"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] ASEAN Plus Three Leaders’ Joint Statement on the Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation

[Place] Phnom Penh, Cambodia
[Date] November 19, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, gathered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 19 November 2012, to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation.

2. The ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit was chaired by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Heads of State/ Government of ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea attended the meeting. The Secretary-General of ASEAN also attended the Meeting.

3. We reviewed the achievements of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation over the past 15 years, and discussed its future direction. We took note with satisfaction of the fast growing and deepening of cooperation in all areas of cooperation, in particular politics and security, economy, finance, connectivity, food security, energy, environment, health and pandemic diseases, culture, tourism, science, technology and innovation, information and communication technology, poverty eradication, disaster management, and youth and education.

4. We acknowledged that the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation played an indispensible role in promoting East Asian unity and coordination, deepening regional economic integration and expanding horizon for common development. We have successfully tackled the global financial crisis and preserved economic and financial stability, thus becoming the most vibrant region in the global economy. In light of the profound and complex changes in the world and the multiple pressures to maintain sustainable development of the region, we agreed to come together and work collectively to meet the challenges, make good use of the well- established ASEAN Plus Three cooperation mechanisms and give full play to our advantages.

5. We noted with appreciation the substantive progress of the implementation of the Second Joint Statement on the East Asia Cooperation and the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2007- 2017) which provided strategic guidance for the future direction of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation. We welcomed the decision of the ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in July 2012 to conduct a Mid-Term Review of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan. In order to implement the Work Plan effectively, we supported the strengthening of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund (APTCF).

6. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to deepen and broaden the ASEAN Plus Three process, as guided by, inter alia, the 1999 Joint Statement on the East Asia Cooperation and the 2007 Second Joint Statement on the East Asia Cooperation, to serve as a main vehicle towards the long-term goal of building an East Asian community and expressed our continued support for the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture. We reiterated that the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation would continue to support the realization of the ASEAN Community and pave the way towards regional integration.

7. We realized the importance of maintaining and enhancing peace and stability in the region as indispensable conditions for development and progress. We stressed the importance of respecting for the right of each country to independently choose its development path, and the need to intensify and enhance efforts to promote common values and norms, such as good governance, rule of law, as well as promotion and protection of human rights. We agreed to further strengthen security cooperation, particularly to deal with emerging challenges to peace and stability in both traditional and non-traditional security dimensions.

8. We are committed to further strengthening cooperation and dialogue in political-security area as guided by the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan in order to address emerging regional and global issues as well as to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region. We agreed to continue our discussions on establishing regional institutional arrangements in areas, such as law enforcement, disaster management, combating transnational crime and the prevention and control of diseases. We will continue to: (i) promote mutual trust and understanding through increasing exchanges between officials; and (ii) enhance technical assistance and capacity-building in support of efforts to address traditional and non-traditional security issues in a substantive manner.

9. In light of the shrinking external demand we were confronted with, we agreed to strengthen the internal drivers for East Asia's growth, by boosting demand within the region and promoting intra-regional economic development. We acknowledged the importance of maintaining strong trade relations between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries which had strengthened the region’s ability and resilience in dealing with the financial and economic crisis since the inception of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation. To this end, we called upon the relevant ministers to further strengthen and deepen existing ASEAN Plus One Free Trade Agreements with Plus Three countries. We also urged business communities in the region to take full advantage of the opportunities of these FTAs.

10. Due to the rapid regional and global developments, we stressed the importance of achieving a comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement in this region in accordance with the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) approved by the ASEAN Economic Ministers and their counterparts from ASEAN’s FTA Partners in August 2012, We therefore welcomed the progress in the preparation work aiming at the official launch of the RCEP negotiations in November 2012, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which reflects the concrete cooperation among the participating countries to strengthen regional economic integration.

11. We highly appreciated the progress of regional financial cooperation, in particular the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) as a part of the regional financial safety net. In this regard, we welcomed the progress made at the ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting held on 3 May 2012, in Manila, to strengthen the CMIM including by doubling its total size from USD120 billion to USD 240 billion, increasing the IMF de-linked portion to 30% in 2012, and introducing a crisis prevention facility “CMIM Precautionary Line (CMIM- PL)”. We welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) and stressed the importance of strengthening its capacity as an independent regional surveillance unit.

12. We also highly appreciated efforts to utilise regional savings for regional investments through the Asian Bond Market Initiative (ABMI), including the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), to promote the development of local currency denominated bond markets and enhancing macroeconomic and financial stability. We welcomed the adoption of the New ABMI Roadmap+ to produce tangible and concrete outcome on the nine priorities, among others, implementation of guarantee programme of the CGIF and the ASEAN Plus Three Bond Markets Forum (ABMF) activities including the Common Bond Issuance Programme. We also welcomed the initial research findings on priority areas of future regional cooperation. We tasked the relevant Ministers to continue to expeditiously implement the initiative related to regional financial cooperation

13. We reaffirmed the importance of the ASEAN Chair’s participation in the G-20 Summit on a regular basis with a view to reflecting ASEAN as a relevant and responsible regional organization to the global economic and financial cooperation. We also welcomed the substantive outcomes of the G-20 Summit which was held on 18-19 June 2012, in Los Cabos, Mexico.

14. We further welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Secretary-General High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in which the President of Indonesia is one of its Co- Chairs as a representation of the region.

15. We agreed to further enhance the cooperation in food security. We supported the important role of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement, which came into force on 12 July 2012 to serve as a permanent mechanism to ensure sustainable and integrated food security in the region, and welcomed the proposed creation of an ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Information System. We tasked our relevant ministers to explore the possibility of establishing mechanisms for other kinds of food. We supported the continued convening of the annual ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Cooperation Roundtable. We also decided to strengthen regional efforts to enhance cooperation in agricultural sector in order to increase agricultural production and productivity, taking into account the diversity of environmental conditions and positive externalities of agriculture. In this regard, we welcomed steady implementation of ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) and expected its future development based on the Proposal of Post-2012 AFSIS.

16. We looked forward to the signing of Memorandum of Cooperation on ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Cooperation, which will be one of the key instruments to strengthen good relationship and cooperation in tourism industry between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries.

17. We agreed to forge cooperation in education and welcomed the convening of the First ASEAN Plus Three Education Ministers’ Meeting (AEMM+3) held on 4 July 2012, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and the adoption of the ASEAN Plus Three Action Plan on Education 2010-2017. We appreciated concrete plans, proposals and future direction contained therein which will support the ASEAN Community as well as East Asian community building process through capacity building, improvement of the quality of education, strengthening regional competitiveness, promotion of educational exchange, providing more education opportunities and nurturing innovation in the region.

18. We acknowledged the steady progress achieved in the field of cultural cooperation. We further noted the constructive role that the ASEAN Plus Three Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA+3) cooperation mechanism had played in facilitating closer cooperation in the areas of cultural heritage protection, cultural human resource development and cultural industries, as well as promoting dialogues and sharing best practices in the implementation of arts and culture policies. We welcomed the endorsement of the Work Plan on Enhancing ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation in Culture by the Ministers at the Fifth AMCA+3 Meeting held on 24 May 2012, in Singapore.

19. We further emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation in the information sector to ensure that multi-platform flows of information are in place to raise awareness of ASEAN and promote mutual understanding among East Asian people. We noted that the Work Plan on Enhancing the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Through Information and Media (2012 – 2017) has been endorsed and looked forward to the successful implementation of strategic activities listed therein.

20. We welcomed the areas of collaboration in health as detailed in the Joint Statement of the Fifth ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers’ Meeting (AHMM+3) held on 6 July 2012, in Phuket, Thailand, and as aligned with the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Health Development (2010-2015) with specific focus on Communicable and Emerging Infectious Disease, Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Traditional Medicine, Universal Health Coverage, Non-Communicable Diseases, and Maternal and Child Health.

21. We noted with satisfaction the plan for operationalisation of the Luang Prabang Declaration on the ASEAN Plus Three Civil Service Cooperation through pilot projects for the improvement of civil service efficiency, competency and accountability. We also welcomed the convening of the ASEAN Plus Three Heads of Civil Service and ACCSM+3 Joint Technical Working Group Meetings for the first time on 2 October 2012, in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

22. We reaffirmed the importance of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation in enhancing the well-being and livelihood of the vulnerable groups in the region. In this regard, we agreed to deepen and widen the cooperation under the ASEAN Plus Three Ministers’ Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD+3), ASEAN Plus Three Labour Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM+3), ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (SOMRDPE+3) and ASEAN Plus Three Committee on Women (ACW+3).

23. We acknowledged the important role of the ASEAN-Japan Centre, the ASEAN-Korea Centre and the ASEAN-China Centre in promoting trade, investment, tourism, education and cultural exchanges between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries.

24. We recognized the importance of promoting an enabling environment for joint research, exchange programmes, development and sharing of educational content for the future scientists in the ASEAN Plus Three region. In this regard, we noted with appreciation the continuing programmes and opportunities provided by the ASEAN Plus Three Center for the Gifted in Science (ACGS) in the Republic of Korea, which are aimed at nurturing the gifted students in science as well as the science teachers in the region.

25. We reaffirmed the importance of effective and timely implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) to enhance intra- ASEAN linkages, strengthen competitiveness and narrow the development gaps. In this regard, ASEAN highly appreciated the continuing support of the Plus Three countries for the realization of the MPAC. We expressed our support to the enhancement of connectivity under the ASEAN Plus Three framework and adopted the Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity in order to prioritize connectivity in all areas of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation and to further promote connectivity between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries.

26. We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime linked to the enhancement of connectivity within the East Asia region. In this regard, we agreed to facilitate the cooperation under the ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC+3).

27. We underscored the importance of promoting energy diversification, information exchanges, research and sharing of experiences on new, and renewable energy development, energy efficiency and conservation, and the use of clean and environmentally-friendly technologies, to ensure energy security, and sustainability in the region. We also welcomed the outcome of the 9th ASEAN Plus Three Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM+3), held in Cambodia, on 12 September 2012.

28. We agreed to further strengthen regional cooperation in the area of disaster management. We supported the early and full operationalisation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) and the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme for 2010 -2015.

29. We noted the constructive role of the ASEAN Plus Three Environment Ministers’ Meeting in facilitating closer environmental cooperation. We agreed to further enhance cooperation on climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and natural heritage conservation, reduction of transboundary environmental pollution, green growth, sustainable water resources management, sustainable forest management and environmental education.

30. We appreciated the important contribution of the Network of East Asian Think-Tanks (NEAT) in strengthening the East Asia cooperation and moving forward the East Asian community building in the long-term. In this regard, we welcomed the outcomes of the 10th NEAT Annual Conference under the theme of “Deepening East Asian Integration through Building Trust,” which was held on 28 August 2012, in Beijing, China, the four meetings of the NEAT Working Groups on “NEAT: the Next Ten Years,” “Disaster Management,” “Inclusive Growth,” and “East Asian Cultural Archive,” which were held this year in Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul, respectively. We noted the Memorandum Number 9 of the NEAT and encouraged the relevant ASEAN Plus Three sectoral bodies to look into NEAT’s Policy Recommendations.

31. We appreciated the important contribution of the East Asia Forum (EAF) in supporting the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation and the East Asian community building. In this regard, we welcomed the outcomes of the 10th EAF under the theme “Narrowing the Development Gaps in Rural and Urban Communities: Sharing Lessons and Experiences Among Us,” which was held on 15-17 August 2012, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

32. We noted with appreciation the recommendations contained in the final report of the East Asia Vision Group II (EAVGII). We looked forward to the significant contribution of the EAVG II recommendations for the future direction of the ASEAN Plus Three process, regional cooperation and community building and tasked the relevant ministers to the recommendations of the EAVG II for further actions.

33. We welcomed the selection of Siem Reap City of Cambodia as the “Cultural City of East Asia 2012 within the framework of ASEAN Plus Three.” We also welcomed the designation of the year 2012 as “Visit ASEAN Plus Three Year.”

34. We welcomed the conduct of meaningful activities to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation, namely i) the “Workshop on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity” held on 15 June 2012, in Bangkok, Thailand; ii) the “ASEAN Plus Three Youth Leaders’ Symposium” held on 18-19 October 2012, in Phnom Penh; iii) the “ASEAN Plus Three Joint Cultural Performance: Unity in Diversity” held on 2-3 November 2012, in Siem Reap, Cambodia; and iv) the Track II Symposium on the Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation on 17-18 September 2012, in Beijing.

35. We decided to make concerted efforts to strengthen the ASEAN Plus Three partnership in order to further enhance and broaden cooperation in the region with an aim to building an East Asian community in the long-term.