Foreign ministers at the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting as part of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting issued a Joint communiqué in Vientiane on July 24.

The following is the full text of the joint communiqué.

“JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 49th ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING

VIENTIANE, 24 JULY 2016

‘TURNING VISION INTO REALITY FOR A DYNAMIC ASEAN COMMUNITY’

We, the Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), met on 24 July 2016 at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in Vientiane, Lao PDR, under the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community”. His Excellency Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, chaired the Meeting.

ASEAN COMMUNITY BUILDING
ASEAN Community Vision 2025

1. With the formal establishment of the ASEAN Community on 31 December 2015, we resolved to continue deepening and advancing ASEAN community building as well as regional integration. We reaffirmed our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the three new Blueprints which set out the future direction for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and a truly rules-based, people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN Community. We also reaffirmed our commitment to the effective implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, to be adopted at the 28th ASEAN Summit, and that these initiatives shall be an integral part of the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

2. We reaffirm our 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 recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

ASEAN Charter

3. We noted that the ASEAN SOM discussed the proposal to update certain sections of the ASEAN Charter towards realising, among others, the objectives and purposes of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and tasked the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) to propose the scope of the update and subsequently submit recommendations to the ASEAN SOM for consideration.
Narrowing the Development Gap and Initiative for ASEAN Integration

4. We noted the efforts and progress made in the implementation of the IAI Work Plan II (2009-2015). We also took note of the good progress made in the formulation of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020) by the IAI Task Force. Mindful of the importance of narrowing the development gap (NDG) as one of the priorities in the ASEAN Community building efforts, we looked forward to the adoption of the IAI Work Plan III at the 28 th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane in September 2016, which would further promote equitable and inclusive development, as well as strengthen our collective efforts to assist newer Member States to meet ASEAN-wide targets and commitments. To this end, we tasked our Senior Officials to formulate the Vientiane Declaration to adopt the IAI Work Plan III. We called for the continued support by our Dialogue Partners and other external parties in advancing the region’s integration efforts.

Promoting Complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

5. We welcomed the efforts made by Thailand, as ASEAN Coordinator, to promote complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To take this matter forward, we will explore the development of priority areas and a roadmap to promote these complementarities and explore how our community building and the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals can reinforce one another for the benefit of our peoples.

6. We look forward to convening a special session of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting focusing on Sustainable Development, back to back with the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New York this September 2016.

Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing ASEAN Organs

7. We were pleased to note the progress in the implementation of the Report and Recommendations of the High Level Task Force on Strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs (HLTF) to streamline and improve work processes and coordination among ASEAN Organs and strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat. We encouraged all ASEAN organs and sectoral bodies to continue with the implementation of the remaining recommendations within the targeted timeline.

8. We noted with satisfaction the ongoing efforts to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat, including the operationalisation of the new organisational structure reflecting the enhanced responsibilities and functions of the ASEAN Secretariat in support of ASEAN community building. We expressed our appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its contributions towards the re-development and expansion of the ASEAN Secretariat’s premises.

ASEAN POLITICAL-SECURITY COMMUNITY
Implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025

9. We noted with satisfaction the ongoing efforts to implement the APSC Blueprint 2025, including the development of a robust reporting and monitoring system with a greater focus on qualitative analysis and impact assessment. We also welcomed the initiatives and efforts undertaken by ASEAN Member States and APSC sectoral bodies to implement the Blueprint. We encouraged all relevant sectoral bodies to align their work plans with the relevant action lines in the Blueprint.

Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC)

10. We reaffirmed the enduring value and significance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) forty years after its signing in 1976. The TAC continues to serve as the key code of conduct governing inter-State relations in the region and a foundation for the maintenance and promotion of regional peace and stability in the region. In this regard, we adopted the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Statement on the Occasion of the 40 th Anniversary of the TAC which reiterates our firm commitment to upholding the purposes and principles of the TAC. We also emphasised the importance for all High Contracting Parties to continue to fully respect and promote the effective implementation of the TAC.

11. We welcomed the growing interest of other non-ASEAN Member States to accede to the TAC which reflects their political will and commitment to cooperate with ASEAN in the furtherance of peace and security in the region. In this regard, we agreed to the requests for accession by Chile, Egypt, Iran and Morocco to the TAC and looked forward to the Signing Ceremony as soon as possible. We also agreed to consider new applications in accordance with the Revised Guidelines for Accession to the TAC.

Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty

12. We reiterated our commitment to preserve the Southeast Asian region as a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty) and the ASEAN Charter. We, therefore, stressed the importance of the full and effective implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty, including through the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty (2013-2017). We also welcomed the biennial adoption of the 70 th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the SEANWFZ Treaty in December 2015 which reiterates the importance of the Treaty in strengthening the security of States in the region and in contributing to international peace and security.

13. We reaffirmed our commitment to continuously engage the Nuclear Weapon States and intensify the ongoing efforts of the States Parties to the SEANWFZ Treaty and Nuclear Weapon States to resolve all outstanding issues, in accordance with the objectives and principles of the SEANWFZ Treaty.

14. We welcomed the designation of the ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) as an ASEAN body under the APSC Pillar in Annex 1 of the ASEAN Charter, which would help ASEANTOM in promoting high standards of nuclear safety, security and safeguards in the region, through cooperation, exchanging of information and complementing the work of existing mechanisms at the national, bilateral, regional and international levels, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We noted various activities undertaken by the ASEANTOM on nuclear safety, security, safeguards and emergency preparedness and response as identified in its annual Action Plan.

Cooperation between ASEAN and the International Atomic Energy Agency

15. We noted the central role of the IAEA in the promotion of safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear non-proliferation. We therefore tasked the Senior Officials to explore ways to formalise relations between ASEAN and the IAEA, with the ASEANTOM serving as a focal point of coordination. This would promote greater cooperation and collaboration with the IAEA on issues related to nuclear safety, security and safeguards, including capacity building, to benefit all Member States.

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

16. We reaffirmed the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) as a consultative body integral to the ASEAN organisational structure and its role as the overarching human rights institution in ASEAN. We noted with satisfaction the progress of the work of the AICHR in the promotion and protection of human rights. We welcomed the new Representatives for the term 2016 to 2018 and encouraged all the Representatives to engage more on human rights challenges in the region in accordance with the principles of the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the AHRD, as well as the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the AICHR. We noted with satisfaction the smooth transition of responsibilities and positive continuity of the institutional arrangements of the AICHR.

17. We commended the AICHR on the commencement of its second Five-Year Work Plan 2016-2020 and the implementation of the Guidelines on AICHR’s Relations with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in line with the key theme of a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN.

18. We noted the AICHR Annual Report 2016 and endorsed the AICHR’s priority programme/activities with indicative budget for 2017, which is the integral part of the AICHR’s Five Year Work Plan 2016-2020. We encouraged the AICHR to continue its work, in accordance with the ASEAN Charter and the TOR of the AICHR, to further promote and protect human rights in ASEAN so as to ensure a rules-based, people-oriented, people-centred Community. We also encouraged the AICHR to enhance public awareness of human rights among the peoples of ASEAN, including by uploading appropriate information on its work and activities on its Website. We acknowledged that human rights is a cross-cutting issue and are encouraged by the work of AICHR in strengthening its dialogue and consultation with other ASEAN Bodies and entities associated with ASEAN including CSOs and other stakeholders.

19. We welcomed the outcomes of the Interface between the AMM and AICHR Representatives and took note of the recommendation for the AMM to consider, when and as appropriate, the review of the TOR of the AICHR as provided for in the TOR, consistent with the purposes and principles of the ASEAN Charter, with a view to further enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights within ASEAN.

ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation

20. We noted the ongoing efforts of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) in promoting reconciliation, conflict management, conflict resolution and peace building to enhance peace and stability in the region. We welcomed the adoption of the Rules of Procedure of the Advisory Board of the AIPR. We urged the AIPR to accelerate its operationalisation, enhance its capacity, and continue engagement with relevant stakeholders, such as think tanks, CSOs, and ASEAN external parties, in promoting peace and reconciliation in the region. We also expressed our appreciation to Indonesia for its contributions to the initial operationalisation of the Institute, in accordance with the TOR of AIPR.

ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre

21. We welcomed the Official Inauguration of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) Headquarters in Phnom Penh which was held on 25 May 2016. We looked forward to the Inaugural Meeting of the Steering Committee of ARMAC in Phnom Penh in August 2016 and the full operationalisation of ARMAC, which serves as the regional centre of excellence in addressing the humanitarian aspects of the explosive remnants of war (ERW) for interested ASEAN Member States.

Maritime Cooperation

22. We underscored the importance of strengthening regional cooperation and promoting mutual trust and understanding in maritime security and maritime safety to ensure peace and stability as well as safety of sea lanes, freedom of navigation and over flight and unimpeded commerce through, inter alia, capacity building, exchange of experiences and information, sharing of best practices, promotion of coordination on cross-cutting/cross-pillar issues, by utilising existing ASEAN-led frameworks, where appropriate, including the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus, and the ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF)/Expanded AMF (EAMF).

23. We noted that challenges of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing remain and have become even more complex in the region. We are therefore committed to expand regional cooperation to address this issue, including through supporting the effective implementation of the relevant international law and instruments. We noted with satisfaction that there are initiatives taken by ASEAN-led mechanisms to discuss and address the challenges of IUU Fishing.

24. We took note of the successful outcomes of the 6th AMF and 4th EAMF held in Indonesia in September 2015 and looked forward to the convening of 7th AMF and 5th EAMF in Brunei Darussalam in 2016.

Non-Traditional Security Issues

25. Following the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration in Combating Transnational Crime by the AMMTC in September 2015, we looked forward to the effective implementation of the Declaration, which has also included new areas of cooperation such as illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber and people smuggling, through the adoption of a new ASEAN Plan of Action in Combating Transnational Crime. We also looked forward to the convening of the 11th AMMTC in the Philippines in 2017, which will mark the beginning of the AMMTC being held annually.

26. We continued to strongly condemn the act of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, especially with regard to the recent terrorist attacks in our region and other parts of the world and encouraged greater cooperation to address the root causes of violent extremism and radicalisation in societies, as well as the rising phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). We noted the convening of the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRVE) on 2 October 2015 in Kuala Lumpur to exchange experiences, views, ideas, as well as best practices in handling the issues of radicalisation, violent extremism and other emerging threats posed by FTFs in the region and to reaffirm our commitment to continue working closely in preventing and suppressing these threats.

27. Recalling the signing of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) by the ASEAN Leaders at the 27th ASEAN Summit, we looked forward to the early entry into force and the effective implementation of the ACTIP, as well as the effective implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA). We noted the ongoing efforts to socialise the ACTIP and APA with the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies/Organs in combating trafficking in persons.

28. We welcomed the designation of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMD) under Annex 1 of the ASEAN Charter in October 2015. We looked forward to the convening of the next AMMD Meeting in October 2016 in Singapore. This will be the first AMMD Meeting since its institutionalisation.

29. We also welcomed the outcome of the 4th AMMD in October 2015 in Langkawi, Malaysia that endorsed the ASEAN Position Statement which affirmed ASEAN’s aspirations and commitment to a zero-tolerance stance against drugs. In this regard, we were pleased to note the ASEAN Position Statement delivered at the 59th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) Special Session on United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Preparations on 14 March 2016 in Vienna by Singapore and at the UNGASS on the World Drug Problem on 19 April 2016 in New York by Malaysia.

30. We welcomed the convening of the inaugural ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity in Singapore on 11 October 2016 to facilitate greater cybersecurity cooperation among ASEAN Member States, which will complement existing ASEAN efforts to strengthen cybersecurity in the region.

Consular Assistance to Nationals of ASEAN Member States in Third Countries

31. We look forward to the convening of the 1st Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs Meeting (DGICM) Working Group Meeting on the Development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or Guideline on Consular Assistance to Nationals of ASEAN Member States in Third Countries to be held on 3 August 2016 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, which aims to provide consular assistance to Nationals of ASEAN Member States whose countries do not have diplomatic presence in the Third country consistent with the vision of building a Caring and Sharing ASEAN Community.

Defence and Security Cooperation

32. We were pleased to note the progress achieved by the ADMM in advancing practical defence cooperation and promoting strategic dialogue on defence and security matter over the past 10 years. We noted the Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Promoting Defence Cooperation for a Dynamic ASEAN Community, the TOR of the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM) and the TOR of the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), which were adopted by the 10th ADMM held in May 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

33. We also commended the launching of the ACMM in Bangkok, Thailand, in view of promoting regional cooperation and coordination in the field of military medicine among ASEAN Member States and the Plus countries.

34. We also welcomed the ongoing implementation of defence initiatives among ASEAN Member States, including the establishment of the Direct Communications Link (DCL); the adoption of the ADMM Logistics Support Framework (LSF) and the Framework for the Implementation of the ASEAN Defence Industry Collaboration (ADIC); and conduct of activities in connection with the ASEAN Peacekeeping Centres Network (APCN), among others.

35. We were encouraged by the achievements of the ADMM-Plus process in forging practical defence and military cooperation among ASEAN and the eight Plus Countries, in particular, through the six ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups. We noted the conduct of the ADMM-Plus Exercises such as on Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) and Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA); and on Maritime Security (MS) and Counter Terrorism (CT). We looked forward to the conduct of the remaining two ADMM-Plus Exercises on Military Medicine and HADR in September in Thailand and on Maritime Security in November 2016 in New Zealand.

36. We also welcomed the adoption of the concept paper on the establishment of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups on Cyber Security, which would serve as a framework for cooperation on cyber security among the ADMM-Plus.

ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
Implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint

37. We are encouraged that as at end-2015, ASEAN has achieved near completion of implementation of measures under the AEC Blueprint 2015. The remaining AEC 2015 measures would continue to be implemented, and progress tracked, in line with the AEC Blueprint 2025.

38. We noted that implementation and monitoring mechanisms for the AEC Blueprint 2025 are being put in place. The strategic measures in the AEC Blueprint 2025 would be operationalised through the AEC sectoral work plans that are currently at different stages of finalisation. We also noted that an enhanced monitoring framework is currently being developed to support implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025, and which would complement compliance-monitoring with outcomes-monitoring and impact evaluation to provide better assessment on integration progress.

Transport

39. We welcomed the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025 which serves as a guiding regional policy document for ASEAN transport cooperation and integration. The KLTSP outlines strategic measures in the areas of air transport, land transport, maritime transport sustainable transport and transport facilitation.

40. We also welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Regional Road Safety Strategy which provides a framework for road safety strategies at the regional level to reduce road fatalities in ASEAN Member States in accordance with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

Minerals

41. We welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN Minerals Cooperation Action Plan (AMCAP) 2016-2025 (AMCAP-III), that aims to (i) facilitate and enhance trade and investment in minerals; (ii) promote environmentally and socially sustainable minerals development; (iii) strengthen institutional and human capacities in the ASEAN minerals sector; and, (iv) maintain an efficient and up-to-date ASEAN minerals database, including its infrastructure towards achieving AEC integration in the minerals sector.

Energy

42. We welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025 Phase I (2016-2020) that builds on the achievements of past APAECs and which now involves sharpening the strategic areas of energy cooperation. We noted the ambitious APAEC targets towards sustainable energy consumption and production. We acknowledged the APAEC’s target of initiating multilateral electricity trade in at least one sub-region in ASEAN by 2018 towards realising energy connectivity and market integration in the region.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

43. We welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Masterplan 2020 which will guide ASEAN ICT cooperation from 2016-2020 towards a digitally enabled economy that is secure, sustainable, and transformative and to enable an innovative, inclusive, and integrated ASEAN Community.

Science and Technology

44. We welcome the finalisation of the work plan to implement the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025 adopted by the Science and Technology Ministers on 6 November 2015 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. We support the planned initiatives of the Committee on Science and Technology and its various subsidiary bodies that can contribute to raising the competitiveness of ASEAN as well as strengthening the engagement of women and youth and the private sector in science, technology and innovation (STI).

Finance and Banking

45. We recognised the need to implement appropriate monetary, fiscal and macro-prudential policies to maintain sustained economic growth and promote macroeconomic and financial stability, through engagement in multilateral discussions in the areas of macroeconomic policy and financial cooperation, and implementation of structural reforms in the ASEAN region. We welcomed the new initiative to facilitate broader financial inclusion in the ASEAN region to enhance economic growth, alleviate poverty and reduce income inequalities.

Food, Agriculture and Forestry

46. We are pleased with the progress in implementing relevant activities under the Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016-2025, particularly achievements made in the harmonisation of standards and development of ASEAN guidelines to ensure safe and good quality agricultural products.

Tourism

47. We are pleased to note the new record of 113 million arrivals of international visitor arrivals to ASEAN in 2015, an increase of 8 per cent compared to 2014. We welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025 and supported the Visit ASEAN@50 Campaign to promote and showcase ASEAN as a single tourism destination as part of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in 2017.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

48. We recognised the increasing importance of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in contributing to the economic growth of ASEAN Member States. To this end, we welcomed the endorsement of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for MSMEs 2025 (SAPSMED 2025) last November 2015, with its focus on increasing access to technology, finance, markets, promoting entrepreneurship and an enabling regulatory environment for MSMEs.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

49. We noted the progress made to date and encouraged all Parties to intensify efforts to advance the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations towards an early and successful conclusion.

Statistical Cooperation

50. We welcomed the review of Broad Framework for the Sustainable Development of ASEAN Statistics in response to emerging data needs from ASEAN community building and integration efforts.

Trade Facilitation

51. We are encouraged by the progress on the harmonisation of standards and technical requirements, the development and the implementation of ASEAN Sectoral Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) and harmonisation of regulatory regime in ASEAN.

52. We noted that the Protocol on the Legal Framework to Implement the ASW (PLF), which governs the legal aspects of the eventual implementation of the ASW across Member States, is in the process of ratification by Member States. We welcomed the commencement of the implementation of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) enabling platform.

Investment

53. We are encouraged that ASEAN continues to be the preferred investment destination, given its robust regional economic fundamentals and continuous effort of ASEAN Member States to improve their investment regimes through economic reform and various investment facilitation initiatives.

ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY
Implementation of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025

54. We recognised the importance of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) that engages and benefits the peoples and is inclusive, sustainable, resilient and dynamic, with a view to lifting the quality of life of its peoples through cooperative activities that are people-oriented, people-centred, environmentally friendly and geared towards the promotion of sustainable development, as well as deepening the sense of ASEAN identity.

5. Towards this end, we were encouraged by the ASCC Ministers’ determination to strengthen coordination on cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues and to engage all stakeholders. We were pleased to note that the ASCC sectoral work plans shall be aligned with the ASCC Blueprint 2025, highlighting an orientation to strong results through monitoring and evaluation, and supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals.

Social Welfare and Development

56. We noted the significant progress made in promoting the rights and welfare of children, elderly people, and persons with disabilities through regional policy frameworks such as the Regional Framework and Action Plan to Implement the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN, the Regional Plans of Actions on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) and Elimination of Violence against Children (EVAC), which were adopted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 27th ASEAN Summit in November 2015. Equally noteworthy is ASEAN’s continuing efforts to enhance platforms for exchange and learning for persons with disabilities, such as the establishment of the ASEAN Network of Experts on Inclusive Entrepreneurship. We were also encouraged by the complementary efforts to enhance the capacities of social workers in ASEAN, through the ASEAN Social Work Consortium, the engagement with non-government organisation through the ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development as well as continued efforts to raise ASEAN children’s voice in regional issues that affect them through the regular conduct of ASEAN Children’s Forum. In this regard, we welcomed the successful convening of the 4th ASEAN Children’s Forum (ACF) on 20-23 June 2016 in Hanoi, Viet Nam with the recommendations to promote the efforts in the areas of combating and preventive of violence against children and trafficking in children and the protection of children from cybercrimes and climate change.

57. We underscored the need to promote an active ageing society, together with accessibility and quality welfare schemes, in order to meet the challenges of an ageing population which could cause far-reaching socio-economic impacts. We reaffirmed the commitment to support an active aging society made in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons, adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur in 2015. We encouraged the exchanges of lessons learned and best practices in uplifting the quality of life for the elderly which will lead to a truly inclusive and people-oriented, people-centred community.

58. The promotion and protection of the rights of women and children have advanced through the work of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). We commended the ACWC for the development of the ASEAN Guidelines for a Non-Violent Approach to Nurture, Care, and Development of Children in all Settings, and the ASEAN Early Childhood Care, Development and Education (ECCDE) Quality Standards, and for the completion of the Report on 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, which contributes to the implementation of the ACTIP.

Women

59. We recognised the importance of the continued promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region, which is championed by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women with the support of the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW). We were pleased that the pioneering work of ACW has led to a deeper understanding of the status and role of women in the ASEAN Community and, as such, continues to promote policy and programme development towards further empowerment of women. We noted with satisfaction the several regional initiatives undertaken such as the Inter-Ministerial Workshop on Gender Issues in Climate Change and Its Adaptation, the Regional Workshop on Gender Mainstreaming in Labour Policies to Promote Decent Work for All and the Regional Training on Social Protection and Gender Budget Analysis for the ASEAN Member States. We urged the relevant sectoral ministerial bodies to continue working towards women’s empowerment including through the conduct of studies such as the publication of the Projected Gender Impact of the ASEAN Economic Community as well as the continued participation of women in the economic sector through the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network.

Labour

60. We welcomed the successful convening of the 24th ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM) on 15 May 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. We congratulated the ALMM on the completion of the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Work Programme 2010-2015 and we looked forward to the robust implementation of the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Work Programme 2016-2020 which will further enhance the competitiveness and safe and decent work of the ASEAN workforce. We lauded the development and subsequent endorsement by the ALMM of the Vientiane Declaration on Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment towards Decent Work Promotion in ASEAN, which will be submitted for adoption by the 28th ASEAN Summit. We welcomed the agreement by the ALMM to conclude the Instrument and finalise the draft ASEAN Instrument on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers by September 2016 or at the latest by April 2017. In this regard, we looked forward to the finalisation of an adequate instrument ensuring the effective protection for the migrant workers, in accordance with the laws, regulations and policies of respective ASEAN Member States.

61. We noted the proposal of Indonesia to issue a statement on the promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers.

62. We welcomed the convening of the ASEAN Inter-Pillar Policy Dialogue on the Impact of the ASEAN Economic Integration in the Labour Sector on 21 March 2016 in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia which brought together, for the first time. ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Meeting (SLOM), Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM), ACW and regional organisations, including workers’ and employers’ organisations, to exchange views on opportunities and challenges for the labour sector in light of deepening and widening ASEAN economic integration.

63. We welcomed the adoption by the ALMM of the ASEAN Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on Labour which would guide governments, enterprises/ establishments, employers’ organisations and workers’ organisations to raise awareness of labour issues in CSR among enterprises, and incorporate CSR initiatives, human rights and decent work in their business practices.

Civil Service

64. We looked forward to the finalisation and endorsement of the ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM) Work Plan 2016-2020 at the Heads of Civil Service Meeting for the 18th ACCSM and the ACCSM Plus Three Work Plan 2016-2020 at the Head of Civil Service Meeting for the 3rd ACCSM Plus Three on 17 November 2016 in the Philippines. We welcomed the translation of the Putrajaya Joint Declaration on ASEAN Post-2015 Priorities towards an ASEAN Citizen-Centric Civil Service into activities in the ACCSM Work Plan 2016-2020. We further welcomed the efforts by ASEAN Member States to ensure the continued relevance and effectiveness of the ASEAN Resource Centres (ARCs), including the revision of the themes of the six ARCs in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Viet Nam. We looked forward to the continued role of ARCs in providing capacity building to civil servants in ASEAN in their respective areas of expertise.

Climate Change and Environment

65. We noted with great concern that climate change has already caused major loss and damage throughout the ASEAN region, disproportionately affecting developing countries and impacting agriculture, energy supply, livelihoods, water security, land use and biodiversity. We noted the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change 2015 and Declaration on ASEAN Post-2015 Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Agenda which were adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 27 th ASEAN Summit and conveyed at the High-Level Segment of the Paris Climate Change Conference. We commended the conclusion of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the Conference and looked forward to its entry into force.

66. With regard to the operationalisation of the ASEAN Institute for Green Economy (AIGE), launched during the 25th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014, we look forward to the finalisation and adoption of the draft TOR.

67. We recognised the importance of strengthening our cooperation in promoting environmental sustainability and building partnership for a clean and green environment as well as renewable energy, and preventing land degradation, promoting sustainable and integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, restoring watershed forest, conserving coastal and marine environment, including terrestrial and marine biodiversity. We looked forward to the development of the Post-2015 ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment and the ASEAN-UN Work Plan on Environment and Climate Change 2016-2020. We also reiterated our commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity to promoting biodiversity conservation in the region and supporting the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets.

68. We recognised the key role of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in facilitating cooperation and coordination among the ASEAN Member States, and with other relevant national governments, regional and international organisations, on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising for the use of such biodiversity in the ASEAN region. We commended its efforts in the protection and development of the growing number of ASEAN Heritage Parks. We noted the successful commemoration of its 10 th Year Anniversary Celebration on 02 October 2015 highlighted by the groundbreaking ceremony of its new headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. We looked forward to the ratification of the Establishment Agreement of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity by all ASEAN Member States.

69. We noted that transboundary haze pollution arising from land and forest fires remains a major concern in the region. We reiterated our commitment to greater regional cooperation to address this concern, including through full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP). We looked forward to the establishment and full operationalisation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control under the AATHP which will provide a strategic framework for the implementation of collaborative actions to address transboundary haze pollution in the ASEAN region. We took note of the Media Release of the 18 th Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution issued by the Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. We also note positively that the Ministers looked forward to the adoption of the Roadmap by the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in August 2016. We remain steadfast for our sectoral bodies to explore means of further enhancing regional cooperation efforts for delivering demonstrable improvements in achieving the vision of the Roadmap.

Disaster Management and Emergency Response

70. We noted with satisfaction the accomplishments made during the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme (2010-2015) and the operationalisation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).

71. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management by the 3rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the AADMER held on 16 December 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which serve as a strategic policy document. We also welcomed the successful launch of the AADMER Work Programme (2016-2020) at the Third AADMER Partnership Conference held on 29 April 2016 in Semarang, Indonesia.

72. We appreciated the announcement of the approval by the Disaster Emergency Logistic System for ASEAN (DELSA) Project Steering Committee approved of the new satellite warehouses for the Disaster Emergency Logistic System of ASEAN or DELSA in Thailand, endorsed at the 28th Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management on 26 April 2016 in Semarang, Indonesia, which would complement the DELSA Project in Subang, Malaysia.

73. We took note of the decision of the ASEAN Ministers in charge of Disaster Management in December 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to increase voluntary contributions of the ASEAN Member States to the ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Relief (ADMER) Fund and the equal contributions for the AHA Centre Fund which is in the process of considerations of ASEAN Member States, and we looked forward to the realisation of these commitments to ensure effective implementation of AADMER and sustainable operations of the AHA Centre.

74. We welcomed the endorsement of the draft ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region by the AMMDM. We fully supported the draft Declaration’s objective to achieve faster response, mobilise greater resources and establish stronger coordination to ensure ASEAN’s collective response to disasters in line with the principles of AADMER, and we looked forward to its signing by the Leaders at the 28 th ASEAN Summit.

75. We welcomed the conduct of the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP) Workshop in February 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia, that gathered relevant sectors and stakeholders in ASEAN to plan together and define their respective roles and contributions in responding collectively to large-scale disasters. We looked forward to the conduct of the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX) in October 2016 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, as a venue to test the AJDRP.

76. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Joint Statement for the World Humanitarian Summit: “National Leadership and Regional Partnership for Resilient ASEAN” at the Informal AMMDM on 23 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Joint Statement highlighted ASEAN’s commitments to contribute to the attainment of the Agenda for Humanity and showcased ASEAN’s vision to become the global leader in disaster management.

Youth

77. We were encouraged that the focus of ASEAN to achieve a truly people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN Community has provided for the greater participation of the youth in promoting the ASEAN Community. This has also raised awareness on the importance of preparing youth who represent the future leaders of ASEAN.

78. We noted with pleasure the development of the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020, under the Chairmanship of Cambodia, which aims to sustain the momentum for youth participation and youth development in ASEAN, particularly on youth entrepreneurship, youth employability, enhancing awareness and appreciation of an ASEAN Community, youth involvement, and youth competencies and resilience

79. We took note of the ongoing development of an ASEAN Youth Development Index that would assist ASEAN Member States to keep track on the evaluation of the outcomes and effectiveness of youth initiatives or youth development programs, and provide the suitable environment for young people to participate in, and benefit from the ASEAN Community building.

Rural Development and Poverty Eradication

80. We noted with satisfaction the consistent initiatives of the Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (SOMRDPE).We also acknowledged the important role of the private sector in Rural Development and Poverty Eradication through public-private partnerships (PPP). We also noted the successful convening of the Fourth Forum on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication on 15 October 2015 in Vientiane, Lao PDR and the Third ASEAN Plus Three Village Leaders Programme on 15-22 November 2015 in Nanning City, Guangxi, China.

81. We commended the ten CSOs/non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from all ASEAN Member States which received the Second ASEAN Leadership Awards on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication during the 9 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (AMRPDE) on 17 October 2015 in Vientiane, Lao PDR for their contribution to the quality of life of poor communities and rural development.

82. We were encouraged by the achievements of ASEAN Member States in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 as reflected in the ASEAN Regional Assessment on MDG Achievements and Post-2015 Development Agenda that was completed in August 2015. We looked forward to the continued efforts in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Health

83. In line with the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, we expressed our support for the efforts of the ASEAN Health Sector to realise a Healthy, Caring and Sustainable ASEAN Community through the implementation of the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda endorsed by the ASEAN Health Ministers in 2014, with its 20 health priorities under the health cluster categories of Promoting Healthy Lifestyle; Responding to All Hazards and Emerging Threats; Strengthening Health System and Access to Care; and Ensuring Food Safety.

84. We further acknowledged that the cluster approach to the implementation of the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda will effectively and efficiently enhance coordination and collaboration in cross-cutting issues that includes among others, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, addressing the threat of communicable and emerging infectious diseases including pandemics, universal health coverage, human resources for health and disaster health management.

85. We welcomed the promotion of sustainable health financing systems for social protection, particularly universal health coverage and sharing of experience in increasing technical capacity to develop affordable systems of health services.

Culture

86. We recognised that culture remains an important catalyst in the promotion of the ASEAN identity and strengthening the ASEAN peoples’ sense of belonging to the wider regional Community. We commended the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts’ ongoing development of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016-2025, which aims to deepen an ASEAN mindset and facilitate inter - cultural dialogue among the peoples of ASEAN through the engagement of various stakeholders in raising awareness on, and appreciation for, the histories, cultures, arts, traditions and values of ASEAN.

Information

87. We were pleased with the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information’s (AMRI) continued efforts to implement the ASEAN Communication Master Plan. We appreciated AMRI’s commitment to work with all ASEAN sectors to further raise ASEAN awareness of the benefits and opportunities offered by the ASEAN Community and strengthen the sense of belonging in this integrated region.

88. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media 2016-2025, which will guide the information sector in supporting other community pillars and sectors with their communication needs, advocating the policies and initiatives implemented by ASEAN, and promulgating the benefits of ASEAN Information Sector to the above mentioned draft document.

Education

89. We recognised that education remains an important enabler to achieve an ASEAN Community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated, and socially responsible which in the long term promotes a truly people-oriented, people-centred and rules-based ASEAN. We noted the adoption of the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020, under the leadership of Lao PDR, which signals the renewed interest and efforts of the ASEAN Member States in deepening cooperation in education and in expanding the scope of education cooperation towards development of a more coordinated, cohesive and coherent ASEAN position and its contribution to global education issues. In support of its implementation, we recognised the need to strengthen existing as well as build new partnerships with Dialogue Partners and international organisations to ensure complementarity and optimum use of resources. We also expressed support to the cross-sectoral approach in education cooperation in ASEAN to maximise efforts and leverage expertise and good practice.

90. We were pleased with the efforts towards the development and harmonisation of higher education and technical and vocational education and training in ASEAN which is expected to prompt greater integration and connectivity in the region through harmonisation and mobility of skilled labour and intra-ASEAN student mobility. In support of this, we welcomed the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Higher Education that was sponsored by Malaysia, and was adopted during the 27 th ASEAN Summit. We were also encouraged that basic education remains a core business of the Education Sector in ASEAN, particularly in ensuring quality, equity and inclusivity of education. We noted with appreciation the endorsement by the 15th Meeting of the ASCC Council of the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth (OOSCY) which will be submitted for adoption by the ASEAN Leaders at the 28th ASEAN Summit.

Sports

91. We recognised the importance of sports in fostering social inclusion and mutual understanding among the peoples of ASEAN. We acknowledged that sports continue to be one of the most effective instruments in increasing ASEAN awareness and enhancing people-to-people connectivity. In pursuit of this, we were pleased with the development of the ASEAN Work Plan on Sports 2016-2020, which focuses on improving ASEAN awareness, building a strong ASEAN Community and developing the resilience of ASEAN peoples through supporting activities and exchange programmes that promote healthy lifestyles, sports dynamism, competitiveness and competencies.

92. We were encouraged by the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on Sports on 20 October 2015 which reaffirmed the role of sports in generating positive social change. We also noted with pleasure the establishment of the ASEAN Plus Japan Ministerial Meeting on Sports (AMMS+Japan) Framework which will take effect in 2017 and is in support of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY

93. We were encouraged by the significant progress achieved in the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) adopted in 2010, towards promoting economic growth, narrowing development gaps as well as realising the ASEAN Community. We reaffirmed the need to address various challenges encountered in implementing MPAC such as resource mobilisation, capacity building and effective coordination.

94. We are pleased with the efforts by the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and the significant progress made in the formulation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025), which would prioritise relevant, time-bound and implementable strategies and initiatives that support the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. We look forward to the adoption of the MPAC 2025 by our Leaders at the 28 th ASEAN Summit in Lao PDR in September 2016. In this regard, we tasked our Senior Officials to prepare the Vientiane Declaration on the Adoption of the MPAC 2025. We also look forward to the convening of the 7th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium to be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR in October 2016, which will provide a platform and opportunity to socialise and explore ways and means towards the successful implementation of the MPAC 2025.

95. We welcomed contributions from our Dialogue Partners and external parties which have supported the implementation of MPAC, and we look forward to their further support to the MPAC 2025, in further enhancing ASEAN Connectivity. We encouraged all Dialogue Partners and external parties to intensify cooperation including through resources mobilisation for infrastructure development and other initiatives with a view to promoting ASEAN Connectivity.

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

96. We emphasised the importance of maintaining ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, and agreed to work closely with all our partners through the various ASEAN-led mechanisms such as ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ARF, ADMM-Plus and East Asia Summit (EAS).

97. We expressed our satisfaction with the progress made in our relations with Dialogue Partners and other external parties. As an outward-looking Community, we reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen this engagement to further promote dialogue and cooperation in support of the implementation of ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the MPAC 2025 and the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020), as well as to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

98. We reiterated the importance of ensuring that engagement between ASEAN and external parties is based on the key principles of mutual respect and mutual benefit, by firmly upholding the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter and international law; governed by the Guidelines for ASEAN External Relations, based on the principles of equality and parity of treatment for all ASEAN Member States, as well as adherence to the principle of ASEAN Centrality.

99. We commended the role of the CPR in facilitating cooperation with external partners. We are also pleased to note that there are 86 Ambassadors of Non-ASEAN Member States accredited to ASEAN and 50 ASEAN Committees in Third Countries and International/Regional Organisations.

ASEAN-Australia

100. We welcomed the progress of the ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action (POA) 2015-2019 to implement the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership and the decision in 2015 to convene the first biennial Leaders’ Summit in 2016.

101. We appreciated Australia’s efforts to continue to deepen cooperation and consultations with ASEAN through, among others, co-chairing and supporting several key activities and initiatives in the areas of counter-terrorism, maritime security and disaster response. We also recognised that ccombating trafficking in persons is a key area of collaboration between ASEAN and Australia, with the ongoing implementation of the AUD 50 million - Australia-Asia Programme to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP).

102. We noted with satisfaction that ASEAN and Australia have actively pursued opportunities to deepen the already close economic relations, including Australia’s strong private sector outreach in 2015-2016 to promote awareness of the ASEAN Economic Community.

103. We expressed appreciation for Australia’s support for the extension of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP), which has so far made significant achievements in advancing the built-in agenda of the Agreement. We also appreciated Australia’s extended support for ASEAN economic integration through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II (AADCP II) from 2015 to 2019.

104. We are committed to intensify people-to-people links with Australia, especially in education, and welcomed Australia’s commitment to provide Awards, and grants scholarships to over 900 students from ASEAN Member States to study/undertake professional development in Australia in 2016, and noted the extended New Colombo Plan. We noted with satisfaction the establishment of the Australia-ASEAN Council in 2015 and welcomed the Council’s initial focus on knowledge development for trade and economic development, technology and entrepreneurship, and culture and education.

ASEAN-Canada

105. We welcomed the establishment of Canada’s Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta and the appointment of Canada’s first dedicated Ambassador to ASEAN in 2016, as well as the establishment of Canadian diplomatic offices in Lao PDR and Cambodia, thus ensuring Canadian representation in all ten ASEAN Member States.

106. We noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in implementing the POA to Implement the Joint Declaration of ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership (2016-2020). We encouraged both sides to enhance cooperation in areas including countering terrorism, transnational crime border security and people smuggling, infrastructure development, trade and investment, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), narrowing the development gap and poverty eradication, air connectivity, good governance and human rights, disaster risk management, climate change, environment, education as well as people-to-people contacts.

107. We look forward to commemorating the 40 th Anniversary of ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations in 2017 and welcomed the proposal to organise commemorative activities throughout 2017.

ASEAN-China

108. We are pleased with the progress of relations and cooperation between ASEAN and China in the past years. We look forward to the convening of the ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations on 7 September 2016 in the Lao PDR and the conduct of various commemorative activities throughout 2016, including the exchange of congratulatory messages between the Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, as ASEAN Chair and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China and between the Secretary-General of ASEAN and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China.

109. We noted with satisfaction the successful conclusion of the 2011-2015 Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. We look forward to the effective implementation of the new POA (2016-2020) to advance cooperation in the next five years.

110. We took note of the convening of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Yuxi, Yunnan Province, on 14 June 2016, at which both sides reaffirmed that the ASEAN-China relations will continue to be guided, inter-alia, by the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the TAC, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and other relevant international laws, treaties and conventions.

111. We noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement (AC-ATA) and look forward to working towards full liberalisation of the AC-ATA in support of the upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.

112. We welcomed the various activities held in ASEAN Member States and in China this year to celebrate the ASEAN-China Year of Educational Exchange to promote mutual understanding among students and youth of both sides through education. We also look forward to the designation of 2017 as the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation.

113. We noted the role of the ASEAN-China Centre in promoting trade, investment, tourism, education and culture between ASEAN and China. In this connection, we look forward to the conclusion and signing of the revised Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the ASEAN-China Centre.

ASEAN-European Union (EU)

114. We noted with satisfaction the progress in the implementation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017). We appreciated the EU’s continued support for the ASEAN Community building efforts through various ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes across the political-security, economic and socio-cultural areas, including enhancing ASEAN Connectivity and the IAI.

115. We are encouraged by the growing dialogue and engagement between ASEAN and the EU. We welcomed the fruitful outcomes of the ASEAN-EU Coordinating Meeting on 13 October 2015 in Bangkok, the Informal ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting on 6 November 2015 in Luxembourg, as well as the Meeting between the CPR and H.E. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission on 9 April 2016 in Jakarta.

116. We reaffirmed our shared commitment to work with the EU to develop a roadmap towards realising a strategic partnership, and to explore new areas of cooperation based on shared interests and mutual respect to further strengthen ASEAN-EU relations. We also welcomed the EU’s engagement with and contribution to the ASEAN-centred regional architecture through participation in ASEAN-led mechanisms.

117. We are encouraged by the strong trade and investment ties between ASEAN and the EU. We welcomed progress made in 2015 on trade agenda between both regions, both at the bilateral and region-to-region levels. We also noted the positive outcome of the 14 th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations on 3 March 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which commended the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme for 2015-2016 and in the joint stock-taking exercise towards the resumption of an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement.

118. We valued the EU’s important role and significant contribution to ASEAN Connectivity through ongoing programmes, such as the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE), the ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP) and the EU Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (EU-SHARE). We look forward to commencing negotiations on a mutually beneficial ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement to deepen connectivity between and beyond both regions.

119. We look forward to the convening of the 21 st ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting AEMM on 13-14 October 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand and the 3rd High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security Cooperation to be co-hosted by Thailand and the EU on 15-16 September 2016 in Bangkok. We look forward to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations in 2017.

ASEAN-India

120. We noted with satisfaction that ASEAN and India continue to strengthen their Strategic Partnership with the renewed commitment of the Leaders at the 13th ASEAN-India Summit in November 2015, in Kuala Lumpur. We look forward to the effective implementation of the new POA of ASEAN-India to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2016-2020) to advance cooperation in the next five years through various ASEAN-India cooperation projects across the political-security, economic and socio-cultural areas. To that end, we welcome that both sides are preparing a list of priority activities and projects to be implemented during 2016-2018.

121. We are encouraged by the steady development of the economic partnership and cooperation between ASEAN and India. We noted that the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements had entered into force on 1 July 2015 and would serve as catalysts to deepen and broaden trade in services and investment between the two sides.

122. We look forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the ASEAN-India Centre (AIC) which would serve as a platform to promote cooperation in various areas and contribute to the strengthening of ASEAN-India dialogue relations.

123. We are encouraged by the commitments by ASEAN and India to further enhance cooperation in counter terrorism, transnational crimes as well as maritime issues, including through capacity building for ASEAN Member States and sharing best practices.

124. We noted the importance of enhancing ASEAN-India connectivity by focusing not only on infrastructure but also on institution and people-to-people connectivity. We also noted the ongoing efforts to enhance air connectivity between ASEAN and India and look forward to the convening of the first Meeting of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Regional Air Services Arrangement and the expeditious conclusion of an ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement based on ‘open skies’ principles covering both air freight and passenger services.

125. We look forward to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations with activities throughout 2017. In this regard, we are pleased to note that the list of commemorative activities is being developed.

ASEAN-Japan

126. We noted with satisfaction the steady progress made in ASEAN-Japan relations in the past year, and look forward to further strengthening the partnership across all areas through the effective implementation of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and its Implementation Plan.

127. We valued Japan’s support for ASEAN Community building efforts, including in narrowing the development gap and enhancing regional integration, and recognised the important contribution of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) towards the implementation of various projects under ASEAN-Japan cooperation.

128. We welcomed the progress made in reviewing the ASEAN-Japan 10-year Economic Cooperation Roadmap and the efforts to align it with the objectives of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

129. We welcomed the Strategic Vision of the ASEAN-Japan Centre and expressed appreciation for its continuous contribution in promoting trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people exchange, as well as in raising the level awareness of ASEAN in Japan.

130. We also welcomed Japan’s efforts through its Industrial Human Resource Development Cooperation Initiative to support human resources development and sustainable growth across the ASEAN region, as well as its establishment of the Japan-ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund which is aimed at strengthening cooperation in empowering women.

131. We noted with satisfaction the progress made at the First Meeting of the ASEAN-Japan Consultations on Regional Air Services Arrangements in Tokyo, Japan, in March 2016 and look forward to the early conclusion of a more liberal and mutually beneficial ASEAN-Japan Air Services Agreement based on the principle of meaningful exchange of traffic rights over and above what has been exchanged bilaterally between Japan and each ASEAN Member State, to substantially increase market access between and beyond ASEAN and Japan.

ASEAN-New Zealand

132. We welcomed the elevation of the ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations from a comprehensive to a strategic level; and the adoption of the “Joint ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders’ Statement on the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations: Advancing our Strategic Partnership towards Greater Mutual Benefit and Prosperity”.

133. We noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the new ASEAN-New Zealand POA to Implement the Joint Statement for ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership (2016-2020) to advance cooperation in the next five years. We welcomed the significant increase in New Zealand’s contribution to the People Strategy and the Prosperity Strategy and reiterated the importance of their effective implementation.

134. We expressed appreciation to New Zealand for its continued technical and financial assistance to increase ASEAN capacity building in the implementation of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) through the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP). We also appreciated New Zealand’s support for the extension of the AECSP to 30 June 2018, which has contributed significantly towards advancing the built-in agenda of the AANZFTA.

135. We noted with satisfaction the good progress made in people-to-people linkages, including the commencement of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Fellowship, the ASEAN Young Diplomats Study Tour, the Young Business Leaders’ Initiatives (YBLI), the ASEAN-New Zealand scholarships for ASEAN students, and the English Language Training for Officials (ELTO) Programme.

ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK)

136. We noted with satisfaction the successful conclusion of the POA to implement the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-ROK Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2010-2015). We look forward to the effective implementation of the POA (2016-2020) to advance cooperation in the next five years.

137. We noted the heightened expectations of the ASEAN Transport Ministers for the early conclusion of a more liberal and mutually beneficial air services agreement with the ROK. To this end, we look forward to the proposed convening of the 2nd Meeting of the ASEAN-ROK Working Group on Regional Air Services Arrangements soon.

138. We welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Culture House in Busan as well as the observance of the ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchange Year in 2017. We support the activities to further deepen ASEAN-ROK cooperation while at the same time supporting ASEAN Community building, such as Korea’s ASEAN Next Generation Leaders’ Programme. We noted the increase of culture and people-to-people contact especially youth exchange, capacity building program, art and culture training program, and scholarship which would further promote friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of ASEAN and the ROK.

139. We encouraged cooperation among private-sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through enhanced innovation capacity, human resource development, sharing of best practices, and participation in the regional value chain, including through the proposed establishment of the ASEAN-ROK Innovation Centre.

140. We were pleased with the ASEAN-Korea Centre’s contribution in promoting ASEAN-ROK relations, particularly in trade and investment, culture and tourism, as well as people-to-people contacts. We support the role of the Centre in continuing to enhance ASEAN-ROK cooperation as well as initiatives and programmes related to narrowing the development gap in ASEAN.

ASEAN-Russia

141. We welcomed the successful convening of the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership held on 19-20 May 2016 in Sochi, Russian Federation, during which the Leaders adopted the Sochi Declaration of the ASEAN-Russian Federation Commemorative Summit to Mark the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-Russian Federation Dialogue Relations “Moving Towards a Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit.” We appreciated the achievements made over the past 20 years of ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Relations across a wide range of areas, which have strengthened and enhanced the relations.

142. We also welcomed the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) to Promote Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Russian Federation (2016-2020) and look forward to the effective implementation of the CPA to further deepen and widen political-security, economic, socio-cultural and development cooperation as well as to realise the full potential of the ASEAN-Russia partnership in the next five years.

143. We took note of the Report of the ASEAN-Russia Eminent Persons Group (AREPG) and encouraged our relevant senior officials to study the recommendations contained therein, as tasked by the Leaders, for tangible implementation, working closely with Russia on this matter.

144. We noted with satisfaction that a number of commemorative activities as well as initiatives from the ASEAN-Russia Year of Culture 2016 have been planned and carried out to mark the broadening and strengthening of cultural ties between ASEAN and the Russian Federation. In this regard, we welcomed the successful convening and fruitful outcome of the Meeting of ASEAN-Russia Culture Ministers on 19 May 2016 in Sochi, Russian Federation. We noted that as part of the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Dialogue Relations, ASEAN and Russia jointly developed and adopted joint sectoral work plans in the areas of science & technology, agriculture and food security, and energy.

145. We were pleased to note the continued commitment by ASEAN and Russia to implement the ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap which is aimed at further institutionalising a comprehensive dialogue mechanism on trade-related issues with a view to promoting cooperation in sectors of mutual interest to ASEAN and Russia taking into account regional and global developments.

ASEAN-United States of America (U.S.)

146. We welcomed the significant progress made in ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations, particularly with the elevation of relations to a strategic partnership at the 3rd ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Kuala Lumpur in November 2015, as well as with the convening of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Leaders’ Summit in Sunnylands, California in February 2016, in which the Leaders adopted the Joint Statement of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Leaders’ Summit: Sunnylands Declaration.

147. We noted with satisfaction the progress made in implementing the POA to Implement the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership (2016-2020) to further support the ASEAN Community in its three pillars, particularly within the five priority areas of economic integration, maritime cooperation, transnational challenges including climate change, emerging leaders, and women’s opportunities.

148. We agreed to continue to advance ASEAN-U.S. cooperation to address traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, violent extremism, drug trafficking, maritime security, cyber security, trafficking in persons and explore possible cooperation in the area of illicit trafficking in wildlife and timber, through increased engagement and collaboration.

149. We welcomed the progress made on ASEAN-U.S. economic cooperation, including through the ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement Joint Council (TIFA JC) Meeting on 17 February 2016 and the outcomes of the Third AEM Roadshow to the U.S. in 2016, which helped raise awareness about the ASEAN Community and its economic potential to key stakeholders, and showcase ASEAN’s economic integration in the U.S. We also welcomed the new initiatives to strengthen ASEAN-U.S. cooperation, namely U.S.-ASEAN Connect; and ASEAN-U.S. Trade Workshops and the ASEAN-U.S. Internship Programme for ASEAN Young Professionals. We look forward to enhancing ASEAN-U.S. aviation relations and to both sides concluding an ASEAN-US Aviation Cooperation Framework covering comprehensive economic and technical components.

150. We agreed to continue to advance ASEAN-U.S. cooperation in various socio-cultural fields such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, fisheries and marine conservation, climate change and environment, green financing, education, health and cultural exchanges.

151. We appreciated the U.S.’ continued support for ASEAN integration and community building efforts through various development cooperation programmes, including the ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (ACTI) and the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS), as well as its commitment to intensify the people-to-people connectivity, particularly young people, through among others, Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholars Initiative, ASEAN-U.S. Science and Technology Fellows Pilot Program, Young Southeast Asian Leaders’ Initiative (YSEALI) and the ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women.

152. We look forward to commemorating the 40 th Anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations in 2017.

ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation

153. We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthen the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation framework to promote peace, security and prosperity in East Asia, noting that this will continue to contribute to the ASEAN Community and deepen regional integration.

154. We noted the good progress made in the implementation of the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2013-2017) especially in the areas of finance, food security, tourism, agriculture and health cooperation and encouraged the implementation of the remaining measures in the Work Plan. We noted that the CPR and the Ambassadors of the Plus Three countries to ASEAN will conclude the succeeding Work Plan in 2017.

155. We noted with satisfaction the significant progress made in the finalisation and endorsement of action plans for the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II recommendations selected for implementation, as well as in the implementation of action plans which have already been adopted. We look forward to the progress report on the implementation of the EAVG II action plans to be submitted to the 19th APT Summit in September 2016. We emphasised that the follow-up initiatives to the EAVG II Report should support ASEAN’s integration process.

East Asia Summit

156. We recognised the important contribution of the EAS to the maintenance and promotion of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region. In this regard, we reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthen the EAS as a Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common interest and concern with ASEAN playing a central role and driving force in line with the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit adopted on 22 November 2015, and based on the established principles, objectives and modalities of the EAS. We reiterate our support for the EAS’ contributions to a rules-based approach in managing inter-state relations in the region, promoting strategic trust and helping ensure transparent and predictable behaviour.

157. We welcomed the establishment of regular engagement among the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta and supported the continuation of such meetings to enhance EAS cooperation as well as to assist in the coordination and implementation of Leaders’ decisions. We also welcomed the establishment of the EAS Unit in the ASEAN Secretariat to facilitate EAS cooperation. In this context, we look forward to finalising the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the Engagement of the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta and the ASEAN Secretariat’s paper on standardising the EAS processes.

158. We noted with satisfaction the progress made in the six priority areas of EAS cooperation, namely energy, education, finance, global health including pandemics, environment and disaster management, and ASEAN Connectivity. In this regard, we stressed the need to continue effectively implementing the Plan of Action (2016-2017) of the Phnom Penh Declaration on EAS Development Initiatives. We also underlined the need to enhance EAS cooperation to address pressing issues of common interest and concern, and to respond to emerging challenges related to peace, stability and security in the region. We also encouraged the effective implementation of the EAS statements adopted at the 10th EAS.

159. We underscored the importance of maritime cooperation in order to effectively manage maritime-related issues in the region, including maritime security, maritime connectivity, freedom of navigation and over-flight, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, fisheries, energy and food security. In this regard, we look forward to the implementation of the EAS Statement on Enhancing Regional Maritime Cooperation adopted at the 10th East Asia Summit in November 2015.

160. We welcomed the proposal to convene an EAS Regional Seminar for Capacity Building to Counter Violent Extremism in Indonesia this year as one of the concrete activities to implement the EAS Statement on Countering Violent Extremism, which was adopted at the 10 th EAS Summit.

ASEAN-Sectoral Dialogue Partners

161. We look forward to the convening of the 6 th ASEAN-Pakistan Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee Meeting to be held later in 2016, with a view to enhancing and renewing cooperation between both sides.

162. We welcomed the successful convening of the inaugural ASEAN-Norway Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AN-JSCC) Meeting on 11 December 2015 to mark the start of ASEAN-Norway formal engagement and to discuss modalities to carry the partnership forward. We look forward to forging substantial cooperation with Norway.

ASEAN-United Nations (UN)

163. We noted the ongoing cooperation between ASEAN and the UN, including on promoting complementarities between ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and reaffirmed our commitment to continue engaging with the UN to further strengthen our mutually beneficial cooperation. We look forward to the early adoption of the POA to Implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the UN (2016-2020).

164. We noted with satisfaction the successful convening of the ASEAN-UN Secretariat-to-Secretariat (S2S) Meeting in Jakarta on 30 March 2016, where both sides agreed to step up the cooperation on areas of priorities towards the implementation of ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

165. We noted the success of the ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue (AURED) series and look forward to the next AURED Workshop on Conflict Prevention and Preventing Violent Extremism to be held in Indonesia in November 2016.

Regional Organisations

166. We noted the growing interest of regional organisations to forge stronger cooperation with ASEAN. We therefore encouraged our senior officials, CPR and sectoral bodies to explore means and ways to further strengthen cooperation with those regional organisations.

167. We welcomed the engagement between the CPR and the Group of External Relations of the Pacific Alliance at their meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on 10 May 2016 and look forward to the adoption of the ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Framework for Cooperation at the 3 rd Meeting of the ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Foreign Ministers in September 2016.

168. We look forward to the convening of a CPR-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ambassadors’ Meeting to be held later in 2016 in Jakarta and the drafting of a new ASEAN-GCC Plan of Action that would shape the future cooperation between the two sides.

Application for Formal Partnership with ASEAN

169. We are pleased to note the growing interest of external parties in pursuing formal partnership with ASEAN. We agreed to consider the new and official applications in accordance with the Guidelines for ASEAN’s External Relations and undertake the necessary ASEAN processes. In this regard, we reviewed and agreed to grant the status of Sectoral Dialogue Partner to Switzerland and the status of Development Partner to Germany.

ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM

170. We reaffirmed the importance of the ARF as the most inclusive forum in the Asia-Pacific region to foster constructive dialogue and cooperation on political and security issues of common interest and concern. In the context of evolving regional security architecture, it is imperative that the ARF maintains its relevance with ASEAN at its core. We welcomed the growing interest of the ARF participants in addressing the increasing complex regional and emerging non-traditional security challenges through effective implementation ofconcrete and practical activities in line with the Hanoi Plan on Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement as well as other ARF work plans. We remained committed to work towards the Preventive Diplomacy phase in the ARF process at a pace comfortable to all participants as well as to further enhance the Confidence Building Measures in order to promote peace, security and stability in the region and the world. In this regard, we welcomed the successful conduct of ARF training courses on preventive diplomacy in November-December 2015 in Indonesia and in March 2016 in Vietnam.

Regional Security Architecture

171. We noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the Work Plan on Maintaining and Enhancing ASEAN Centrality which provides the fundamental principles and specific measures to promote ASEAN Centrality in view of the geostrategic shifts in the region.

172. We welcomed the outcomes and developments of the discussion on regional security architecture at the 5 th EAS Workshop on Regional Security Architecture in Beijing, China, 27-28 June 2016, which stressed the importance of ASEAN Centrality in the regional security architecture and underscored the need to strengthen it. We looked forward to continuation of the discussion on the future regional security architecture in the next EAS Workshops.

Timor-Leste’s Application for ASEAN Membership

173. We noted the completion of the three independent studies on the implications of Timor-Leste’s ASEAN membership application to the APSC, AEC and ASCC pillars. We were pleased to note that a number of ASEAN sectoral bodies have started exploring the possibility of Timor-Leste’s participation in their respective activities for capacity building purposes, in line with the decisions at the 5th ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group Meeting in June 2015. We looked forward to the continued discussion of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group this year, taking into consideration the results of the studies.

REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES

South China Sea

174. We remain seriously concerned over recent and ongoing developments and took note of the concerns expressed by some Ministers on the land reclamations and escalation of activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.

175. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and over - flight above the South China Sea.

176. We further reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

177. We emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.

178. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety, and while noting the momentum and new phase of consultations, urged all parties to work expeditiously for the early adoption of an effective Code of Conduct (COC), including through increasing the frequency of ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meetings and Joint Working Group Meetings on the Implementation of the DOC.

179. We highlighted the urgency to intensify efforts to achieve further substantive progress in the implementation of the DOC in its entirety as well as substantive negotiations for the early conclusion of the COC including the outline and timeline of the COC.

180. Pursuant to the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety, and pending the early adoption of an effective COC, we stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties.

181. We reiterated the need to establish the MFA-to-MFA hotline to manage maritime emergencies in the South China Sea. We looked forward to the adoption of a joint statement on the observance of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the South China Sea. Both are seen as deliverables for the ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit. In our view, these are practical measures that could reduce tensions, and the risks of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation.

Situation in the Middle East

182. We reaffirmed ASEAN’s support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, for an independent state of Palestine and a Two-State solution for Israel and Palestine that will usher in an environment where Israel and Palestine live alongside each other in peace. We also urged both parties to actively take positive steps to allow for negotiations to gain traction in order to reach a final, just and comprehensive settlement to the conflict.

183. We acknowledge the international efforts for a peace process in the Middle East and render our support to ensure the successful convening of the international peace conference before the end of this year.

Countering Violent Extremism, Radicalisation and Terrorism

184. We strongly condemned the violence and brutality committed by terrorist groups whose impact increasingly poses a serious threat to regional and international peace and security. We reiterated our commitment to working with the international community and our support for relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions to combat violent extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations and address conditions conducive for terrorism as well as the root causes of violent extremism and terrorism, including through the promotion of the Global Movement of Moderates.

185. We reaffirmed our commitment to the full implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism and the ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action on Counter Terrorism.

186. We recognised the important role of education in ASEAN’s collective efforts in promoting a culture of peace and understanding among different cultures and religions in ASEAN through relevant key messages in the curriculum, learning content, and teaching strategies. We put high regard on the role of teachers and education leaders, as well as their development and empowerment as moderates in promoting harmony and peaceful co-existence and in the prevention of violent extremism.

187. We encouraged the relevant parties to undertake regional initiatives that would support the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates and to instil respect for cultural diversity and promote the values of moderation, tolerance, non-violence and mutual understanding towards preventing the spread of violent extremism and addressing its root causes.

Developments on the Korean Peninsula

188. We shared concern over current developments in the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear tests on 6 January 2016, rocket launch on 7 February 2016 and ballistic missile launch on 9 July 2016, by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) which are in violation of the UNSC resolutions. We reaffirmed the importance of peace and security in this region and reiterated ASEAN’s support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. We also urged the DPRK to comply with all relevant UNSC resolutions, including the UNSC Resolution 2270 and acknowledged the importance to exercise self-restraint and called on all parties to exert common efforts to maintain peace and security in the said region and create an environment conducive to the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks to make further progress in denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

Group of Twenty (G20)

189. We welcomed the continuous engagement between ASEAN and the G20 through the participation of the ASEAN Chair in the G20 processes including the G20 Leaders’ Summit. In this regard, we looked forward to the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 4-5 September 2016 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Group of Seven (G7)

190. We welcomed the first engagement between ASEAN and G7 through the participation of the ASEAN Chair in the Outreach Meeting of the 43rd G7 Summit and looked forward to further engagement in the future

50th ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING

191. We looked forward to the convening of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, Post Ministerial Conference, 18th APT Foreign Ministers Meeting, 7th EAS Foreign Ministers Meeting and 24th ARF to be held in the Philippines in 2017.

192. We also looked forward to the celebration in 2017 of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, commemorating five decades of cooperation and community-building in ASEAN and support the initiatives of the Philippines, as Chair of ASEAN in 2017, the ASEAN Secretariat and other ASEAN Member States, including Dialogue Partners, in commemorating this momentous occasion. We look forward to collaborating with the AMRI and other sectoral Ministerial bodies in implementing commemorative activities on the occasion of the 50 th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN.”-VNA