Chairman’s Statement of the 11th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, 20 November 2007, Singapore
Singapore20 November 2007
The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit chaired by H.E. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, was held on 20 November 2007 in Singapore. The Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member Countries had a substantive meeting with the Heads of State/Government of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
We were happy to gather in Singapore to celebrate the 10th anniversary of APT cooperation. We reviewed the APT’s significant achievements in the past decade, and discussed its future direction. We reiterated that APT cooperation would continue to support ASEAN integration with the objective to realise the ASEAN community, and play a key role in regional community building efforts for the long-term goal of realising an East Asia community with ASEAN as the driving force.
We reiterated that the APT is an integral part of the evolving regional architecture, mutually reinforcing and complementary to the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and other regional fora. We also shared the view that the EAS, which evolved from an East Asia Study Group (EASG) long-term measure, will continue to play a key role in this region and promote community building in the region.
We adopted the Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and APT Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017). The Second Joint Statement would provide strategic and practical guidance for the future development of the APT process.
The ASEAN Leaders welcomed the Plus Three countries’ continued contribution to ASEAN integration in order to realise the ASEAN Community, and their commitment to an open and inclusive approach to regional community building efforts. The ASEAN Leaders expressed their appreciation to the Plus Three countries for their assistance in narrowing the development gap in ASEAN through, among others, support in implementing projects under the Vientiane Action Programme, Initiative for ASEAN Integration and sub-regional growth initiatives in ASEAN.
We exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern and agreed to work together to tackle transboundary challenges such as climate change, terrorism, traditional and non-traditional security issues, pandemic diseases and natural disasters.
The ASEAN Leaders expressed support for the efforts of China, Japan and ROK, as well as the Six-Party Talks, in pursuit of a peaceful and comprehensive resolution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. In this respect, we welcomed the DPRK’s agreement to disable all existing nuclear facilities subject to abandonment under the September 2005 Joint Statement and the February 13 agreement, as well as the Inter-Korean Summit in October 2007. We look forward to the Six-Party Ministerial Meeting to be held in Beijing. We also emphasised the importance of addressing the issue of humanitarian concerns of the international community.
We looked forward to further progress in the multilateralisation of the Chiang Mai Initiative and the Asian Bond Market Initiative, and the establishment of the APT Regional Foreign Exchange Reserve Pool at an early date to enhance financial stability and promote regional financing facility. We were also gratified by recent developments in APT energy cooperation
We noted that the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017) highlighted key measures to deepen cooperation over the next decade. The Work Plan set out four new areas of APT cooperation, amongst others – namely rural development and poverty eradication, disaster management, minerals and women issues. We endorsed the proposal to establish an APT Cooperation Fund expeditiously to facilitate the implementation of the Work Plan.
We welcomed Singapore’s proposal to hold the 3rd East Asia Week in 2008 to promote, among others, cooperation among our youths, arts and culture, awareness about East Asia cooperation and people-to-people bonds. We also welcomed Thailand’s proposal to organize an APT Forum on Nuclear Energy Safety in 2008 in order to tap on the region’s expertise on nuclear energy safety.
We noted the concrete projects raised by the Plus Three Leaders at the meeting to further APT cooperation.
China proposed to organise a seminar on life sciences; ICT training programme; workshop on international disaster relief by armed forces; APT armed forces forum on non-traditional security issues; seminar on international law enforcement training institute; and seminar on media cooperation. We tasked our officials to consider and if feasible to follow up on the proposals. China also announced that it would further contribute $15 million to its Special Fund for Asia Regional Cooperation.
Japan updated the Leaders on the preliminary meeting of the APT Committee on Women and its proposal to host the “APT Human Security Symposium on Women and Poverty Eradication” again next year, following the first successful Symposium that was held in Japan in July 2007. Japan also highlighted its initiative to host an APT Digital Art Forum next year.
The ROK informed the Leaders of the progress made this year in the Phase 2 Study of the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) that focussed on a sector-by-sector analysis. The ROK also referred to its proposal for an APT Centre for the Gifted in Science, and stressed that it would be happy to share its experiences in information technology development to help narrow the development gap in ASEAN.
We reviewed with satisfaction the progress in the implementation of the EASG’s measures. We noted that there was a proposal to establish a secretariat for the East Asia Business Council which was under consideration. We also noted the policy recommendations of the 5th Meeting of Network of East Asia Think Tank in August 2007 entitled “Memorandum No. 4 – Policy Recommendations on East Asia Cooperation: Towards Sustainable Development and Prosperity” in August 2007 in Singapore, and the outcomes of the 5th East Asia Forum held in November 2007 in Tokyo.
We were happy to note that the 8th China, Japan and Republic of Korea Summit was held on 20 November 2007 in Singapore.