"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] Singapore Declaration of 1992

[Place] Singapore
[Date] January 28, 1992
[Source] ASEAN Secretariat. ASEAN Shiryo Shusei, Nihon Kokusai Mondai Kenkyujo, March 26, 1999.
[Full text]

1. We, the Heads of State and Government of ASEAN, are encouraged by the achievements of ASEAN in the last twenty-five years, and are convinced that ASEAN cooperation remains vital to the well-being of our peoples.

2. Having reviewed the profound international political and economic changes that have occurred since the end of the Cold War and considered their implications for ASEAN, we declare that:

- ASEAN shall move towards a higher plane of political and economic cooperation to secure regional peace and prosperity;

- ASEAN shall constantly seek to safeguard its collective interests in response to the formation of large and powerful economic groupings among the developed countries, in particular through the promotion of an open international economic regime and by stimulating economic cooperation in the region;

- ASEAN shall seek avenues to engage member states in new areas of cooperation in security matters; and

- ASEAN shall forge a closer relationship based on friendship and cooperation with the Indochinese countries, following the settlement on Cambodia.


3. In the field of political and security cooperation, we have agreed that:

- ASEAN welcomes accession by all countries in Southeast Asia to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, which will provide a common framework for wider regional cooperation embracing the whole of Southeast Asia;

- ASEAN will also seek the cognizance of the United Nations for the Treaty through such means as an appropriate Resolution. This will signify ASEAN's commitment to the centrality of the UN role in the maintenance of international peace and security as well as promoting cooperation for socioeconomic development;

- ASEAN could use established fora to promote external dialogues on enhancing security in the region as well as intra-ASEAN dialogues on ASEAN security cooperation (such as the regional security seminars held in Manila and Bangkok in 1991, and the workshops on the South China Sea held in Bali in 1990 and Bandung in 1991), taking full cognizance of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord. To enhance this effort, ASEAN should intensify its external dialogues in political and security matters by using the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC);

- ASEAN has made major strides in building cooperative ties with states of the Asia-Pacific region and shall continue to accord them a high priority;

- ASEAN will seek to realise the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) and a Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) in consultation with friendly countries, taking into account changing circumstances;

- ASEAN will closely cooperate with the United Nations and the international community in ensuring the full implementation of the Peace Agreements signed in Paris in October 1991.

- ASEAN supports the Cambodian Supreme National Council in calling on the UN Secretary General to despatch UNTAC as early as possible in order to preserve the momentum of the peace process and to implement the gains realised by the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements. ASEAN calls on all parties in Cambodia to implement seriously the process of national reconciliation which is essential to a genuine and lasting peace in Cambodia; and

- ASEAN will play an active part in international programmes for the reconstruction of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

4. Conscious of the central role of the Unite Nations in the post-Cold War, we agree that:

- The proposed Summit of members of the United Nations Security Council should help shape the United Nations' role for the promotion of a more equitable international political and economic order, and for the democratisation of the United Nations' decision-making processes in order to make the organization truly effective in meeting its obligations;

- ASEAN will participate actively in efforts to ensure that the United Nations is a key instrument for maintaining international peace and security; and

- ASEAN will encourage all efforts to strengthen the United Nations, including its role and capabilities, in peacekeeping and peacemaking, in accordance with the United Nations Charter.


5. In the field of economic cooperation, we have agreed that:

- To further accelerate joint efforts in enhancing intra-ASEAN economic cooperation, ASEAN shall adopt appropriate new economic measures as contained in the Framework Agreement on Enhancing ASEAN Economic Cooperation directed towards sustaining ASEAN economic growth and development which are essential to the stability and prosperity of the region;

- ASEAN shall establish the ASEAN Free Trade Area using the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme as the main mechanism within a time frame of 15 years beginning 1 January 1993 with the ultimate effective tariffs ranging from 0% to 5%. ASEAN member states have identified the following fifteen groups of products to be included in the CEPT Scheme for accelerated tariff reductions:

- vegetable oils

- cement

- chemicals

- pharmaceuticals

- fertiliser

- plastics

- rubber products

- leather products

- pulp

- textiles

- ceramic and glass products

- gems and jewellery

- copper cathodes

- electronics

- wooden and rattan furniture

- ASEAN shall increase investments, industrial linkages and complementarity by adopting new and innovative measures, as well as strengthening existing arrangements in ASEAN and providing flexibility for new forms of industrial cooperation;

- ASEAN shall strengthen and develop further cooperation in the field of capital markets, and shall encourage and facilitate free movement of capital and other financial resources;

- ASEAN shall further enhance regional cooperation to provide safe, efficient and innovative transportation and communications infrastructure network;

- ASEAN shall also continue to improve and develop the intra-country postal and telecommunications system to provide cost-effective, high quality and customer-oriented services;

- ASEAN shall adopt joint efforts to strengthen trade promotion and negotiations on ASEAN agricultural products in order to enhance ASEAN's competitive posture, and to sustain the expansion of ASEAN agricultural exports in the international markets;

- ASEAN acknowledges that sub-regional arrangements among themselves, or between ASEAN member states and non-ASEAN economies could complement overall ASEAN economic cooperation;

- ASEAN recognises the importance of strengthening and/or establishing cooperation with other countries, regional/multilateral economic organisations, as well as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and an East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC). With regard to APEC, ASEAN attaches importance to APEC's fundamental objective of sustaining the growth and dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region. With respect to an EAEC, ASEAN recognises that consultations on issues of common concern among East Asian economies, as and when the need arises, could contribute to expanding cooperation among the region's economies, and the promotion of an open and free global trading system;

- Further, recognising the importance of non-tariff and non-border areas of cooperation to complement tariff liberalisation in increasing regional trade and investment, ASEAN shall further explore cooperation in these areas with a view to making recommendations to the Fifth ASEAN Summit;

- ASEAN shall continue with its concerted efforts in the promotion of tourism, particularly in making the Visit ASEAN Year 1992 a success;

- ASEAN shall continue to step up cooperation in other economic-related areas, such as science and technology transfer and human resource development;

- ASEAN shall enhance cooperation and collective action in international and inter-regional fora as well as in international organisations and regional groupings. ASEAN shall also continue to enhance relations with its dialogue partners and other producing/consuming countries towards the advancement of the commodity sector in the region and in addressing international commodity issues;

- ASEAN recognises that sustained economic growth require considerable inputs of energy. As member states continue to industrialise and strengthen their industrial base, ASEAN shall focus and strengthen cooperation in energy security, conservation and the search for alternative fuels;

- ASEAN recognises the complementarity of trade and investment opportunities and therefore encourages, among others, increased cooperation and exchanges among the ASEAN private sectors, and the consideration of appropriate policies for greater intra-ASEAN investments;

- ASEAN shall continue to uphold the principles of free and open trade embodied in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and work towards maintaining and strengthening an open multilateral trading system;

- ASEAN shall work collectively to ensure that the Uruguay Round addresses the key concerns and interests of the ASEAN economies, and adopt a pragmatic and realistic approach, in using the Draft Final Text as at 20 December 1991 as a reasonable basis for completing negotiations; and

- ASEAN strongly urges major trading countries to settle their differences on agriculture and other areas, and likewise use the Draft Final Text to work towards an early and successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round.


6. In reviewing ASEAN's external relations, we have agreed that:

- ASEAN, as part of an increasingly interdependent world, should intensify cooperative relationships with its Dialogue partners, namely Australia, Canada, the European Community, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States, and engage in consultative relationships with interested non-Dialogue countries and international organizations; and

- While ASEAN's cooperative relationships with the Dialogue partners have made significant progress, ASEAN should strengthen existing dialogue mechanisms and develop new ones where necessary for the enhancement of economic relations with these countries, especially ASEAN's major economic partners.


7. In the field of functional cooperation, we have agreed that:

- The ASEAN member countries shall continue to enhance awareness of ASEAN among the people in the region through the expansion of ASEAN Studies as part of Southeast Asian Studies in the school and university curricula and the introduction of ASEAN student exchange programmes at the secondary and tertiary levels of education;

- ASEAN should help hasten the development of a regional identity and solidarity, and promote human resource development by considering ways to further strengthen the existing network of the leading universities and institutions of higher learning in the ASEAN region with a view to ultimately establishing an ASEAN University based on this expanded network;

- ASEAN functional cooperation shall be designed for a wider involvement and increased participation by women in the development of the ASEAN countries in order to meet their needs and aspirations. This cooperation shall also extend to the development of children to realise their full potential;

- The ASEAN member countries shall continue to play an active part in protecting the environment by continuing to cooperate in promoting the principle of sustainable development and integrating it into all aspects of development:

- ASEAN member countries should continue to enhance environmental cooperation, particularly in issues of transboundary pollution, natural disasters, forest fires and in addressing the anti-tropical timber campaign;

- The developed countries should commit themselves to assist developing countries by providing them new and additional financial resources as well as the transfer of, and access to environmentally sound technology on concessional and preferential terms;

- The developed countries should also help to maintain an international environment supportive of economic growth and development;

- ASEAN looks forward to seeing these commitments reflected in the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro;

- As Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) play an important role in social development, ASEAN shall encourage the exchange of information among NGOs in the region and help expand their participation in intra-ASEAN functional cooperation;

- ASEAN shall intensify its cooperation in overcoming the serious problem of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking at the national, regional and international levels; and

- ASEAN shall make a coordinated effort in curbing the spread of AIDS by exchanging information on AIDS, particularly in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes against the deadly disease.


8. To strengthen ASEAN, we have agreed that:

- ASEAN Heads of Government shall meet formally every three years with informal meetings in between;

- The ASEAN organizational structure, especially the ASEAN Secretariat, shall be streamlined and strengthened with more resources;

- The Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat shall be redesignated as the Secretary-General of ASEAN with an enlarged mandate to initiate, advise, coordinate and implement ASEAN activities;

- The Secretary-General of ASEAN shall be appointed on merit and accorded ministerial status;

- The professional staff of the ASEAN Secretariat be appointed on the principle of open recruitment and based on a quota system to ensure representation of all ASEAN countries in the Secretariat;

The five present ASEAN Economic Committees be dissolved and the Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) be tasked to handle all aspects of ASEAN economic cooperation; and

A ministerial-level Council be established to supervise, coordinate and review the implementation of the Agreement on the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme for the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).

DONE at Singapore on the 28th of January 1992.

For Brunei Darussalam:



Sultan of Brunei Darussalam

For the Republic of Indonesia:




For Malaysia:



Prime Minister

For the Republic of the Philippines:




For the Republic of Singapore:



Prime Minister

For the Kingdom of Thailand:



Prime Minister