"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] Chairman's Statement of the 21st ASEAN Regional Forum Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, 10 August 2014

[Date] August 10, 2014
[Source] ASEAN Secretariat
[Full text]

1. The Twenty-First Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 10 August 2014. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

2. The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers and Representatives of all ARF participants and the Secretary-General of ASEAN. The List of Delegates appears as ANNEX 1.

Overview of the ARF Process

3. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the ARF as a primary political and security forum to foster peace, stability and prosperity in the region through dialogue and cooperation.

4. The Ministers supported ASEAN's pivotal role in guiding the ARF process in cooperation with other participants. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction on ARF participants' adherence to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as they have envisaged in the ARF Vision Statement. They underlined the importance of ARF participants' continued commitment to uphold the purpose and principles of the TAC as it signifies the guiding code of conduct for promoting perpetual peace, everlasting amity and cooperation among the countries of the region.

5. The Ministers reiterated their commitment to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of the Forum as a primary political and security dialogue for cooperation in the Asia Pacific and a central pillar in the evolving regional security architecture. In this respect, they planned to strengthen the ARF's role in addressing traditional and non-traditional security, and common regional challenges in the region by taking a holistic approach while upholding

the principles of the ARF decision-making process, by consensus, non- interference, gradual approach, voluntary participation and moving at a pace comfortable to all participants.

6. The Ministers reiterated their commitments to implement the Hanoi Plan of Action to realise the ARF Vision Statement. They also expressed their satisfaction on the progress of dialogue, cooperation and achievements of the ARF, which enhance confidence and understanding among its participants through the phased approach of confidence building measures, preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution. They are also pleased with the various cooperative activities undertaken under the four pillars of cooperation, namely disaster relief, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, non-proliferation and disarmament, and maritime security. The Ministers recognised that mutual trust needed to continue to be strengthened among the countries in the region and therefore, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) should run through the entire process of the ARF. In an interdependent world, they encouraged all countries to seek and promote common, comprehensive and sustainable security through dialogue and cooperation.

7. The Ministers stressed the need to exert greater effort in advancing the ARF process from Stage One of Promotion of Confidence Building Measures to Stage Two of Development of Preventive Diplomacy through action- oriented activities and implementation of the ARF Work Plan on Preventive Diplomacy and abiding by the ASEAN Regional Forum Concept and Principles of Preventive Diplomacy.

8. The Ministers recognised that the challenges facing the region were increasingly complex, requiring greater regional coordination and cooperation. In this regard, the Ministers underlined the importance of addressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges confronting the region by focusing on those issues most relevant to the ARF mandate, capabilities and membership.

9. Recognising the importance of coordination and coherence between various ASEAN-led regional security mechanisms, the Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening synergies among regional security mechanisms, including the ARF, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), to effectively tackle the challenges facing the region.

Highlights of Discussions on Regional and International Security Issues

10. The Ministers noted the outcomes of the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from 10 to 11 May 2014 which was held with the theme "Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community". The Summit called to strengthen ASEAN unity for the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous, dynamic and forward looking ASEAN Community resilient to both existing and emerging challenges.

11. The Ministers expressed their condolences to the families and friends of the passengers and crew of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. They noted that the search for flight MH370 was a pertinent example of the importance of international cooperation in search and rescue activities. The Ministers also expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and to the people and governments of the victims' countries of origin. The Ministers further condemned in the strongest terms the downing of Malaysia Airline flight MH17 on 17 July 2014, resulting in the tragic loss of 298 lives. They called for an immediate cessation of all military activities, including by armed groups, in the area surrounding the crash site to allow for the rapid identification and repatriation of victims' remains. They highly appreciated the timely adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2166 and supported international efforts to establish a full, swift, thorough and independent investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines. The Ministers called for a swift, full, thorough and independent investigation into the downing of flight MH17 and called on all states and parties to cooperate towards this end.

12. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of promoting peace, stability and security, maritime security, unimpeded trade, and freedom of navigation and over flight. The Ministers stressed the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes and issues in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Ministers called on all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and to avoid actions that would complicate the situation. In this regard, the Ministers underscored the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and substantive consultations for Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). Noting ASEAN's Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea, the Joint

Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the

Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Statement on Recent Development in South China Sea issued on 10th May 2014, the Ministers underscored the need to build trust and confidence among all parties. They welcomed the commencement of official consultations among ASEAN Member States and China on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and looked forward to its early conclusion, on the basis of consensus which would further contribute to enhancing peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region.

13. The Ministers underlined the importance of peace, security and stability in Korean Peninsula. Most Ministers stressed the need for immediate steps towards the denuclearisation and full compliance with the obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions as well as commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for all efforts to achieve the denuclearisation of the Korea Peninsula in a peaceful manner and encouraged for creating conducive environment for early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. The Ministers welcomed the reunion of separate families between the ROK and DPRK which took place in February 2014 and expected to have regular reunions in the future and emphasised the importance of addressing

humanitarian issues. The Ministers welcomed the DPRK to participate in the 17th Asia Games in the Republic of Korea in September 2014. The Ministers also noted the meetings between Japan and DPRK to address pending issues in accordance with the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration and expected a concrete progress on the matter.

14. The Ministers expressed grave concern over the current situation in Ukraine. They welcomed the efforts by relevant parties to find a political solution to the Ukraine Crisis and looked forward to the settlement of the crisis under the framework of the Geneva Statement of 7 April 2014, the roadmap of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Geneva Consensus and the Joint Declaration by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France of 2 July 2014. They called on all parties to adhere to the fundamental principles of international law reflected in the Charter of the United Nations and resolve the disputes peacefully, through dialogue and consultation.

15. The Ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East and reiterated their support for comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Ministers noted the United Nations Security Council's Press Statement on Middle East issued on 12 July 2014 and expressed their serious concern over the escalation of the conflict in Gaza, which had resulted in the loss of hundreds of civilian lives. The Ministers called for the de-escalation of the conflict, restoration of peace, an immediate ceasefire between the concerned parties and for respect of international humanitarian law, especially the protection of civilians and the provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance. The Ministers urged the international community to act swiftly and decisively to support an end to the current crisis through dialogue and negotiation. They underlined the urgent need for all parties to work towards a resumption of the diplomatic process and to pursue a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

16. The Ministers expressed deep concern over the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria. They condemned the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances and welcomed the result of the United Nations and OPCW's (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) work in overseeing the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. They welcomed the appointment of the new UN Special Envoy and underscored the importance of resolving the crisis in a peaceful manner through an inclusive, democratic and transparent political process based on the Geneva Communiqué and the wishes of Syrian people. They urged all parties in Syria to demonstrate political will, enhance mutual understanding, exercise restraint and commit to seeking common ground in accommodating their differences. They supported all efforts, particularly by the United Nations, including the adoption of the UNSC Resolutions 2118, 2139 and 2165.

17. The Ministers condemned the acts of the self-declared Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq which threatened the peace and stability of the region. They supported efforts for national unity and for the swift formation of a new Iraqi government through building inclusive political process. The Ministers called on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and respect of human rights and International Humanitarian Law during military operations.

18. The Ministers welcomed the holding of the recent elections in Afghanistan. They reaffirmed their commitment to Afghanistan's transition and looked forward to the orderly transition to a new administration. The Ministers highlighted the need to advance economic development in Afghanistan and underscored the need to eliminate the threats from terrorist groups and the trafficking of illicit drugs. The Ministers supported China in holding the Forth Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process on Deepening Cooperation for Sustainable Security and Prosperity of the Heart of Asia Region in Tianjin in the second half of this year.

19. The Ministers supported international cooperative efforts in non- proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. They underlined the importance of preserving Southeast Asia as a region free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, as stated in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) and the ASEAN Charter. They welcomed Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status, including the 2012 P5 Joint Declaration regarding the status, as a concrete contribution to nuclear non-proliferation and promoting confidence and predictability in the region.

20. The Ministers discussed Iran's nuclear issues and expressed their support for negotiations between E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, the United States of America) and Iran to conclude a comprehensive nuclear agreement at an early date. In this regard, they welcomed the extension of nuclear talks until 24 November 2014 under the framework of the Joint Plan of Action, which was agreed on 24 November 2013.

21. The Ministers discussed non-traditional security threats and challenges, including cyber-crime, space security, terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, infectious diseases, climate change, natural disasters, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue their cooperation, including, where appropriate through information sharing and capacity building, in addressing increasing criminal activities in the region. The Ministers noted the unique challenges and vulnerabilities faced by small island developing states, including in the Pacific region. They welcomed the upcoming United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in September 2014.

22. The Ministers expressed condolences to the victims, their families and the people of the countries that had suffered from recent natural disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines in 2013 and Typhoon Rammasun in China, Philippines and Vietnam in 2014 and the recent earthquake in Ludian, Yunna Province of China. Noting the region was prone to natural disasters, the Ministers stressed the need to intensify cooperation in the areas of disaster preparedness, disaster relief and management, and rehabilitation and recovery through existing regional and international mechanisms for regional stability and sustainable economic and social development. They reiterated the importance of creating synergies for effective implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) as the common platform for disaster management in ASEAN and supported the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) as the operational arm of AADMER. They stressed that civil-military cooperation and coordination were crucial for effective disaster relief and response and supported practical engagement among military and other agencies through the ARF Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx). In this regard, they welcomed the Post – Haiyan Tacloban Declaration (June 2014) and discussions on increasing practical cooperation and promoting more integrated coordination and synergies in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) among ASEAN-related mechanisms in particular the ADMM/ADMM-Plus, the ARF, the EAS, and the newly-convened ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM). The Ministers welcomed the planned ARF DiREx 2015 to be conducted from 1 to 6 February 2015 in Malaysia and co-chaired by Malaysia and China, and the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be hosted by Japan in March 2015.

23. The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and expressed their strong commitment to strengthening the United Nations central role in coordinating international action against terrorism and transnational organised crime. They welcomed active cooperation between the ARF and other international and regional organisations in these vital areas. The Ministers encouraged effective implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, including at the regional level. They noted that the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) provided a mechanism to counter violent extremism and commended its work. The Ministers were satisfied with the capacity building and joint research programmes on counter-terrorism provided by the South East Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT).

24. The Ministers expressed deep concern about the world drug problem, which continues to threaten public health, safety and well-being and to undermine social, economic and political stability and sustainable development. They expressed their commitment to countering the world drug problem, which remains a common and shared responsibility, through an integrated, multidisciplinary, mutually reinforcing and balanced approach to supply and demand reduction strategies, in line with relevant UN drug conventions and other relevant norms and principles of international law. They welcomed intensification of the dialogue in the ASEAN Regional Forum on combating illicit drug trafficking which is one of priority areas of the ARF Work Plan for Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime.

25. Recognising that space systems are vital in providing critical services such as telecommunications, air and sea navigation, electronic commerce, climate monitoring, disaster management, national security and defence, the Ministers acknowledged the importance of international cooperation to prepare a legally binding document on the prevention of an arms race in outer space and on the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, including transfer of technology.

26. Noting the global challenges of information and communications technology (ICT) space, the Ministers recognised that increased international efforts were required to improve the security of ICT space and to develop common understandings about the norms that apply to state behavior in ICT space. They highlighted the need for the region to develop measures to address misperception and miscalculation, including a framework to manage and respond to a ICT incidents or events of potential regional security significance. The Ministers tasked officials to complete the draft ARF work plan on security in the use of ICT on the basis of consensus at the next ARF ISG on CBMs and PD in Malaysia in late 2014 and to submit the plan to the 22nd ARF Ministerial Meeting.

Review of Activities of the Current Inter-Sessional Year (July 2013 – July 2014)

27. The Ministers noted the value of the ARF process in providing opportunities for dialogue and cooperation on peace and security in the region both at Track 1 and Track 2 level. In this regard, they expressed their satisfaction with the success of activities undertaken during the current inter- sessional year (July 2013 – July 2014).

28. The Ministers commended the work of the ARF Senior Officials Meeting (ARF SOM) held on 9 June 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar and the ARF Inter- sessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures and Preventive Diplomacy (ARF ISG on CBMs and PD) co-chaired by Myanmar and the European Union from 9 to 10 December 2013 in Yangon, Myanmar and on 9 April 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. The Ministers noted the reports of the meetings and endorsed their recommendations. The Report of the ARF SOM and the Co-Chairs' Summary Reports of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD appear as ANNEXES 2, 3 and 4.

29. Recognising the valuable contributions of the defence officials to the ARF process, the Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the ARF Defence Officials' Dialogue (DOD) co-chaired by Myanmar and the European Union and looked forward to their continued role of the DOD in improving synergies between the ARF and ADMM-Plus. In this respect, the Ministers noted the

Reports of the ARF DOD and the 11th ARF Security Policy Conference (ASPC). The Co-Chairs' Summary Reports of the DOD in December, April and June appear as ANNEXES 5, 6 and 7.

30. The Ministers took note of the progress of ARF Track 1 activities in implementing the Work Plans on the four ARF priority areas of cooperation, namely counter-terrorism and transnational crime, disaster relief, maritime security and non-proliferation and disarmament.

31. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the following Inter-Sessional Meetings and endorsed their recommendations. The Reports appear as ANNEXES 8, 9, 10 and 11.

a. 13th ISM on Disaster Relief (ISM on DR), co-chaired by Myanmar, China and Japan, held in Chengdu, China from 26 to 28 February 2014.

b. 12th ISM on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM on CTTC), co-chaired by Indonesia and New Zealand, held in Bali, Indonesia from 14 to 16 April 2014.

c. 6th ISM on Maritime Security (ISM on MS), co-chaired by Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and the United States, held in Bali, Indonesia from 22 to 23 May 2014.

d. 6th ISM on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ISM on NPD), co- chaired by the Philippines, Australia and Japan, held in Tokyo, Japan from 8 to 9 July 2014.

32. The Ministers also noted the following ARF Track 1 activities, workshops and seminars that were held during the current inter-sessional year 2013-2014:

a. 2nd ARF Workshop on Non-proliferation Nuclear Forensics, Bangkok, Thailand, 10-12 September 2013;

b. ARF Workshop on Measures to Enhance Cyber security – Legal and Cultural Aspects, Beijing, China, 11-12 September 2013;

c. 6th ARF Peacekeeping Experts' Meeting, Beijing, China, 15-17 October 2013;

d. 17th ARF Heads of Defence Universities/Colleges/Institutions Meeting (HDUCIM), Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, 11-14 November 2013;

e. ARF Workshop on Countering Illicit Trafficking of CBRN Materials, Manila, the Philippines, 20-21 November 2013;

f. 8th ARF Experts and Eminent Persons (EEPs) Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17-18 February 2014;

g. ARF Maritime Security Workshop on Marine Environmental Protection Cooperation: Preparedness and Response to Pollution Incidents Involving Hazardous and Noxious Substances, Honolulu, United States, 4-5 March 2014;

h. ARF Roundtable on Training Resources for Preventive Diplomacy, Wellington, New Zealand, 20-21 March 2014;

i. ARF Workshop on Cyber Confidence Building Measures, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 25-26 March 2014;

j. ARF Seminar on the Regional Cooperation on Offshore Oil Spill, Qingdao, China, 27-28 March 2014;

k. ARF Workshop on Consular Contingency Planning and Crisis Management, Bali, Indonesia, 20-21 May 2014;

l. 2nd ARF Seminar on UNCLOS, Manila, the Philippines, 28-29 May 2014.

33. The Ministers also noted the successful conduct of a seminar on the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy with a focus on EU-ASEAN security cooperation, open to all ARF members, and which held in Brussels in March 2014.

Programme of Work for the Next Inter-Sessional Year (August 2014 – July 2015)

34. The Ministers expressed their commitment to continue efforts for confidence building measures and promoting preventive diplomacy. In this respect, they expressed their shared view that the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and the ARF DOD played an instrumental role for that purpose and welcomed Malaysia and Japan as the Co-Chairs of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and the ARF DOD in the next inter-sessional year. They noted that the meetings of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and ARF DOD for the inter-sessional year 2014-2015 would be held in Melaka, Malaysia in November 2014 and in April 2015 in Japan.

35. The Ministers indicated that terrorism and transnational organised crime continue to represent some of the most complex and pressing challenges facing the region. They acknowledged this was a critical area for cooperation in the ARF region and welcomed Thailand and China as the Co-Chairs of the ISM on CTTC. The Meeting noted the proposal by the European Union and Indonesia to co-lead the new priority area on Trafficking in Persons. The Ministers adopted the new ARF Work Plan on CTTC for the implementation period of 2014-2015 which appears as ANNEX 12.

36. While stressing the importance of addressing the threats posed by the weapons of mass destruction, the Ministers encouraged the ISM on NPD to continue pursuing non-proliferation and disarmament measures. They welcomed progress in implementing the ARF Work Plan on NPD. They also welcomed Malaysia, Canada and New Zealand as Co-Chairs for the next ARF ISM on NPD for the inter-sessional year 2014-2015. They encouraged ARF participants to formulate and propose activities under the ARF Work Plan on NPD. The ARF Work Plan on NPD appears as ANNEX 13.

37. Highlighting the importance of shipping and seaborne trade to the ARF participants in the region, the Ministers stressed that it is critical to ensure peace, stability, freedom of navigation and Maritime Security (MS) in the region. In this respect, they welcomed the Philippines, Japan and the United States as the next Co-Chairs of the ISM on MS for the next inter-sessional year and encouraged the ISM on MS to develop concrete and effective measures and build norms in addressing the maritime challenges, using existing arrangements and mechanisms in the region as a starting point. They also commended Indonesia's instrumental role in advancing the ARF Maritime Security cooperation as co-chair for all six ARF ISMs on MS, which has enabled ARF participants to exchange views and best practices on maritime security.

38. The Ministers emphasised that cooperation in disaster risk reduction and management was a key priority on the ARF agenda. In this regard, the Ministers tasked respective officials to further strengthen cooperation and discussion on building resilience and preparedness for disasters while continuing to strengthen measures for disaster response and relief under the purview of the ISM on DR and the Co-Chairmanship of Myanmar, China and Japan.

39. The Ministers reaffirmed the procedure for all proposed ARF Track 1 activities to be discussed at the ARF ISG/ISM level and endorsed at the ARF SOM before adopted by the ARF Ministers. The Ministers adopted the List of Track 1 Activities for the next inter-sessional year (August 2014 – July 2015) which appears as ANNEX 14.

Future Direction of the ARF Process

40. The Ministers reaffirmed that the future of ARF is to be guided by the ARF Vision Statement and shaped by the changing global and regional political and security landscape. In this context, they tasked respective officials to ensure the effective implementation of the Hanoi Plan of Action through regular monitoring, reviewing and updating in order for the realisation of the ARF Vision Statement.

41. The Ministers discussed their intention to further strengthen the ARF process through continued implementation and enhancement of confidence building measures (CBMs) and development of norms and capacity for preventive diplomacy. The Ministers were also mindful of the ARF's ultimate goal of cooperation in conflict resolution in the future. The Ministers instructed respective officials to discuss and formulate more concrete and result-oriented activities in existing areas of cooperation in order to generate more tangible benefits to the peoples of the region, and explore new areas of common interests and concern in order to grasp the growing dimensions of security challenges. In this context, the Ministers urged officials to speed up activities to implement the ARF Work Plan on Preventive Diplomacy while maintaining momentum in the field of CBMs.

42. The Ministers committed to enhance the ARF's role and its relevance in evolving regional security architecture. In this regard, they noted the need to further develop the existing EEP system and welcomed the research of ‘Improving the ARF-EEPs System' supported by the Republic of Korea. They also affirmed the need to strengthen partnership with Track 2 organisations such as the ASEAN Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN- ISIS), the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) and the Asia Pacific Centre for Strategic Studies (APCSS) as well as other regional security organisations .

43. The Ministers recognized the importance of the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) as a centre of excellence to encourage effort to address explosive remnants of wars (ERW) for ASEAN Member States. They welcomed the adoption of the TOR on ARMAC adopted

by ASEAN Leaders at the 23rd ASEAN Summit in 2013 and looked forward to the full operationalisation of ARMAC.

44. The Ministers considered the role of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) and its capacity to contribute to the ARF process through providing services such as monitoring regional security trends, identifying potential flashpoints in Asia and Pacific and recommending preventive diplomacy measures.

45. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that the ARF Annual Security Outlook (ARF ASO) served to enhance transparency among ARF participants and called for continued contributions to the ARF ASO from a broader range of participants. They also commended activities for the enhancement of security policy transparency and establishment of closer networks and communication channels among the ARF participants.

46. The Ministers expressed their appreciation for the contribution and support of the ARF Unit of the ASEAN Secretariat in coordinating various activities and providing secretarial assistance including in preparing the updated Matrix on the Implementation Status of the Hanoi Plan of Action. They tasked the ARF Unit to play a role in facilitating information sharing on the schedule of activities between the ARF and the ADMM-Plus. The Ministers noted the Matrix of ARF Decisions and their Status (1994-2014) which appears as ANNEX 15 and the Joint Calendar of the ADMM, ADMM Plus and ARF as appears as ANNEX 16.