The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit chaired by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, was held successfully on 14 January 2007 in Cebu, Philippines. The Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member Countries had a productive meeting with the Heads of State/Government of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
We recalled the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in December 2005, which reaffirmed our commitment to ASEAN Plus Three cooperation as the main vehicle in achieving a long-term goal of realizing an East Asia community, with ASEAN as the driving force, and with the active participation of the Plus Three countries.
We also noted the scheduled adoption of the Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation at the 11th APT Summit in 2007 in Singapore, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of APT cooperation. We affirmed that, in addition to reviewing a decade of accomplishments, the Second Joint Statement should identify opportunities and challenges, and offer strategic guidance for the future direction of APT, with the aim of building an open regionalism connected to the world.
We noted with satisfaction the steady progress achieved in APT cooperation in the last nine years, including the implementation of East Asia Study Group’s (EASG) short, and medium and long-term measures.
We noted the recent expansion of APT cooperation to the following areas: women, poverty alleviation, disaster management and minerals. We thus welcomed the offer of China and Japan to host training seminars and workshops in poverty alleviation, women and disaster management.
We also welcomed Japan’s proposal to support disaster reduction/preparedness education and other related projects through the Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC).
We acknowledge the importance of the Chinese proposal to set up a regional monitoring center on infectious diseases. We also acknowledge with appreciation Japan’s new pledge of USD 67 million for battling avian and pandemic influenza in the region.
We acknowledge that the recent expansion and deepening of APT cooperation to socio-cultural areas does not detract from the consistent positive gains made in financial and monetary cooperation. We note with satisfaction that the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) of bilateral swap arrangements has expanded to USD75 billion. We acknowledge that the Asian Bond Market Initiative (ABMI) also promotes the development of efficient bond markets in Asia, which can be the engine for long-term financial growth in the region.
We welcomed the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) as a fruitful avenue of integration. At the same time, we noted that we should continue to examine other possible FTA configurations such as the East Asia Summit (EAS). In this connection, we welcomed the outcome of the feasibility study by the Expert Group on the EAFTA, which was spearheaded by China. As a subsequent measure, we also welcomed the proposal of the ROK to conduct the Phase II study involving the in-depth sector-by-sector analysis of the EAFTA.
We welcomed the proposal of Japan to establish an Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
We reaffirmed the urgent need to address energy security and to strengthen existing cooperation on alternative or renewable sources of energy.
We welcomed the ROK’s proposal to establish an APT Center for the Gifted in Science.
The ASEAN Leaders expressed support for the collective leadership of China, Japan and ROK towards a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. We reaffirmed the need for the full implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1695 and 1718. We called for concrete and effective steps toward the full implementation of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the denuclearization of the Peninsula. We also urged North Korea to respond to the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abduction issue.
We welcomed the convening of the Seventh China, Japan and Republic of Korea Summit which was also held today in Cebu.
We also noted the Memorandum No. 3 on Policy Recommendations on Strengthening the Pillars of East Asian Community Building, prepared by the Network of East Asian Think Tanks (NEAT), which may form part of the stocktaking of APT cooperation.
We agreed that ultimately, we should sustain those fora and cooperative frameworks that have the greatest positive impact on the peoples of East Asia. This means putting ASEAN community-building at the center, according priority to the successful implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP), narrowing the development gap and facilitating ASEAN integration. We thanked the Plus Three countries for their firm support for the VAP, Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan, BIMP-EAGA, Mekong Region Development, ACMECS and other sub-regional growth areas in ASEAN.
We recognized that with the ASEAN Community at the center of our long-term pursuit of an East Asia community, the APT process could make positive contributions to the maintenance of regional and global peace, security, progress and prosperity.
We reiterated that the APT is an essential part of the evolving regional architecture, complementary to the East Asia Summit and other regional fora.