CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 31ST ASEAN SUMMIT 13 NOVEMBER 2017, MANILA PHILIPPINES
10. We appreciated the efforts undertaken by the ACCC and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in strengthening the implementation arrangements of and socializing the MPAC 2025 to relevant stakeholders. We welcomed the complete establishment of the National Coordinators (NCs), National Focal Points (NFPs) and Lead Implementing Body for Sustainable Infrastructure (LIB-SI) to enhance the coordination of implementation of the MPAC 2025.
11. We underscored the importance of mainstreaming ASEAN Connectivity in sectoral discussions and cascading the MPAC 2025 to relevant stakeholders through, among others, multi-stakeholder networks and forums. We noted the successful convening of the Forum on MPAC 2025 Initiatives and Project Concepts, which brought together relevant stakeholders to discuss the details of MPAC 2025 initiatives and identify the first set of projects for implementation; as well as the 8th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium to discuss thematic areas relevant to the successful delivery of MPAC 2025 held in 14 July 2017. We looked forward to the commencement of the initial set of MPAC 2025 projects and urged all implementing bodies and stakeholders to work together in implementing the MPAC 2025.
12. We appreciated the valuable support and interest expressed by our Dialogue Partners and other external partners in the implementation of the MPAC 2025. In this regard, we welcomed the outcomes of the ACCC+1 Meetings and ACCC Consultations with Dialogue Partners and other external partners on Connectivity in 2017, and looked forward to concrete cooperation with our external partners on MPAC 2025 projects. We underscored the importance of developing synergies, amongst the various connectivity strategies in the region.
13. We noted that the CPR had undertaken extensive deliberations on updating certain articles and sections of the ASEAN Charter, entailing substantive discussions on its implementation, which would serve as a basis for the review of the ASEAN Charter in the future. We remain committed to promoting a rules-based ASEAN Community in adherence to the purposes and principles stipulated in the existing ASEAN Charter, which sufficiently confers ASEAN a legal personality and provides an institutional framework for ASEAN to realize its goal of lasting peace, shared prosperity, security, stability, sustainable economic growth and social progress.
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA)
14. We congratulated AIPA on its 40th anniversary and acknowledged AIPA’s continued support to the implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025. We commended the leadership role of the Philippines in chairing AIPA in 2017 and the successful conduct of the 9th AIPA Caucus in Jakarta and the 38th AIPA General Assembly (GA) in Manila.
15. We welcomed the signing of the Committee Report of the 13th AIPA Fact-Finding Committee Meeting to Combat the Drug Menace at the successful conclusion of the meeting held from 4-8 July 2017 in Manila, Philippines.
16. We encouraged AIPA and the AIPA Secretariat to continue their support and active participation towards ASEAN regional integration process so as to promote a dynamic, rules-based, inclusive and people-centered ASEAN Community.
ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary
17. We commended the efforts of all ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat in organizing various commemorative activities within and beyond the region to mark the Golden Jubilee of ASEAN’s Anniversary. We expressed appreciation to the Philippines for its endeavour in shepherding the celebration of this special milestone with due attention, dignity and formality. We appreciated the contributions of the respective ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs, ASEAN Committees in Third Countries (ACTCs), Entities Associated with ASEAN, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, the private sector and other stakeholders, in engaging the ASEAN peoples to actively participate in the celebrations that enhanced ASEAN awareness and instilled a sense of ASEAN identity, pride and togetherness. We remain committed to bringing ASEAN closer to the peoples as we build an inclusive, peaceful, prosperous, resilient and caring ASEAN Community in the next 50 years.
18. We noted the publication by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) of the five-volume book set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, as well as the holding of symposia on ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, including the High-Level Forum on ASEAN@50: Retrospectives and Perspectives on the Making, Substance, Significance and Future of ASEAN in Manila on 19 October 2017.
Appointment of the New Secretary-General of ASEAN
19. We expressed our great appreciation for H.E. Le Luong Minh’s valuable contribution, in his capacity as Secretary-General of ASEAN, in advancing the work of ASEAN during his five-year term of 2013-2017. We agreed to appoint H.E. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi as the new Secretary-General of ASEAN from Brunei Darussalam for the next five-year term of 2018-2022.
ASEAN POLITICAL-SECURITY COMMUNITY
Implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025
20. We welcomed the progress made in the second year of the implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 to bring about a rules-based, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community that is peaceful, stable, resilient and outward-looking. We further reaffirmed our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 and encouraged all relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs to follow up on the necessary measures to implement the Blueprint, including through more effective coordination on cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues. We looked forward to the first biennial review and evaluation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 which will be presented at the 10th Coordinating Conference for the ASEAN-Political Security Community (ASCCO) in the first quarter of 2018.
ASEAN in the Evolving Regional Architecture
21. We stressed the importance of maintaining ASEAN Centrality and unity in our engagement with external parties and in responding to regional security challenges.
We, therefore, applauded ASEAN’s efforts to preserve its centrality through effective and timely response to emergency situations in the region, projecting a unified position on issues of common interests, and ensuring that ASEAN’s collective interests are not compromised. On this note, we underscored the vital role of all the ASEAN-led mechanisms as platforms to promote confidence building and foster dialogue on a wide range of security issues of common interest and concern. We further encouraged all relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs to implement the revised Work Plan on Maintaining and Enhancing ASEAN Centrality that serves as a strategic guideline to ensure ASEAN’s central role in the evolving regional architecture.
Global Movement of Moderates (GMM)
22. We underlined the importance of the values of moderation, tolerance, mutual understanding, dialogue, respect for diversity and inclusiveness towards achieving peace, security and harmony in the region. We noted with appreciation activities initiated by relevant stakeholders to support the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates.
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC)
23. We reaffirmed the TAC as the key code of conduct governing inter-State relations in the region and a foundation for the maintenance of regional peace and stability. We noted with appreciation the growing interests of other non-ASEAN Member States to accede to the TAC which reflect their political will and commitment to peace and stability in the region. We looked forward to the Foreign Ministers’ deliberation on new requests made by countries to accede to the TAC in accordance with its Revised Guidelines. We recognized the importance of promoting the purpose and principles embodied in the TAC and encouraged High Contracting Parties to adhere to the principles contained therein.
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
24. We noted with satisfaction the progress of the AICHR in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN and the implementation of its Annual Priority Programmes/Activities 2017. We acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the AICHR in its dialogue and consultation with relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs on areas such as children’s rights, disability rights and the application of a human rights-based approach in the fight against trafficking in persons. We recognized the AICHR’s continuous effort in establishing consultative relationships with external parties and stakeholders, including civil society organizations (CSOs). We encouraged the AICHR to continue its work in mainstreaming human rights across all three pillars of the ASEAN Community through consultations among relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Organs, in accordance with the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of AHRD as well as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ)
25. We remain resolute in our shared 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 SEANWFZ Treaty and the ASEAN Charter. We welcomed the SEANWFZ Commission’s decision in August 2017 to extend the Plan of Action (POA) on Strengthening the Implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty for another five-year period (2018-2022) and encouraged the full and effective implementation of the POA. We reaffirmed our commitment to continuously engage the Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) and intensify the ongoing efforts of all Parties to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the objectives and principles of the SEANWFZ Treaty. We welcomed the progress in the work of the ASEANTOM and its continuing engagement with the IAEA.
ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus)
26. We commended the progress of defence cooperation under the ambit of the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus. We welcomed the completion of Phase I of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) – formerly codenamed the Direct Communications Link in the ADMM Process (DCL) and its launching at the margins of the 4th ADMM-Plus in October 2017. We also took note of the ongoing work towards the full operationalization of the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group (AMRG) as well as progress made by the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM). We welcomed the adoption of the Standard Operating Procedures on Multinational Coordination Center (MNCC SOP) for submission to the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) as inputs to SASOP Chapter VI by the 11th ADMM. We further noted that in paving the way towards future ADMM cooperation, the 11th ADMM adopted the ADMM Three-Year Work Program 2017-2020 and established several guidelines and initiatives for future conduct of ADMM and ADMM-Plus. We appreciated the strengthened linkages between the ADMM and the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces’ Informal Meeting (ACDFIM).
27. We welcomed the agreement to annualize the ADMM-Plus, which will enhance dialogue and cooperation on common regional security challenges between ASEAN and its Plus partners. We look forward to Singapore hosting the ADMM-Plus in 2018 and welcome the new set of co-chairmanships of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups (EWGs) and the adoption of their new work plans for 2017-2020.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC)
28. We commended the work of AMMTC in collectively addressing the prevalent threat posed by various emerging forms of transnational crime in the region. We welcomed the outcomes of the 11th AMMTC and the renewed commitment in addressing the emerging threats of transnational crime through the adoption of the ASEAN Plan of Action in Combating Transnational Crime 2016-2025 and the establishment of two Working Groups on Arms Smuggling and Illicit Trafficking of Wildlife and Timber under this framework. We were pleased to note that the AMMTC will meet annually starting this year.
29. Encouraged by the recent successes of some ASEAN Governments in combatting local terrorist groups, we took note and commended the adoption of the Manila Declaration to Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism and the updated ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action on Counter Terrorism (ACPOA on CT). We took note of the convening of the 2nd Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRVE) and looked forward to the development of the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism.
30. We noted the Bohol Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Work Plan 2017-2020, which has been finalized after its full endorsement of all the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies.
We commended all ASEAN Sectoral Bodies involved in the development of this Work Plan which implements the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP).
31. We reiterated our commitment in addressing the irregular movement of persons in the region and underscored the importance of the contribution made to the Trust Fund to Support Emergency Humanitarian and Relief Efforts in the Event of the Irregular Movement of Persons in Southeast Asia from ASEAN Member States, Dialogue Partners, and the international community.
32. Under the ambit of the ASEAN Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (DGICM), we noted the cooperation among the ASEAN Heads of Major Immigration Checkpoints in discussing the issue of the movement of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). We noted the ongoing discussions on the proposed ASEAN Common Visa and the ASEAN Business Travel Card, as well as the ongoing deliberation on development of the Guidelines on Consular Assistance by ASEAN Member States Missions in Third Countries to Nationals of other ASEAN Member States. We looked forward to the 21st ASEAN Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs DGICM on 20-24 November 2017 in Vientiane.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMD)
33. We reaffirmed our commitment to an aspiration of a Drug-Free ASEAN and, in this regard, welcomed the progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Work Plan on Securing Communities Against Illicit Drugs 2016-2025. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Cooperation Plan to Tackle Illicit Drug Production and Trafficking in the Golden Triangle 2017-2019, charting the region’s actions for the next two years in tackling the drug problem in that area. We commended the good work of the ASEAN Narcotics Cooperation Center (ASEAN NARCO) in publishing the second series of the region’s drug report, the ASEAN Drug Monitoring Report 2016, incorporating the drug trends and drug problem in the region in 2016. We acknowledged the continuing efforts of the ASEAN-NARCO, the ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force and the ASEAN Seaport Interdiction Task Force in strengthening ASEAN cooperation, especially on information sharing and intelligence exchange as well as capacity building among our drug control and law enforcement agencies at border checkpoints in the region.
34. Recognizing that the illicit-drug problem is affecting not only ASEAN Member States, but also other countries outside the region, we welcome the assistance of Dialogue Partners and other external parties in addressing this problem through capacity-building, intelligence information sharing, and other forms of cooperation consistent with relevant international laws and all the while preserving the sovereign right of countries in deciding the most appropriate approaches to address their national drug situations.