"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] HANOI PLAN OF ACTION to Implement the ASEAN Regional Forum Vision Statement

[Place] HANOI
[Date] May 20, 2010
[Source] ASEAN Secretariat
[Notes] Endorsed by ARF SOM, 17:00 May 20, 2010
[Full text]

The Plan of Action (PoA) implements the ARF Vision Statement adopted by ARF Foreign Ministers who at their 16th ARF Meeting in July 2009 charted out a vision for the ARF by 2020. It is a step to strengthen the ARF process, with ASEAN as the primary driving force, as a central pillar in the evolving regional security architecture.

The Plan of Action will help to move the ARF process forward at a pace comfortable to all Participants, in its evolution from the stage of confidence-building measures, which have been the main focus of the ARF's activities, to the development of preventive diplomacy, while the ultimate stage is elaboration on approaches to conflict resolution.

The Plan of Action will also help the ARF cooperation process become more action-oriented, so that it can effectively contribute to enduring peace and stability in the region. The Plan of Action, therefore, contains policy guidance for the Forum to develop and implement concrete and practical actions, including those agreed under ARF's work plans in its areas of cooperation. The Plan of Action should be implemented in accordance with the principle of consensus, on a voluntary basis, and in conformity with relevant international and national laws and regulations.

I. Areas of Cooperation

1. Disaster Relief

By 2020, ARF aims to harmonize regional cooperation in Disaster Relief/Management and strengthen the interoperability of civilian and military relief operations.

1.1. Support the work of the ARF ISM on DR as an established ARF framework to deal with regional disaster relief issues.

1.2. Support and contribute to the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) through concrete and practical activities.

1.3. Support civil-military coordination that enhances regional capacity to provide effective and timely responses to major natural disasters, including through the holding of exercises on a regular basis commensurate with the capacity of ARF Participants.

1.4. Develop and refine tools such as regional protocols, a standby arrangement system, a model legal arrangement for foreign military assistance, common standard operating procedures, best practices, a voluntary registration scheme of civilian and military capabilities, and innovative initiatives that ultimately create effective regional disaster response framework complementary to internationally established guidelines.

1.5. Establish a clear working relationship and ensure complementarity with other international and regional bodies dealing with disaster relief such as the UN system, EAS, APEC, ASEM and Asia Pacific Conference on Military Assistance to Disaster Relief Operations (APC-MADRO), including through such means as collaboration with these fora's activities.

2. Counter Terrorism - Transnational Crime

By 2020, ARF will develop an effective network for regional law enforcement and military agencies to build regional capacity, share information, and individually and collectively respond in a timely and effective manner to the threats posed by terrorism and transnational crime in the region.

2.1. Support the work of the ARF ISM on CTTC as a framework to address regional terrorism and transnational crime.

2.2. Support the early ratification and implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (ACCT) and the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters among ASEAN Member States.

2.3. Encourage ARF Participants to accede, ratify, and implement relevant UN international instruments and conventions and participate actively in international counter terrorism and transnational crime fora.

2.4. Support the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

2.5. Support the development of national strategies and legal frameworks in the field of counter terrorism and transnational crimes through such means as information exchange and capacity building.

2.6. Explore the possibility of establishing an ARF tool, as appropriate, to provide legal assistance upon requests in combating transnational security threats.

2.7. Encourage ICT (Information and Communication Technology) security and build on and further develop the 2006 ARF Statement on Fighting Cyber Attack.

2.8. Work towards the establishment of an ARF transnational threat information-sharing center that utilizes and deepens existing regional mechanisms and centers specializing in information-sharing and capacity-building and develops new information-sharing, subject to proper data protection, and capacity-building arrangements when appropriate and in partnership with existing mechanisms.

2.9. Encourage technical cooperation among ARF Participants through transfer of skills, knowledge and technology including possible mutual assistance to enhance the technological capabilities of developing countries and in conformity with international commitments and national law.

2.10. Support the development of initiatives aimed at addressing conditions conducive to terrorism and transnational crimes that terrorists and perpetrators of transnational crimes can exploit.

2.11. Develop programs and activities aimed at the promotion of a culture of peace and tolerance, respect for diversity and inter-faith, intra-faith and intercultural dialogue in the region.

2.12. Exchange best practices in the field of law enforcement.

2.13. Hold concrete activities such as seminars, workshops, and exercises, as and when appropriate, in order to contribute to ARF's CTTC goals.

3. Maritime Security

By 2020, ARF should serve as a regional forum for maritime security issues that promotes and enhances maritime domain awareness, and develop concrete and effective regional responses to maritime security challenges.

3.1. Support the work of the ARF ISM on MS as an established regional framework that addresses maritime security issues.

3.2. Promote compliance and adherence to relevant international legal instruments and regional arrangements.

3.3. Forge close cooperation toward enhancing the safety and security of navigation, including the implementation of standards, best practices, and data-sharing for small vessel registration on a national and, as appropriate, regional basis, taking into account existing regional mechanisms and frameworks.

3.4. Utilize the work of national and regional think tanks to assist the work of the ISM on Maritime Security to enhance transparency in regional maritime security.

3.5. Promote regional maritime security capacity-building through concrete activities such as information-sharing, exchanges of officials, and holding maritime security-related tabletop and joint training exercises as and when appropriate.

3.6. Promote networking among ARF, ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF), IMO, IOR−ARC, ReCAAP, as well as other maritime-related fora, as part of a comprehensive and mutually beneficial approach to maritime cooperation.

3.7. Promote cooperation in maritime issues, including maritime security and safety and search and rescue, through activities such as information sharing and technological cooperation in line with national and international laws.

3.8. Forge closer cooperation in combating maritime terrorism and transnational maritime crimes such as piracy, armed robbery against ships, hijacking, smuggling, and trafficking in person, in accordance with national and international laws through concrete and practical activities.

4. Non-proliferation and disarmament

By 2020, ARF should develop national and regional capacity and promote common efforts in non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear, chemical and biological technology.

4.1. Support the work of the ISM on Non-proliferation and Disarmament (NPD) as a framework to address non-proliferation, peaceful use and disarmament issues.

4.2. With a view to contributing to the process of global nuclear disarmament, ARF participants might consider the merit of the CTBT.

4.3. Support the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and identify how ARF could contribute to its achievement.

4.4. Promote ARF contributions to the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy through sharing national experiences and assisting in capacity building in cooperation with the IAEA, including on the relevant nationally applicable IAEA standards on nuclear non proliferation, safeguards, safety and security in accordance with their respective international legal commitments.

4.5. Support the implementation by ARF participants of international treaties to which they are parties.

4.6. Encourage nuclear weapon States and States parties to the SEANWFZ Treaty to work constructively with a view to ensuring early accession of the nuclear weapon States to the Protocol to the Treaty.

4.7. Encourage ARF participants which have not yet done so to accede to or ratify Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their destruction.

4.8. Encourage the implementation of UNSCR 1540 and the relevant recommendations of the UNSCR 1540 Committee in the work of ISM on NPD.

4.9. Support regional and national efforts toward the effective implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects.

4.10. Exchange experience and promote the development of relevant best practices and with a view to building common approaches in strategic export controls where appropriate.

5. Peacekeeping Operations

By 2020, ARF will further enhance the regional capacity and readiness for peacekeeping activities, including through necessary training measures.

5.1. Compile a list of peacekeeping best practices and lessons learned including inputs from UN and other regional organisations.

5.2. Update on a regular basis the list of ARF peacekeeping contact points to facilitate information sharing.

5.3. Support the convening of ARF Meetings of Peacekeeping Experts or some other mutually agreed modalities on a regular basis.

5.4. Promote networking among ARF Participants' peacekeeping centers to encourage cooperation among them in such areas as training and seminars.

5.5. Hold ARF joint training and planning activities, including to conduct desk-top and scenario-based planning exercises for the ARF on peacekeeping operation exercises as and when appropriate with the consent of ARF Participants.

6. Defense Dialogues

By 2020, ARF should further integrate defense track and personnel into the ARF process.

6.1. Strengthen the effectiveness of the Defense Officials Dialogue (DOD) by making it more aligned with and supportive of the broader ARF process.

6.2. Extend the DOD to one full day and conduct working groups, if necessary, to allow it to discuss defense and military issues in the ISG and SOM's agenda and recommend ARF actions to the ISG.

6.3. Promote proper alignment of the ARF Security Policy Conference (ASPC) with ARF's activities to ensure practical and effective defense participation in the ARF process.

6.4. Expand the capacity of the ARF Heads of Defense Universities, Colleges, and Institutions Meeting (ARF HDUCIM) to exchange best practices in defense policies and academic development.

6.5. Encourage the DOD and ASPC contributions to and implementation of the relevant activities under the Plan of Action.

6.6. Ensure complementarity between ARF and the proposed ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) to avoid duplication of efforts.

II. CBMs and PD

By 2020, ARF should continue its efforts on consolidating CBMs while implementing PD activities/measures

1. Consolidation of CBMs:

1.1. Encourage non ASEAN ARF countries to appoint and accredit Ambassadors to ASEAN and to consider appointing a mission and/or dedicated official to also work on ARF matters in Jakarta.

1.2. Continue the current practice of initiating and implementing CBMs by at least one ASEAN and one non-ASEAN ARF Participant.

1.3. Compile best practices on confidence-building measures, preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution for further development by ARF.

1.4. Improve the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information and analyses of regional security concerns.

1.5. Encourage ARF Participants to arrive at mutually agreed CBMs and support the promotion of their implementation to enhance peace, stability, economic growth and prosperity in the region.

1.6. Encourage greater participation of ARF defense officials in ARF activities in order to promote greater transparency and understanding of defense policies and security perceptions.

1.7. Increase bilateral exchanges and cooperation among defense officials and military training institutions in order to promote trust and mutual understanding.

1.8. Hold ARF exercises upon the consent of the interested states in areas to include disaster relief and other areas of cooperation and develop an early and realistic time table for their regular execution.

2. Implementation of PD Activities/Measures:

2.1. Develop and implement an ARF Preventive Diplomacy (PD) Work Plan as mandated by the 16th ARF.

III.Institutional Enhancement

By 2020, ARF will expand and enhance the effectiveness of its institutional features to ensure the successful implementation of the PoA.

1. Promote the role of the ARF Chair with the possibility of assistance from the Secretary General of ASEAN as a point of first contact in cases of emergency or crisis

2. Activate and exercise the Friends of the ARF Chair mechanism as and when needed

3. Strengthen the ARF Unit

3.1. Expand the expertise and personnel capacity of the ARF Unit in a manner that assists the ARF Chair in efficiently facilitating the work of the ARF.

3.2. Elevate the ARF Unit into a division of the ASEAN Secretariat through the increase of the number of officials working in the ARF Unit.

3.3. Encourage all ARF Participants to contribute funding, personnel, and expertise assistance to the ARF Unit on a project-by-project basis or through more comprehensive means.

3.4. Hold regular discussions to review the capacity of the ARF Unit and as appropriate seek out additional resources from ARF Participants, and plan appropriate resource assistance to the ARF Unit.

4. Enhance the role of ARF EEPs

4.1. Consider utilization of ARF EEPs as expert consultative resources.

4.2. Consider expanding the functions of EEPs.

5. Expand the ARF Fund

5.1. Encourage the development of an appropriate procedure to secure commitments by ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners to fund ARF activities through their existing ASEAN assistance programs.

5.2. Support the development of innovative funding modalities for ARF activities with the consent of ARF Participants.

6. Develop fruitful ARF partnerships and networks

6.1. Improve the networking of established regional security centers, think-tanks, and the ARF Unit.

6.2. Encourage the development of an ARF consultation process with accredited and mutually acceptable Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on regional security matters.

6.3. Consider the establishment of an ARF academic institute of regional security studies, under rules and mandate to be prescribed by the ARF, and to be situated within ASEAN.

7. Work with regional and international security bodies

7.1. Develop concrete and mutually beneficial cooperation programmes, as appropriate, with relevant regional and international security bodies, including those of the UN system.

8. Work with Track II organizations

8.1. Encourage joint research projects on defense issues by regional government-affiliated policy and strategic research institutes.

8.2. Encourage the development of modality/guidelines for regular consultation with Track II organizations.

8.3. Encourage the development of an appropriate procedure that allows Track II participants to meaningfully contribute to ARF, through the implementation of the existing procedure to consider recommendations from ASEAN-ISIS, and CSCAP.

8.4. Encourage Track II organizations to enhance ARF's public profile and visibility.

IV.Review and Implementation

1. The implementation of the PoA should be reviewed and evaluated annually by the ISG and SOM to ensure that all its activities are responsive to the needs and priorities of the ARF.

2. ISM co-chairs are responsible to review and brief the ISG and SOM on the progress of the implementation of their respective Areas of Cooperation. ISM co-chairs should facilitate the development of the appropriate modalities to implement the items under their Area of Cooperation.

3. The ARF Unit of the ASEAN Secretariat is responsible for preparing a progress report of this PoA and submit to the Ministers for consideration.

4. Measures adopted by ARF Ministers on improving ARF's working methods should be strictly implemented by the PoA.

5. The PoA's implementation should be maintained as one agenda item of ISG and SOM meetings.

6. Any amendment to the PoA should be made with the consent of all ARF Participants and adopted by Ministers.