CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 31ST ASEAN SUMMIT PHILIPPINES, CHAIRMAN, 2017 13 NOVEMBER 2017, MANILA, PHILIPPINES
People-oriented, People-centered ASEAN Community
We were pleased with the multitude of cultural events that have been organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN which promote people-to-people exchanges and inter-cultural dialogue. We appreciated the high visibility of cultural events such as the Best of ASEAN Performing Arts and the ASEAN Young Contemporary Music Concert that were organized by the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI) and those that were organized at the national level throughout 2017.
83. We reaffirmed our shared values of tolerance, mutual understanding and respect for life as enshrined in ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and in this regard adopted the ASEAN Declaration on ‘Culture of Prevention’ for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society. We noted that the ‘Culture of Prevention’ represented a paradigm shift in the way ASEAN addresses the pressing challenges through socio-cultural means at their root causes. We emphasized that the cross-cutting nature of the ‘Culture of Prevention’ will enhance the preventive aspects pertaining to the mandates of ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, especially by the education, culture, information, youth, women and migrants’ sectors.
Building Resiliency in ASEAN
84. We reiterated our full support for the operationalization of the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region and welcomed new initiatives of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) including the convening the 1st Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Disaster Management (IMDDM) in 2018 in Malaysia which will ensure policy cohesion and enhance cross-sectoral and cross-pillar coordination in operationalizing the Declaration on One ASEAN One Response as mandated by the 23rd ASEAN Summit in October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan. In this connection, we encouraged ASEAN’s active participation in the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2018, the Regional Organizations Humanitarian Action Network (ROHAN) and the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2019.
85. We commended the achievements of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management in the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Program 2016-2020 as well as the Governing Board of the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Center) in overseeing and guiding the operationalization of the AHA Center.
86. We recognized the important role of the AHA Center in operationalizing the One ASEAN One Response Declaration and extended appreciation for the prompt response in the delivery of relief items for the Northern Vietnam flash flood and landslides victims and the displaced communities in Marawi City, the Philippines.
87. With regard to the role of the AHA Center and the Northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, a number of Leaders expressed support to Myanmar’s humanitarian relief program and welcomed the launch of the Myanmar government-led mechanism in cooperation with the Red Cross Movement and the assistance from the international community in these endeavors. They underscored the importance of increased humanitarian access to the affected areas and that assistance be given to all affected communities. They further urged Myanmar to continue to implement the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and welcomed Myanmar’s establishment of a ministerial committee for this purpose. They welcomed the commitment by Myanmar authorities to ensure the safety of civilians, take immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, restore normal socio-economic conditions, and address the refugee problem through verification process. They expressed support to the Myanmar government in its efforts to bring peace, stability, rule of law and to promote harmony and reconciliation between the various communities, as well as sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine state.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD)
88. We noted the robust cooperation among various sectoral ministerial bodies on social protection, through the implementation of the Regional Framework and Action Plan on Implementing the Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection in ASEAN; on promoting the welfare of children through the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Children; and on promoting the welfare of persons with disabilities through the implementation of the Mobilization Framework of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2011-2020. We looked forward to the development of a regional plan of action on implementing the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN. We noted Thailand’s efforts to establish an ASEAN Center for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) in Thailand by 2019, which will support the operationalization of the ASEAN Post 2015 Health Development Agenda for 2016 to 2020.
ASEAN Labor Ministers Meeting (ALMM)
89. We registered our commitment to the protection and promotion of the rights of ASEAN migrant workers in the region by signing the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. We applauded the ASEAN Labor Ministers for their unwavering effort in finalizing this milestone document which is a living document that will continuously evolve in the years to come. We tasked the ASEAN Labor Ministers to proceed with the development of an action plan to translate the ASEAN Consensus into concrete actions.
90. We acknowledged that the economic progress of our region must go hand in hand with decent work of our workforce. In this regard, we supported the commitment of our ASEAN Labor Ministers to implement the Statement on Improving Occupational Safety and Health for Sustainable Economic Growth signed at the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2017 on 3 September 2017 in Singapore.
91. We noted the finalization of the Regional Plan of Action to Implement the Vientiane Declaration on Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment towards Decent Work Promotion in ASEAN that was adopted at the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits. We looked forward to the adoption of the Regional Action Plan by the ASEAN Labor Ministers and its subsequent implementation.
92. We encouraged the use of findings from the Study Report on Women Migrant Workers in the AEC and the ASEAN Compendium on Migrant Workers’ Education and Safe Migration Program to raise awareness of and engage all stakeholders in promoting, protecting and empowering ASEAN migrant workers in our region.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment (AMME)
93. We reiterated our commitment and support for the environment and in this regard encouraged the AMME to expedite the finalization of the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment (ASPEN) 2016-2025 to serve as key reference and comprehensive guide for ASEAN cooperation on environment for the period of 2016 to 2025.
94. We adopted the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP-23) and looked forward to the successful outcomes of UNFCCC COP-23 in Bonn, Germany on 6-17 November 2017. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Joint Declaration on Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes Management by the ASEAN Ministers responsible for Environment and the launch of the 5th ASEAN State of Environment Report. We noted that Thailand will host the ASEAN Conference on Reducing Marine Debris in ASEAN region on 22 – 23 November 2017 in Phuket.
ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB)
95. We reiterated our full support to the ACB and noted with pleasure the new headquarters building of the ACB in Los Baños, the Philippines, which was inaugurated on 29 July 2017. We expressed our high appreciation to the government of the Philippines for its continued support and commitment to the Center.
96. We commended the ACB for its excellent support to the ASEAN Heritage Parks Program which currently includes 40 ASEAN Heritage Parks as well as the organization of several resource mobilization strategies to increase existing capital funds for biodiversity conservation initiatives, including the ASEAN Biodiversity Fund.
97. We congratulated the ACB for publishing the second edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook, a midpoint assessment on how the region has fared in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and contributed to the attainment of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. We recognized 10 outstanding individuals who have achieved so much for biodiversity in their respective countries and in ASEAN through the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Award.
Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (COP AATHP)
98. We reiterated our commitment to fully and effectively implement the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) and the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation to achieve a Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020. We agreed to conduct a mid-term review of the implementation of the Roadmap to take stock of the progress and sustain momentum in ensuring demonstrable improvements. We also appreciated Indonesia’s efforts in addressing transboundary haze pollution in the region.
99. We welcomed the progress towards the finalization of the Establishment Agreement and Host Country Agreement of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC THPC) in Indonesia. We looked forward to the operationalization of ACC THPC as part of the full and effective implementation of the AATHP.
100. We noted the endorsement of the Chiang Rai 2017 Plan of Action to identify a common set of priorities for the implementation of the Roadmap, and encouraged further collaboration among Mekong Sub-Region countries and synergies with other initiatives under AATHP.
ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC)
101. We adopted the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN to reaffirm our commitments to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls, and to ensure gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, towards realizing an inclusive, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community.
102. We commended the progress of cooperation in combating trafficking in persons, especially women and children and looked forward to the completion of Regional Multi-sectoral Guidelines and Procedures to Address the Needs of TIP Victims in accordance with the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (ACTIP). We noted the initiative on promoting legislation to prevent and combat online child sexual exploitation in ASEAN Member States, in line with the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Children.
103. We took note of recently completed projects of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) such as the AICHR-ACWC Training Workshop on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the report on Institutional Strengthening of the ACWC, International Workshop and International Conference on Diversion Through Restorative Justice, and the Regional Workshop for Promoting Comprehensive and Harmonized National Legislation aimed at Preventing and Combating Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE) in ASEAN Member States. We took note of the ACWC Work Plan 2016-2020, with projects under the areas of eliminating child marriage; awareness raising campaign on social impact of climate change on women and children; women, peace, and security; and women economic empowerment.
Sexual Offenses Against Children
104. We recognized the need to also focus on the issue of sexual offenses against children, which is a violation of children’s rights. We noted Malaysia’s initiative to convene an ASEAN Seminar on Sexual Offenses Against Children in July 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, which aims to increase awareness and develop better understanding among ASEAN states on the magnitude and nature of sexual crimes against children.