Leaders of ASEAN countries and their counterparts from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea met Friday for the 13th ASEAN plus Three Summit.
The leaders were gratified with the achievements in ASEAN+3 cooperation, citing the effective implementation of the 2nd Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, with activities now covering 24 different areas.
The leaders welcomed the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) in March 2010; the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO); the establishment of ASEAN Plus Three Bond Market Forum (ABMF) and the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF); the studies on an East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) in parallel with the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA), and setting up of an ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) as a permanent mechanism to ensure food security in the region.
On the future direction of the ASEAN+3 process, the leaders agreed to undertake practical measures to effectively realize all agreements, particularly the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan. This included enhancing cooperation on financial-currency issues; promoting cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, transportation and infrastructure development through both bilateral and regional channels toward stronger economic linkages in the region.
Regional and international issues of common interest were also discussed, which included coordination for the ASEAN Chair’s participation at the forthcoming G-20 Summit in Seoul, Korea, the COP-16 on Climate Change in Mexico, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, among others.
The 3rd ASEAN-United Nations Summit also took place on Friday with the ASEAN leaders and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon noting that this year is significant as both ASEAN and UN mark the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the UN, the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN-UN Summit.
The leaders noted with satisfaction positive developments of the ASEAN-UN relationship over the year, with the fine outcome of realizing the Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN-UN Cooperation, especially the effective cooperation to assist Myanmar overcome the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.
It was also agreed that the Framework for Joint Action 2011-2012 ought to be realized. The ASEAN and UN Secretariats were tasked to explore concrete measures for its implementation. This meant maintaining a regular dialogue mechanism for both agencies on the sideline of the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly. (PNA)