held in New Delhi in November 2016 where ASEAN conducted a global launch of the One ASEAN, One Response Declaration. We noted that ASEAN contributions at AMCDRR had helped to transform the knowledge learnt in the ASEAN region and to support regional implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, through the adopted Asia Regional Plan and the approved targets and indicators.
71. We noted the successful convening of the Ambon Disaster Response Exercise (Ambon DiREx) 2016: Tabletop Exercise on the East Asia Summit (EAS) Rapid Disaster Response Toolkit (EAS Toolkit) on 15 – 17 November 2016 in Ambon, Indonesia to validate the EAS Toolkit which was launched at the Indonesia – Australia EAS Rapid Disaster Response Workshop in June 2015 in Bali, Indonesia, and to improve coordination through existing regional disaster response mechanisms in ASEAN.
72. We underscored the importance of earmarking assets under the ASEAN Standby Arrangements that substantiates the operationalization of the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response, which would enable a swift and scalable regional response to disasters, thus, strengthening ASEAN’s resolve to be a global leader in disaster management by 2025.
73. We acknowledged the importance of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) as a policy backbone of disaster management initiatives in the region, and recognized the efforts of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in working with other sectors, including, civilian-military cooperation, health, education, finance, urban planning and social protection and enhanced partnership to jointly respond to disasters.
74. We looked forward to the successful convening of the ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management in August 2017 in Singapore.
ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM)
75. We welcomed the adoption of the ToR of the ASEAN Labour Inspection Conference by the Senior Labour Officials’ Meeting (SLOM) and looked forward to the continuation of the Conference on a regular basis to strengthen capacity and exchange among labour inspectors towards effective labour law enforcement. We also noted with satisfaction the interest of ASEAN Member States to explore the piloting and to build capacity on the implementation of the ASEAN Guiding Principles for Quality Assurance and Recognition of Competency Certification Systems.
76. We looked forward to the finalization and adoption of the Regional Plan of Action to Implement the Vientiane Declaration on Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment towards Decent Work Promotion in ASEAN which will concretize our commitment to promote inclusive and sustainable growth, employment and decent work in the region.
77. We commended the efforts of the ASEAN Labour Ministers for the considerable progress achieved during the ASEAN Labour Ministers Retreat held in Davao on 19-20 February 2017 and the Special Senior Labour Officials Retreat held in Manila on 20-21 March 2017 on the ASEAN instrument on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers. We tasked our Labour Ministers to finalize the instrument in time for its signing at the 31st ASEAN Summit in November 2017.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD)
78. Following the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowerment of Older Persons, we looked forward to the translation of the Declaration into action through a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach.
79. We commended the evaluation of the Mobilization Framework of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2011-2020, and looked forward to its meaningful implementation that would impact the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.
80. We looked forward to the active participation of ASEAN bodies in the implementation of the Regional Framework and Action Plan to Implement the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection, particularly in developing a social protection monitoring framework in ASEAN. We encouraged all the relevant sectoral bodies in the ASEAN High-Level Conference on Social Protection scheduled in August 2017 in the Philippines to develop the monitoring framework.
ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC)
81. We looked forward to the completion of the Progress Report on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in ASEAN, the Baseline Study on Child Protection Systems in ASEAN Member States and the Baseline Study on the Status of Child Participation in ASEAN and ASEAN Member States.
82. We commended efforts to enhance awareness of issues related to trafficking in persons, specifically through the publication of the Regional Review on Laws, Policies and Practices within ASEAN relating to the Identification, Management and Treatment of Victims of Trafficking, especially Women and Children, developed by the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (AMMRDPE)
83. We commended the initiatives of ASEAN Member States to develop rural areas and eradicate poverty in line with the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We looked forward to a closer cross-sectoral collaboration among ASEAN bodies on rural development and poverty eradication, agriculture, social welfare and development and health, among others, to ensure sustainable and inclusive development in ASEAN.
84. We acknowledged the initiatives on developing capacities to enhance the accountability of local governments in delivering social protection through community-driven development as well as on the regional study on food security and price spikes which takes stock of responsive social protection policies for the vulnerable poor.
85. We looked forward to the strengthening of public, private and people partnership through multi-stakeholder platforms on rural development and poverty eradication as well as stimulating the active participation of civil society organizations and the private sector through the Third ASEAN Leadership Award for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication in 2017, which will be held in conjunction with the 10th AMMRDPE in October 2017 in Malaysia.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW)
86. We looked forward to the timely completion and implementation of the gender mainstreaming strategies across the three pillars of ASEAN Community, currently being developed by the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) and the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).
87. We stressed the need to enhance economic empowerment for women in the region through an effective partnership between relevant public and private sectors, with a view to ensuring zero discrimination on women’s access to economic opportunities and resources. We also looked forward to our hosting of the Senior Officials Conference on Gender Mainstreaming in the ASCC on 20-22 September 2017.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY)
88. We commended the convening of the First ASEAN University Student Council Union Conference on 14-20 March 2017 in Hiroshima, Japan under the JENESYS Programme, with the theme peace-building and youth leadership.
89. We acknowledged Thailand’s efforts to promote ASEAN youth engagement through, among others, the development of young social entrepreneurs’ network; and to encourage youth volunteerism and community involvement through the successful conduct of the ASEAN Youth Workshop on Social Entrepreneurs on 22-26 January 2017 and the 2nd ASEAN Youth Workshop on Media Literacy on 24-28 April 2017 held in Bangkok.
90. We noted the progress of the ASEAN Youth Development Index, which aims to formulate reliable and sustainable youth development-related data, which are deemed important in crafting relevant and responsive youth policies and programs.
91. We looked forward to the successful convening of the 10th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY) and the 7th Senior Official Meeting on Youth (SOMY) in July 2017 in Indonesia.
ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (ASED)
92. We acknowledge the progress on supporting regional harmonization and quality improvement in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in ASEAN through the implementation of RECOTVET Programme by the German Development Cooperation in collaboration with various institutions and experts in Southeast Asia, as well as the on-going development of an ASEAN-wide competency profiles and standards for in-company trainers and TVET teachers which were jointly developed by the representatives from ASEAN Member States and the private sector.
93. We noted with appreciation the pilot scholarship scheme under the European Union (EU) Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (SHARE), which tested credit transfers and recognition within ASEAN by providing scholarship support to 400 ASEAN university students to study for a semester in another institution in an ASEAN country.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Sports (AMMS)
94. We welcomed the initiative of Thailand, as part of the ASEAN Work Plan on Sports (2016-2020), to formulate the ASEAN Physical Fitness Indicators (APFI) aimed at gathering information related to population health and fitness; and health and fitness system performance in ASEAN. We noted the result of the initial consultation held on 27-28 February 2017 in Bangkok which identified six health-based physical fitness indicators including sports participation rate to serve as a basis in collecting data on the level of physical fitness in ASEAN.
95. We commended and recognized the participation and achievements of the ASEAN athletes at the XXXI Olympics and the XV Paralympics, which took place respectively in August and September 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and their collective efforts to represent ASEAN in the global sporting arena.
ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM)
96. We were pleased to note the adoption of the ACCSM Work Plan 2016-2020 and the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters. We also noted with satisfaction the adoption of the ACCSM+3 Work Plan 2016-2020 and the revised Rules of Procedure of the Senior Officials Meeting for the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation on Civil Service Matters by the Third Heads of Civil Service Meeting for the ACCSM+3 on 17 November 2016 in Manila.
97. We tasked the ACCSM, in collaboration with relevant sectoral bodies across the three pillars of ASEAN Community, to lead the development of a work plan towards realizing the aspirations contained in the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment (AMME)
98. We noted that transboundary haze pollution arising from land and forest fires remains a major concern in the region. We reaffirmed our commitment to fully and effectively implement the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) and the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation to achieve a Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020. We noted the progress of preparation for the establishment and full operationalization of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control in Indonesia, which will facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the provision of the AATHP.
99. We welcomed the signing of two ASEAN-EU programmes on sustainable use of peatlands and haze mitigation in ASEAN as well as biodiversity conservation and management of protected areas in ASEAN.
100. We shared great concern over the rapidly changing climate and its adverse impacts, causing severe social and economic disruptions and damage throughout the region. We welcomed the outcomes of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held on 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco and reiterated our commitment to address climate change at the local, national, regional and global levels, including to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)
101. We reaffirmed our commitment to the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources in the ASEAN region. We looked forward to the full ratification of the ACB Establishment Agreement. We noted the presentation of the Second Edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook (ABO2) on the sideline of the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) on 16 December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico, and looked forward to its dissemination. The ABO2 will be beneficial to the preparation for the Fifth Edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook.
102. We noted the successful conduct of the Fifth ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference with the theme, “Innovations for Enhanced Governance of ASEAN Heritage Parks,” on 24-27 October 2016 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar that brought together various actors of the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme to review and exchange views on the progress of ASEAN’s efforts in effectively managing ASEAN Heritage Parks and addressing biodiversity issues for sustainable development.
103. We looked forward to the successful inauguration of the New Building Headquarters of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines on 29 July 2017.
ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting (AHMM)
104. We attach importance to the 20 Health Priorities, aiming to achieve a healthy and caring ASEAN Community, where the people achieve maximal health potential through healthy lifestyle; have universal access to quality health care; have safety food and healthy diet, live in a healthy environment with sustainable inclusive development where health is incorporated in all policies.
105. We appreciated the progress of various initiatives on responding to all hazards and emerging threats including the implementation of the mitigation of biological threats through the ASEAN Post 2015 Health Development Agenda that prioritizes enhancing laboratory capacities, disease surveillance and managing big data analytics supported through Canada’s Global Partnership Programme.
106. We acknowledged the current progress of capacity building and networking on Disaster Health Management of the ASEAN Post 2015 Health Development Agenda which focuses on regional capacity building on disaster medicine/emergency medicine in ASEAN and support a unified response to disaster management supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
107. We recognized the growing trend and challenges of an ageing society in the region and the need to promote quality of life and physical and mental wellbeing of older persons in a holistic manner and through partnerships with relevant stakeholders. We welcomed Thailand’s efforts to establish an ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) in Thailand by 2019, which will support the operationalization of the ASEAN Post 2015 Health Development Agenda for 2016 to 2020.
108. We acknowledged the importance of Disaster Health Management and Emergency Medicine at national and regional levels, which are critical for improving health outcomes from emergencies, minimizing health vulnerabilities, ensuring access to health care, and that health services remain functioning when they are most needed. We recognized the importance of enhancing ASEAN cooperation on this issue and including efforts to develop an ASEAN Declaration on Disaster Health Management and Emergency Medicine to be adopted at the 31st ASEAN Summit.
109. We also looked forward to the valuable outcomes of the 13th AHMM in September 2017 in Brunei Darussalam with the theme “Together Towards a Healthy ASEAN”, which would further facilitate the realization of the health-related action lines in the ASCC Blueprint 2025, and complement the implementation of the action lines and strategic measures of non-health sectors.
ENTITIES ASSOCIATED WITH ASEAN
110. We welcomed the inclusion of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices as an entity associated with ASEAN under Annex II of the ASEAN Charter and looked forward to CACJ’s initiatives in contributing to the strengthening of collaboration among the judiciaries of ASEAN Member States. At the 2nd ASEAN Chief Justices Meeting in 2014, the ASEAN Chief Justices endorsed an initiative to build a common e-portal connecting AMS Judiciaries. It also reached a consensus on judicial training cooperation among AMS. The Chief Justices signed the Boracay Accord in 2015, which affirmed the need to continue the momentum of cooperation among Chief Justices through strengthening individual AMS Judiciaries, upholding the rule of law within the respective jurisdictions and across ASEAN, and enhancing judicial cooperation in the region. Working Groups were formed focusing on training needs and capacity building, ASEAN Judicial Portal, case management, court technology, child cross-border disputes, and civil processes.
ASEAN EXTERNAL RELATIONS
111. We noted that Timor-Leste’s application to become an ASEAN member is still under study by the relevant senior officials. To prepare Timor-Leste for membership in ASEAN, we reiterated our commitment to provide assistance to Timor-Leste for its capacity-building, in accordance with the elements and procedures agreed to by the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group (ACCWG) on Timor-Leste’s ASEAN Membership Application.
Relations with Dialogue Partners
112. We recognized the importance of productive relations with Strategic Partners, Dialogue Partners, Sectoral Dialogue Partners, Development Partner and other external partners to ASEAN’s engagement with the global community and to reinforcing the ASEAN-centered regional architecture. We noted with satisfaction the progress of ASEAN’s relations with Dialogue Partners, which had been strengthened and deepened through the effective implementation of various Plans of Action (POA). We welcomed initiatives to enhance ASEAN coordination with regard to its external relations.
113. We were satisfied with the outcomes of the Summits with Dialogue Partners last year and looked forward to commemorating milestone anniversaries of Dialogue Relations with Canada, the EU, India and the United States this year to add momentum to strengthening the existing partnerships.
114. We reiterate the call for Dialogue Partners to honor the valued principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member States, including respect for the right of every Member State to pursue its national interests free from external interference as enshrined in the UN and the ASEAN Charter. This reflects the sovereign equality of all States and the reality that productive relations should be based on mutual benefit and respect.
115. We noted with satisfaction the efforts undertaken by the CPR to develop substantive cooperation with ASEAN’s ten Dialogue Partners and Norway as Sectoral Dialogue Partner, as well as with Switzerland and Germany, which were conferred the status of Sectoral Dialogue Partner and Development Partner, respectively, at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in July 2016 in Vientiane. We recognized new external parties’ growing interest in establishing formal partnerships with ASEAN. Therefore, we resolved to consider such requests in accordance with the Guidelines for ASEAN’s External Relations, including on the basis of mutual interest and benefit to support and contribute to ASEAN’s Community building efforts, ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture, enhanced ASEAN connectivity and ASEAN’s strategic goals in the regional and global landscape.
116. We welcomed the work of the CPR in enhancing engagements with the Ambassadors of non-ASEAN Member States and regional organizations accredited to ASEAN (NAAAs) as well as stepping up engagements with the ASEAN Committees in Third Countries (ACTCs) to promote ASEAN in the respective host countries and international organizations.
117. We reiterated the importance of maintaining ASEAN’s central role in shaping the evolving regional architecture and in our engagement with external parties. We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen an ASEAN-centered regional architecture that is inclusive, effective and rules-based, built on ASEAN-led arrangements and processes such as the ASEAN Plus One and Plus Three Mechanisms, the EAS, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) and the ADMM Plus. We looked forward to the convening of an EAS Workshop on Regional Security Architecture in Bangkok on 15-16 May 2017. We agreed to continue enhancing ASEAN’s capacity to contribute and respond to key international issues of common interest and concern.
118. We reiterate the importance of promoting the coherence and synergy among ASEAN-Led Mechanisms to maintain peace and security as a basic element to achieve people’s prosperity in the region.
119. We looked forward to commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three this year and further strengthening the EAS, including through promoting practical cooperation and proposing new priority areas such as maritime cooperation. We agreed to continue enhancing ASEAN’s capacity to contribute and respond to key international issues of common interest and concern.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS
South China Sea
120. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and over-flight in and above the South China Sea. We welcomed the operationalization of the Guidelines for Hotline Communications among Senior Officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of ASEAN Member States and China in Response to Maritime Emergencies in the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and look forward to the early operationalization of the other early harvest measure which is the Joint Statement on the Application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the South China Sea. We took note of concerns expressed by some Leaders over recent developments in the area. We reaffirmed the importance of the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoiding actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursuing the peaceful resolution of disputes, without resorting to the threat or use of force.
121. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We took note of the improving cooperation between ASEAN and China. We welcomed the progress to complete a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) by middle of this year, in order to facilitate the early conclusion of an effective COC. We recognized the long-term benefits that would be gained from having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and sustainable development.
Maritime Security and Cooperation
122. We reaffirmed the need to strengthen cooperation and constructive dialogue on maritime security, maritime safety, maritime environment, and other maritime issues, including search and rescue, piracy and armed robbery against ships at sea, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other crimes related to fisheries, and other crimes at sea, through ASEAN led-mechanism such as the AMF and EAMF, ARF, ADMM, and ADMM- Plus. We looked forward to strengthening ASEAN cooperation to deal with these threats and discuss with our Dialogue Partners cooperative frameworks and measures as soon as practicable. We expressed anticipation of the forthcoming Seventh AMF and the Fifth EAMF to be held in Jakarta later this year.
123. We expressed our grave concern over recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) two nuclear tests in 2016 and subsequent ballistic missile launches. The actions of the DPRK have resulted in an escalation of tensions that can affect peace and stability in the entire region.
124. We urge the DPRK to immediately comply fully with its obligations arising from all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and stressed the importance of exercising self-restraint in the interest of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and the world.
125. We reiterate our full support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and for concerned Parties to explore all avenues for immediate dialogue.
Terrorism and Extremism
126. We reiterated our strong condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations. We are committed to effectively implement the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (ACCT), while taking into account the international instruments and guidelines, including the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, and the United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism through preventive education, involvement of women and youth as well as the promotion of peace and moderation as a counter-narrative.