ASEAN

16th ASEAN Summit: post summit reports for documentation

The time for ASEAN to take action, says ASEAN officials

VietNamNet Bridge - The chiefs of Indonesian and Malaysian delegation at the ASEAN Senior Officialsโ€™ Meeting (SOM) talked with the media on the occasion of the 16th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi.

Statement on sustained recovery, development ( http://english.vietnamnet.vn/politics/201004/Statement-on-sustained-recovery-development-903567/ )

Viet Nam resolves to fulfil its role as chair of ASEAN ( http://english.vietnamnet.vn/politics/201004/Viet-Nam-resolves-to-fulfil-its-role-as-chair-of-ASEAN-903551/ )

ASEAN economic officials review plan ( http://www.english.vietnamnet.vn/politics/201004/ASEAN-economic-officials-review-plan-902967/ )

As the chief representative of Indonesia at SOM, what do you think about dialogue contents at ASEAN 2010 in Vietnam?

Djauhari Oratmangun, General Director of ASEAN โ€“ Indonesia Committee: Iโ€™m impressed by the slogan "From vision to action" of ASEAN 2010. This is the time for ASEAN to take action. We are entirely convinced that Vietnamโ€™s ASEAN Chairmanship would bring more actions to ASEAN.

But nearly half of a century has passed since ASEAN was set up. How should we understand the meaning of "action"?

Djauhari Oratmangun: Actually, ASEANโ€™s vision has been confirmed in the last 41 years. This is the second year ASEAN implements its Charter. One of its creeds is maintaining stability and security in the region for development. Without peace, no country can develop. The result is there is no conflict in this region for the past 20 years.

We all have peaceful opportunities for development. Letโ€™s question why more countries want to become ASEANโ€™s dialogue partners, from Japan, USA, European Union to China, New Zealand, etc. Because they see ASEAN as a coherent, firm bloc, which is developing.

Is inner-bloc association is ASEANโ€™s goal? What does ASEAN need to do to realise this goal?

Djauhari Oratmangun:Implementing the ASEAN Charter. All ASEAN members commit to fully implement the ASEAN Charter. This will be the foundation for ASEANโ€™s development in the future. We are seeking tools and ways to ensure that all members will fully implement the Charter.

How should governments do to make ASEANโ€™s actions more effective?

Djauhari Oratmangun: Not only governments but the people need to act. More and more Indonesian cooperate with Vietnam and Vietnamese people. Vietnamese people have understood more about Indonesia. Organising the ASEAN Summit in Vietnam is a way to help Vietnamese people to further understand about ASEAN. I think we are in the right way.

We canโ€™t deny ASEANโ€™s success but there are many challenges ahead, especially the goal of building ASEAN Community by 2015, arenโ€™t they?

Djauhari Oratmangun: I think that no country wants to join ASEAN if they donโ€™t benefit from ASEAN membership. We are narrowing the gap of economics between members. I completely believe in the success of an ASEAN Community.

Indonesia is the first national acting intermediate role in organizing a talk about East Sea for ASEAN members. The East Sea conflict is also discussed in ASEAN SOMs. Could you tell us Indonesiaโ€™s point of view in this matter?

Djauhari Oratmangun: I think ASEAN needs to fully implement the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea" (DOC) for ASEAN countries and discuss in details the signing of DOC with China.

Indonesia stands apart from the East Sea conflict so Indonesia has chaired many seminars about this topic to bring ASEAN and China together to discuss common interests and seek solution for the East Sea.

What do you expect from the 16th ASEAN Summit?

Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa, Secretary General of Malaysian Foreign Ministry: I personally think that delegates attending the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi have high expectations on Vietnam, as ASEAN Chairman, to bring the community forward.

Vietnam is very serious in the role of ASEAN Chairman this year and it has introduced many ideas for the development of ASEAN. I believe that the ASEAN Summit 2010 will achieve good results.

The Chairmanship is also a heavy mission for each member country but I strongly belief in Vietnamโ€™s role. I attended conferences in Da Nang, HCM City, Hanoi and an upcoming meeting in Hue.

Iโ€™m very glad to see the progress of ASEAN creeds and to learn more about Vietnam through ASEAN conferences held in your country.

What topics will be the most attractive at the meeting?

Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa: Many issues will be presented at this yearโ€™s summit but one of the most important topic would be the association inside ASEAN. This is the key factor for ASEANโ€™s development.

You mentioned the ASEAN Community in 2015 but it is said that there are challenges caused by the difference between economies inside the bloc. What is your opinion?

Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa: Efforts is exerted to realize this goal. Even in the EU, the difference between economies is very wide. Letโ€™s see the development and the strong institution brought about by the EU. That is really a good model for ASEAN to look forward.

However, we canโ€™t neglect the differences in economic development, education, human rights, etc. Economics is always an important factor. That is the reason urging ASEAN to establish the ASEAN free trade area to boost trade among members.

I would like to emphasize that we look forward a model like the EU but we donโ€™t apply that model exactly. The EU has many advantages but Europe has economic and cultural foundations different from Asia.

We will mainly base on the similarity between countries and their strong points to develop.

You talked about inner union but do you think that the awareness of ASEAN people about the existence of this bloc is not very good?

Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa: I think ASEAN peopleโ€™s awareness about ASEAN is being improved so conferences like this ASEAN Summit is very important.

According to ASEAN rules, we have to summits a year, which are the places for leaders to meet and discuss the blocโ€™s future but the opportunity for people of member countries to know more about ASEAN. In addition, the Secretariats of member countries are striving to introduce ASEAN to the public.

Are you satisfied with ASEANโ€™s achievements in the past 50 years?

Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa: Malaysia always commits to be an active member of ASEAN. We believe in the development of ASEAN so we are willing to commit.

Phuong Vu

Source: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/reports/201004/The-time-for-ASEAN-to-take-action-says-ASEAN-officials-903681/

Kasit: Asean needs to speak with one strong voice

By The Nation, Hanoi

Asean needs to come up with common positions on global issues so that the grouping can speak with one strong voice.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said today that the Asean leaders agreed that the grouping should adopt common positions on pivotal global issues such as nuclear security or international peace-keeping, to name but a few. He pointed out the Asean leaders have tasked their foreign ministers to prepare lists of transnational issues that Asean should have common viewpoints.

Throughout the history of Asean, the members rarely shared similar views on global issues. Palestinian plight as well as the past crisis in Bosnia Herzegovina used to the two topics that Asean adopted the same position.

At the 16th Asean Summit in Hanoi, the Asean leaders discussed a plethora of issues including the Asean connectivity, realization of Asean community in 2015, bridging the developmental gap.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/04/09/national/Kasit-Asean-needs-to-speak-with-one-strong-voice-30126837.html

ASEAN must strengthen co-operation to stay relevant

By S.Ramesh

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1049063/1/.html

VIETNAM, Hanoi: Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said ASEAN must strengthen co-operation to stay relevant on the global radar screen.

As the leaders wrap up their two-day summit, they take home with them new insights and a renewed resolve to produce concrete results.

Prime Minister Lee told the Singapore media that the time here has been useful for leaders to take stock of developments and progress.

He stressed that the grouping must stay on track and implement its economic blueprint and connectivity masterplan.

PM Lee said: "These are all major items where it is important for the leaders to show commitment and to give the process push forward. That's because the implementation is difficult and unless the leaders are committed to it and show that they are prepared to manage the political difficulties and overcome them, the process gets stuck.

"And I think the affirmations yesterday from the major countries that they understand the problems and they will see to it that this is done urgently."

ASEAN also wants to strengthen its regional surveillance and economic monitoring capacities to detect financial risks and vulnerabilities early.

To this end, the recent meeting of the ASEAN finance ministers had proposed setting up an economic surveillance unit next year in Singapore.

Mr Lee added: "Most importantly, it has to become a professional and objective and rigorous organisation, one which will be able to command respect and be able to give useful advice and be accepted as a basis of which countries can make decisions whether or not and how to help a particular country in distress."

Another challenge for ASEAN is staying relevant and remaining in the driver's seat in an evolving regional architecture.

So ASEAN has proposed an idea that would also involve the leaders of the United States and Russia in its dialogue process.

It's called the ASEAN plus 8 forum which will also see the countries in the East Asia Summit taking part. They include Japan and Australia which have come with other proposals such as the East Asia Community and the Asia Pacific Community.

PM Lee continued: "What it means is in the years when the APEC meeting takes place in Asia, then we can expect the American President and the Russian President to be here and we can have America and Russia participate together with EAS countries in an ASEAN Plus 8 grouping.

"I can't imagine the US President coming to APEC and coming to the East Asia Summit every year. And if he doesn't come and he sends some other official, the meeting will lose credibility, ASEAN will lose credibility and the same with the Russian President.

"If he doesn't come, we are going to be worse off. Whereas with APEC and the ASEAN Plus 8, you put it together, the Americans and the Russians will be there to ride on this meeting. It is a practical arrangement.

"I think and we have a chance to discuss at the same table to discuss Asia-Pacific affairs with all the participants present. That is a practical and a useful way forward. We have tasked the ministers to study this and other possibilities and I think we will find a good way forward on this one."

ASEAN's leaders now meet twice a year for their summits and with much work ahead for the ten-member grouping in the economic arena, the leaders will be given a progress report on the implementation of the Connectivity Masterplan and efforts to enhance ASEAN integration when they meet again at the end of year. - CNA/vm

ASEAN Leaders End Summit in Vietnam

Southeast Asian leaders ended a formal summit in Vietnam on Friday. Toping their agenda, keeping economic growth on track, bolstering their political and economic community, and addressing climate change concerns.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nationsโ€”also known as ASEANโ€”has ambitious plans to establish a political and economic community by 2015, with the theme "vision into action." Southeast Asian leaders vowed to work together to steer their economies back to strong growth. [Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister, Vietnam]: "We emphasized the connection between economic development goals and environment protections, and to ensure social welfare as well as pushing for education and human resource development. At the same time, enhance the East Asia economic and financial cooperation, contribute to the global efforts for economic recovery and sustainable development." ASEAN says itโ€™s committed to enhancing an independent economic surveillance unit. That unit along with a $120 billion multilateral currency swap pool is a possible step toward establishing "a mini-IMF" for the region. They also endorsed a $700 million regional credit guarantee scheme to help deepen Asian bond markets. Southeast Asian leaders have urged Burma's ruling junta to hold fair elections that include all parties. [Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister, Vietnam]: "The message of the ASEAN is, we wish Myanmar to effectively implement the democratic roadmap for peace and national reconciliation. The election should be fair, democratic and with the participation of all parties, and this will help stabilize the country and focus resources for development." ASEAN is comprised of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_asia/2010-04-10/898636672897.html

ASEAN+3 should โ€˜drive integrationโ€™ Lilian Budianto

The Jakarta Post World

China welcomes the expansion of the East Asia Summit (EAS) to include the US and Russia, but regional integration should remain driven by ASEAN+3 (APT), says the Chinese envoy.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Zhang Qiyue responded to Jakartaโ€™s proposal to include the US and Russia in the EAS, which consists of 10 ASEAN members plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

"We are quite open to new ideas and initiatives [to expand the EAS] but we already have the APT in place, which has more mature mechanisms and is working very well," said Zhang.

"This should be further developed and at the same time we welcome other initiatives... because we think the cooperation framework of this region could be multi-tiered, considering there are lots of different issues to tackle."

The APT, consists of the 10 ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea, and is said to be the main success of ASEAN. APT has not only managed to create political stability after decades of historical hostilities between China, Japan and South Korea, but also established a currency swap arrangement providing US$120 billion for liquidity emergencies under the Chiang Mai Intiative Multilateralization.

"EAS is more for strategic dialogue and discussion; the APT is more for concrete steps for integration... We are still making a lot of efforts in making this whole area more tightly integrated," said Zhang.

China has been looking to better integrate East Asian countries through a free trade zone among the APT members as well as in politics and security, including maritime security in the piracy-prone Malacca Straits.

Observers said Jakartaโ€™s new move to include the US and Russia might be resisted by China because both powers have been at odds with each other, from trade disputes to human rights issues.

The absence of the US in the regional grouping amid the rise of China has prompted the enlargement of EAS although leaders in EAS have previously veered away from admitting new members, saying they did not want to make "a mini UN".

Indonesiaโ€™s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the inclusion of the US and Russia was to prevent "a domination of a single power" inside the EAS.

When asked about the position of EAS in the integration of East Asia, Zhang said "I donโ€™t want to say on which tier is the APT or EAS in the integration of East Asia but it is agreed that APT is more developed and established and we have to do further work on it."

In the interview, Zhang said relations between Indonesia and China ties would go beyond bilateral cooperation as both share many similar views on international issues.

"We have worked very closely on issues of the UN, climate change, development of trade in the WTO, Middle East and Indonesia-China relations. Both of us are now member of G20 and we have very close contacts with the G20."

Zhang said bilateral relations with Indonesia had been advancing well since the signing of the strategic partnership in 2005.

Indonesia and China will observe the historic 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations on April 13, which will be celebrated during the visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to Jakarta in late April.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/04/09/asean3-should-%E2%80%98drive-integration%E2%80%99.html

Summit debates Asean's goals

Viet Nam pledged to do its utmost to collaborate with other regional members to achieve concrete results in building the Asean community and to properly address emerging issues, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the 16th Asean summit, which opened April 8 in Ha Noi.

The two-day summit, being held under Viet Nam's Asean chairmanship, which coincides with its 15-year Asean membership, highlights the significance of the summit as Asean accelerates its implementation of the roadmap for an Asean community and operates on a legal basis of the Asean Charter.

"Given the strategic importance of Asean to Viet Nam, we are fully aware that Viet Nam is an inseparable part of the Asean family and continues to participate in Asean co-operation in a proactive and responsible manner to contribute to building a stronger and more closely integrated Asean," said Dung, the chair of the summit.

In his opening statement yesterday, Dung praised the regional states' efforts to maintain unity and close co-operation despite the impacts of complex developments in the region and the world in the last year.

"Relations between Asean and our partners have been enhanced, with greater substance and efficiency, and Asean's role as a driving force in regional co-operation frameworks has been further strengthened," said Dung.

The overall theme of "Towards the Asean Community: from Vision to Action" underlines the region's focus and strong sense of action for this year and beyond.

"All the member states welcome the theme โ€˜From Vision to Action' and every member believes that it is time to deliver on our commitments, agreements, projects and programmes that we have put together in the blueprint and in various master plans," Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told Viet Nam News April 8.

Solutions

The summit carries an important mandate of setting forth the directions and appropriate solutions to accelerate Asean integration and to enhance its strength in effectively addressing regional issues as well as global challenges. In order to do these tasks well, Dung pointed out five prioritised items to be discussed at the summit.

The Prime Minister requested the member countries to speed up the implementation of the roadmap for the Asean Community and to bring the Asean Charter to life.

Asean should simultaneously act on three directions of accelerating Asean economic integration, enhancing East Asian economic and financial co-operation and actively contributing to the common efforts of the international community through the promotion of global solutions, said Dung.

The other thing that should be discussed at the meeting was how to enhance co-operation to cope with challenges and to ensure sustainable development in the region, according to the Prime Minister.

The summit is also expected to discuss measures to further promote co-operation and dialogue for peace, stability and development in the region, and broaden and deepen relations between Asean and its dialogue partners, thus maintaining Asean's central role in regional processes.

Dung stated that Viet Nam, as the Asean chair, had been working closely with other Asean members in order to achieve substantial outcomes in the process of Asean community building by properly and timely respond to emerging challenges. After the opening ceremony, Asean leaders proceeded to the plenary session where they discussed ways and means to enhance regional integration towards an Asean community, as well as ways to effectively implement the Asean Charter.

The leaders were briefed by the AseanSecretary General on the status of implementing the Asean Charter and the roadmap for an Asean community by 2015, and by the host minister for Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang, on the progress of Asean's economic co-operation. The leaders agreed that Asean needed to focus on concrete actions to effectively implement agreements in time by enhancing co-ordination among relevant bodies and developing proper mechanisms for monitoring and resource mobilisation.

The Asean leaders also gave fruitful guidance to promote Asean connectivity. As such, the region's intra-connectivity, including the Mekong and other sub-regions, should be prioritised, focusing on hardware connectivity such as transportation, ICT, energy and software connectivity such as facilitation for cross-border trade, investment, tourism and person-to-person exchanges. At the same time, Asean will strengthen co-operation with external partners to pave the way for further connectivity in East Asia.

Right before the opening ceremony, the Asean leaders tentatively had their first official meeting with representatives of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) to discuss the promotion of Asean-AIPA co-operation as well as their contributions in the Asean community building process.

Dung, who attended the meeting, spoke highly of the contributions of the AIPA and member states' parliaments in realising co-operation agreements and building up the Asean community.

The Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, who is the current chairman of the AIPA-31, underlined AIPA's determination to work closely with Asean in building the community, promoting regional connectivity and strengthening co-operation to address emerging issues that the region was facing, such as climate change, natural disasters and pandemics.

Trong suggested measures to further promote co-ordination between AIPA and Asean, which included creating favourable legal conditions to realise the signed agreements and promoting public awareness, as well as the contributions of parliaments and peoples to the Asean community's buildup. He affirmed that the Vietnamese National Assembly, during its chairmanship, would co-ordinate well with other AIPA members to play an active role in the successful realisation of the Asean community.

Earlier yesterday, the Asean Co-ordinating Council (ACC) met to wrap up the final preparations for the summit, based on the outcomes of the Ministerial Meetings of the association's economic and socio-cultural communities. The ACC adopted documents submitted by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR). The ministers agreed on the AseanCommunity Strategy and took note of the First Report of the High Level Task Force on ASEAN Connectivity, which would be submitted to ASEAN leaders for consideration.

Regarding the list of outcome documents for the summit, the ACC reviewed and adopted two draft statements - the Asean Leaders' Statement on Sustained Recovery and Development and the Asean Leaders' Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change.

Disputes settlement

After the meeting, the regional foreign ministers signed the Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, which was an important step towards the completion of the legal framework laid down by the Asean Charter.

The adoption and signing of the Protocol as well as the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of ASEAN signified the determination of Asean in transforming Asean into a rules-based organisation and served to facilitate the implementation of the Charter and Asean community building.

Asean is building up a community based on co-operation in many fields, especially economics, said the spokesman of Ha Noi's AAsean Summit, Tran Ngoc An, adding that despite similarities and close ties among the member countries, there remained disputes in economic cooperation.

"The Protocol will create a legal framework to help settle the disputes fairly and equally," said An.

All the foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitments to finalising the three other instruments, namely the rules for references to the Asean summit, the procedures for authorisation under international and domestic laws and the rules of procedures for requesting the Asean Secretariat to interpret the Asean Charter, of which the first one shall become an integral part of the Protocol.

The ministers therefore tasked AseanSOM leaders to complete the drafting of these instruments as soon as possible and to submit a progress report at the 43rd Asean Ministerial Meeting in July.

The ministers agreed that the protocol would be subjected to the respective internal procedures of the member states after the adoption and inclusion of the rules for references to the Asean summit in the Protocol.

Viet Nam News

Source: http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?id=11304&sec=1

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