Indonesia, which holds the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011, issued the Chair’s Statement on Nov. 18, following discussions within the 19 th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

The statement mentioned important, fundamental and updated contents on the orientations, commitments and measures to continue building the ASEAN Community; enhancing ASEAN connectivity; implementing the ASEAN Charter; promoting ASEAN’s role in the regional architecture, fostering ASEAN’s external relations; and building an ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations as well as other regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the statement stated that ASEAN leaders reiterated the importance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to promoting peace, stability and mutual trust in the East Sea and ensuring peaceful solutions in dealing with regional disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The statement also stressed the necessity to make more efforts to ensure the efficient and full implementation of the DOC towards the completion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

According to the statement, ASEAN leaders welcomed ASEAN and China’s finalisation of the guidelines for DOC implementation at the 44 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the 18 th ASEAN Regional Forum in Bali in July 2011.

The leaders expressed their belief that with the guidelines, ASEAN and China will work together to fully and efficiently implement the DOC through the consideration of joint activities and projects for mutual benefit.

They leaders also welcomed the next consultative meetings between ASEAN and China’s senior officials on the DOC.

The leaders applauded the commencement of the discussion process in ASEAN in order to determine the COC’s major factors, and expressed their hope that China would join the process at a suitable time.

ASEAN leaders acknowledged the cooperative processes and forms using the second channel, including seminars on the management of potential conflicts in the East Sea, and recognised the initiatives on a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation, which were discussed at the first ASEAN Maritime Legal Experts Meeting in Manila, the Philippines, in September, 2011.

As for Mekong River issues, the leaders were deeply aware of the importance of increasing the stability of water sources in the region to ensure regional people’s interests, including those living on the riverbanks and in riverside countries.

They also agreed to increase their efforts to bolster the sustainable use and management of water sources in the region./.