CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 31ST ASEAN SUMMIT 13 NOVEMBER 2017
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, CHAIRMAN, 2017 (HIS EXCELLENCY, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, PRESIDENT)
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (AMMRDPE)
105. We commended the progress of implementing the Framework Action Plan on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication 2016-2020, particularly the policy guidance on community-driven development approach in delivering social protection. We looked forward to the continued multi-stakeholder engagements through the annual conduct of the ASEAN Public-Private-People Partnership Forum on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication.
106. We noted that the percentage of the populations of ASEAN member states living below the poverty line decreased from 31 percent in 1990 to 14 percent in 2015. People living in the rural areas decreased from 63.5 percent in 1997 to 50.1 percent in 2016.
107. We recognized that more efforts are needed to develop rural areas to make it more attractive for the population, especially the youth, to stay and make a living. Promoting human capital development, economic self-reliance, and sustainable livelihood are among the strategies that should be pursued to develop rural areas and eradicate poverty.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW)
108. We commended the great strides in promoting women economic empowerment and women entrepreneurship, through the conduct of the ASEAN Women Business Conference led by the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network and ACCSME held on 28 August to 1 September 2017 in Manila. We noted the progress of developing the strategies to mainstream gender perspectives in the three pillars of ASEAN Community and looked forward to the development of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on the Collection and Analysis of Data on Violence Against Women and Girls.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY)
109. We noted with satisfaction the launch of the First ASEAN Youth Development Index (YDI) Report which provides reliable youth development-related data for policy making and program planning and the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on the Adoption of the ASEAN YDI. We also noted with satisfaction the awarding of the ASEAN Youth Award 2017, the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in ASEAN Award and the ASEAN Youth Social Entrepreneurship Awards in 2017.
110. We acknowledged the efforts of Indonesia in engendering dialogue and mutual understanding between youth of different faiths and cultural backgrounds through the ASEAN Youth Interfaith Camp 2017, which was held on 28-30 October 2017 in UNIPDU, Jombang, Indonesia.
ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (ASED)
111. We noted with satisfaction the convening of the First ASEAN Student Mobility Forum in Manila in June 2017.
112. We welcomed the ongoing development of an action plan to implement the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth and looked forward to greater efforts in strengthening regional agenda on inclusive education and reinforcing teacher support.
113. We encouraged the development of higher education through internationalization and quality assurance including the further testing of the ASEAN Credit Transfer System with support of the EU-SHARE Program to allow all universities in the region to benefit from the evolving regional higher education space in ASEAN as well as the advanced state of higher education development in other ASEAN member states.
114. We noted the proposal of the Philippines to create an ASEAN Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Development Council to intensify convergence among ASEAN member states on TVET and workforce development efforts, with a view to developing a world-class ASEAN labor force responsive to the rapidly changing needs of the labor market. To look into the opportunities of integration, the proposed ASEAN TVET Development Council shall focus on the development of a progressive, comprehensive, and integrated regional work plan, as well as comparable qualifications systems, strategies, and policies to ensure skills recognition and mobility of workers across the region.
115. We welcomed Brunei Darussalam’s announcement to provide 50 scholarships to enhance the professional communication skills of nationals from ASEAN member states over the next 5 years.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Sports (AMMS)
116. We noted the establishment and inauguration of the ASEAN Plus Japan Ministerial Meeting on Sports in Nay Pyi Taw in October 2017.
117. We congratulated Malaysia for hosting the 29th Southeast Asian Games and the 9th ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur in August and September 2017, and Singapore for convening the 9th ASEAN School Games in Singapore in July 2017. We also looked forward to the hosting by Indonesia of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang on 18 August–2 September 2018, and the 3rd Asian Para Games in Jakarta on 6-13 October 2018.
ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM)
118. We noted the progress made by ACCSM following our signing of the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 at the 30th ASEAN Summit. In particular, we welcomed the initiatives of ACCSM to collaborate with other ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in charge of environment, disaster management, health, gender mainstreaming, labor and education. We noted the on-going cooperation between ASEAN Member States and the Plus Three Countries under ACCSM+3 and supported the interest of ACCSM to expand the cooperation to Australia, Canada and India.
ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting (AHMM)
119. We adopted the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR): Combating AMR through One Health Approach; the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Disaster Health Management; and the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Ending All Forms of Malnutrition which would support regional initiatives in moving towards a healthier ASEAN.
120. We recognized that nutrition is an essential factor to overall health and well-being, thus contributing to the overall productivity and development of the ASEAN member states. We acknowledged the joint efforts of health and nutrition, social welfare, and agricultural sectors in crafting an ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Ending All Forms of Malnutrition that calls for multi-sectoral coordination, cross-pillar cooperation through the integration of nutrition in sectoral frameworks, and for sustained delivery of quality nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions in the region. We looked forward to the formulation of the multi-sectoral ASEAN Framework of Action for Nutrition in 2018 as a way forward for implementing the Declaration. We appreciated the continuing initiatives toward the establishment of the ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance System to monitor progress of initiatives toward achieving nutrition security.
121. We noted other developments in the health sector such as the adoption of the ASEAN Health Cluster Work Programs for 2016-2020 as well as current progress of coordination and collaboration with various partners in the implementation of the Work Program activities.
ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture & Arts (AMCA)
122. We acknowledged the culture sector’s continuous efforts to realize the Vientiane Declaration on Reinforcing Cultural Heritage Cooperation in ASEAN and the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on Culture and the Arts to Promote ASEAN’s Identity Towards a Dynamic and Harmonious ASEAN Community, including initiatives to develop and build the capabilities of ASEAN’s culture managers and the developments in the implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Culture and Arts 2016-2025.
ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI)
123. We commended the important role of AMRI in continuously raising ASEAN awareness, identity and communicating to the people the benefits and opportunities of ASEAN integration, including its efforts in countering the spread of fake news in the region. We looked forward to the development of the ASEAN Communication Master Plan 2 (ACMP-2) and AMRI’s cooperation with relevant stakeholders to counter misinformation and communicating the right information on all forms of media. We also applauded the information sector’s initiatives on promoting media and information literacy (MIL) to equip young people with the right values and skills to use information responsibly.
124. We were pleased with the efforts of AMRI in maximizing the use of multimedia platforms in close coordination with other ASEAN sectoral bodies and to complement their respective communication activities. We also acknowledged AMRI for engaging private media organizations toward heightening public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of ASEAN. We noted the conduct of the ASEAN Government-to-Business (G2B) Dialogue in July 2017 and the ASEAN Information and Media Dialogue in August 2017, which yielded fruitful discussions on how the ASEAN information sector and private media could work together in further promoting ASEAN and strengthening the region’s information and media sector.
125. We acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the ASEAN Foundation to orient civil society organizations about the ASEAN blueprints through the S Rajaratnam Endowment-ASEAN Community Forum Series, strengthening peer-to-peer learning exchanges among the private sector, governments and farmers organizations through the ASEAN Learning Series on Agriculture Cooperatives as well as the ASEAN Leaders program for senior leaders for civil society, government and the private sector to build connections and share knowledge. We recognized the various digital creative initiatives targeted at youth through the ASEAN Youth Video Contest, the ASEAN Youth Citizen Journalism initiative and the ASEAN Data Science Explorer competition to increase ASEAN awareness by promoting support and participation of the ASEAN Community among ASEAN youths. We noted the continuous interest by students of ASEAN diplomacy through the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting. We appreciated the efforts of the ASEAN Foundation to continuously partner with the private sector and universities to support its initiatives and recognized the increased media coverage of the ASEAN Foundation’s activities.
Dialogue between ASEAN and Civil Society Organizations
126. We reaffirmed the importance of engagement and regular dialogue with civil society organizations (CSOs) as an integral part of building a people-centered, people-oriented Community, and of attaining ASEAN Vision 2025. We noted the various existing mechanisms in ASEAN that conduct dialogue with CSOs, such as the Leaders’ Interface with CSOs, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Coordinating Conference, GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development, GO-NGO Forum conducted by SOMRDPE, the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor, and consultations done by the AICHR and other ASEAN sectoral bodies and organs.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
127. We noted the ASEAN statement issued by the ASEAN Secretary-General on the important contributions of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the international Committee of the Red Cross, collectively known as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in providing protection and humanitarian assistance to peoples and countries in the region affected by disasters in the spirit and vision of “One ASEAN, One Response.” In line with the goal of enhancing ASEAN’s resiliency, we looked forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Engagement between ASEAN and the IFRC which will allow both sides to work closer and in a more coordinated way. We also commended the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management for the work done on behalf of ASEAN.
TIMOR-LESTE’S APPLICATION FOR ASEAN MEMBERSHIP
128. We noted that the study on Timor-Leste’s application for ASEAN membership is ongoing and therefore, looked forward to the outcomes of discussion by the ACC Working Group (ACCWG) on this matter, which will be held on 5 December 2017 in Bali, Indonesia. We urged ASEAN sectoral bodies and organs to continue exploring relevant capacity-building activities for Timor-Leste’s participation, in accordance with the elements and procedures outlined by ASEAN member states.
ASEAN EXTERNAL RELATIONS
129. We noted with satisfaction the strengthening of relations with Dialogue Partners, Sectoral Dialogue Partners, Development Partner and other external partners through existing frameworks and the effective implementation of various Plans of Action (POAs).
130. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining ASEAN centrality and unity in shaping the evolving regional architecture built upon ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus, and in further deepening our engagement with external parties to address existing and emerging challenges as well as strengthen development cooperation in ASEAN.
131. We looked forward to the 20th ASEAN-China Summit, 15th ASEAN-India Summit, 20th ASEAN-Japan Summit, 19th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit, 9th ASEAN-United Nations (UN) Summit and the 12th EAS and welcomed the forthcoming 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summits with Canada, European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) as well as the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three in adding momentum to strengthen our partnerships with our Dialogue Partners.