Chairman’s Statement of the 11th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting, 21 July 2010, Ha Noi

Ha Noi, Vietnam  21 July 2010

1. The 11th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea was held in Ha Noi on 21 July 2010. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

2. The Ministers noted with pleasure the significant progress achieved so far in ASEAN Plus Three cooperation and in the implementation of the 2nd Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017). They stressed the need for further strengthening policy coordination and sustaining economic growth in the region.

3. The Ministers noted with appreciation the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Sustained Recovery and Development issued at the 16th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on 9 April 2010, ASEAN’s initiative to develop a Master Plan on ASEAN connectivity, and ASEAN’s continuous effort to explore effective financing instruments and policies, including a possible ASEAN Infrastructure Development Fund, which would contribute to developing East Asia into a region of enhanced connectivity and dynamic growth.

4. The Ministers noted with satisfaction recent developments in the ASEAN Plus Three financial cooperation. They welcomed the realisation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) on 24 March 2010 and noted the on-going preparation for the ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). They also welcomed the agreement of the 13th ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers’ Meeting on 2 May 2010 to endorse the establishment of ASEAN Plus Three Bond Market Forum (ABMF) and the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) and hoped for the CGIF’s operationalisation before the end of 2010.

5. The Ministers welcomed the contribution of US$ 3 million by the ASEAN Plus Three countries in the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund (APTCF) and looked forward to the increasing number of projects to be proposed by the ASEAN Plus Three countries for funding by the APTCF.

6. The Ministers recognised the rapidly expanding ASEAN Plus Three economic cooperation activities, particularly the realisation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) on 17 May 2010, the establishment of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area on 1 January 2010 and other efforts to liberalize trade among ASEAN Plus Three countries, including studies on the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia (CEPEA).

7. The Ministers were pleased at the achievements recorded in ASEAN Plus Three cooperation on other areas, particularly labour, culture and arts, tourism. They noted that two new areas, namely, information and education, have been added to ASEAN Plus Three cooperation. They welcomed the Inaugural Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI+3) on 6 November 2009 in Vientiane, Lao PDR which explored ways and discussed mechanisms of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in information .

8. They also appreciated Thailand’s efforts to initiate the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation on education and looked forward to the convening of the 1st ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting on Education (SOM-ED+3) in November 2010 in Thailand to consider a draft ASEAN Plus Three Plan of Action on Education.

9. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of ensuring food and energy security in the region. In this regard, they welcomed the efforts to create the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) as a permanent mechanism to ensure food security in the region and the intention to develop a comprehensive strategy on sustainable and integrated food and bio-fuels production and consumption.

10. The Ministers expressed their commitment to work closely together towards a positive outcome at COP-16/CMP-6 to be held in Mexico in December 2010. In this regard, they welcomed the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change on 9 April 2010 as well as Viet Nam’s initiative to convene an East Asia Forum on Climate Change. They encouraged enhanced regional and sub-regional cooperation including in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

11. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to strengthen cooperation in addressing threats of disease outbreaks and were satisfied with the successful completion of the ASEAN Plus Three Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Programme Phase II and looked forward to the commencement of the next phase of cooperation with active participation of ASEAN Plus Three countries. The Ministers welcomed ASEAN’s efforts to develop an ASEAN Roadmap on Control of Avian Influenza to ensure the attainment of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza)-free ASEAN by 2020.

12. The Ministers noted new proposals for cooperation in the ASEAN Plus Three framework which, among others, includes cooperation in food safety and standards, water management, deforestation prevention and reforestation, disaster management, including the “ASEAN Plus Three International Conference on Disaster Management” to be held in August 2010 in Tokyo.

13. The Ministers reaffirmed that the ASEAN Plus Three process would continue as one of the main vehicles towards the long-term goal of building an East Asian community with ASEAN as the driving force. At the same time, the Ministers reaffirmed their support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and recognised the mutually reinforcing and complementary roles of the ASEAN Plus Three process and such regional fora as EAS, ARF and APEC to promote East Asian community building.

14. On regional and international issues of common concern, the Ministers noted that despite downside risks to the global recovery from an unprecedented international financial crisis, the East Asian economies are among the first to rebound soundly, and have become one of the key drivers of the global economic recovery. They reiterated the commitment to accelerating and deepening economic structural reforms, promoting domestic demand and employment, resisting protectionism and further promoting trade and investment for the recovery and long-term prosperity of the world economy.

15. The Ministers recognised the importance of issues discussed in the G-20 process in pursuit of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. In this regard, they welcomed the chairmanship of the Republic of Korea in the G-20 Summit in Seoul this November and reiterated their support for the ASEAN Chairman to participate at the forthcoming Seoul G-20 Summit and for the continued participation of the ASEAN Chairman in the future G-20 Summits on regular basis.

16. The Ministers deplored the sinking of the Cheonan ship of the Republic of Korea on 26 March 2010, resulting in the tragic loss of lives. They extended their deep sympathy and condolences to the people and Government of the ROK and welcomed the restraint shown by the ROK. In this connection, they expressed support for the 9 July 2010 United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement, which included the Council’s condemnation of the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan ship.

17. The Ministers stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, and called on the concerned parties to resolve all disputes by peaceful means. They reaffirmed their support for the complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and encouraged the parties to return to the Six Party Talks in due course. They stressed the need to fully implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. They also emphasised the importance of addressing the issue of humanitarian concerns of the international community.

18. The Ministers looked forward to their next meeting in Indonesia in 2011.

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