7th APT Summit — Press Statement by the Chairperson of the Ninth ASEAN Summit and the Seventh ASEAN+3 Summit, 7 October 2003, Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia  7 October 2003

ASEAN leaders held a very productive meeting this morning following a working dinner last night. It was our Ninth Summit since 1976. Subsequently, we met with leaders from China, Japan, and Republic of Korea, during which we had a very fruitful discussion. This was our seventh “ASEAN+3″ Summit since 1997.

We took note of the timeliness of the convening of this Summit that our region is being confronted with fundamental changes on the global scene. In responding to those changes as well as present and future challenges, we underlined the importance of a higher degree of coherence of efforts to achieve the objectives of ASEAN Vision 2020 with those aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and with those in pursuit of our national development agenda.

During the ASEAN Summit, we discussed issues of common concern to all members, including political and economic developments, in particular the latest situation on the Korean Peninsula, recent developments on terrorism and the issue of Iraq and the Middle East. ASEAN Leaders also pledged to achieve an ASEAN Community by the year 2020 which would rest on the three pillars of “ASEAN Security Community”, “ASEAN Economic Community” and “ASEAN Socio-cultural Community” embodied in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II).

At the ASEAN + 3 Summit, we pledged to strengthen our bonds and partnership with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea and bring these in line with our strategy of reinforcing ASEAN’s competitiveness through mutually-beneficial trade and investment cooperation.

Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II)

During our discussions at the ASEAN Summit, we were gratified to note the development and progress of ASEAN since the inception of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord in this historic place of Bali, Indonesia in 1976. We gladly noted the accession to the Treaty of Amity of Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) by China and India. We noted with appreciation the intention of some Dialogue Partners to accede to the Treaty. We encouraged other countries, particularly our Dialogue Partners, to do so.

We fully acknowledged the need to further consolidate and enhance the achievements of ASEAN as a dynamic, resilient, and cohesive regional association working for the well being of its peoples. We also affirmed the need to further strengthen the guidelines for achieving a coherent and clear path of ASEAN cooperation with reference to ASEAN Vision 2020, the Hanoi Plan of Action (1999-2004) and succeeding plans of action, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), and the Roadmap for Integration of ASEAN (RIA).

We were also delighted to note the deepening of regional economic integration in the Southeast Asian region. We reaffirmed our primary responsibility to strengthen the economic and social stability of the region and to ensure peaceful and progressive national development. We reiterated our determination to protect our region’s stability and security from external interference in any form or manner in accordance with ideals and aspirations of our peoples. For the sustainability of our region’s economic development we affirmed the need for a secure political environment based on a strong foundation of mutual interests generated by economic cooperation. In this regard, we reiterated that ASEAN is envisioning the TAC as a fully functioning and effective code of conduct governing relations between states.

We also reaffirmed our commitment to enhance ASEAN’s economic linkages with the world economy, including through the ASEAN+3 process, in order to realize an ASEAN Economic Community by adopting a bold, pragmatic and unified strategy.

ASEAN Community

At the 9th ASEAN Summit, we adopted the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II) to reaffirm ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, bonded together in partnership, in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.

We agreed to establish an ASEAN Community that would be supported by the three pillars of “political and security cooperation”, “economic cooperation”, and “socio-cultural cooperation.” These would be closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing in the effort to achieve peace, stability and prosperity. We agreed that through this effort we would reach a closer and mutually beneficial integration among our member countries and among our peoples. We also agreed to continue our efforts to promote regional peace and stability, security, development and prosperity with a view to realizing a dynamic and resilient ASEAN Community. To this end, we adopted the framework to achieve this ASEAN Community through ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. We agreed to task our Ministers to implement the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II.

ASEAN Security Community (ASC)

We envisaged that the ASEAN Security Community would bring ASEAN’s political and security cooperation to a higher plane, and would ensure that ASEAN members live in peace with one another and in peace with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.

We also agreed that members of the ASEAN Security Community would rely exclusively on peaceful means in the settlement of intra regional differences and regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives. The ASEAN Security Community, recognizing the sovereign right of the member countries to pursue their individual foreign policies and defense arrangements and taking into account the strong interconnections among political, economic and social realities, would subscribe to the principle of comprehensive security as having broad political, economic, social and cultural aspects in consonance with ASEAN Vision 2020 rather than to a defense pact, military alliance or a joint foreign policy.

We emphasized that the ASEAN Security Community should fully utilize the existing institutions and mechanisms within ASEAN with a view to strengthening national and regional capacities to counter terrorism and other trans-national crimes; and should work to ensure that the Southeast Asian Region remained free of all weapons of mass destruction. It should enable ASEAN to demonstrate greater capacity and responsibility to serve as the primary driving force of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

We emphasized that the High Council of the TAC would be a principal instrument of the ASEAN Security Community since it reflects ASEAN’s commitment to resolve all differences, disputes, and conflicts peacefully.

We recognized that maritime issues and concerns were trans-boundary in nature, and therefore should be addressed regionally in a holistic, integrated and comprehensive manner. To this end, we underlined the need to establish an ASEAN maritime forum. We agreed that maritime cooperation in ASEAN contribute to the evolution of the ASEAN Security Community.

We decided to explore innovative ways of enhancing our security and to establish modalities for the ASEAN Security Community, which include the following elements: norms-setting, conflict prevention, approaches to conflict resolution, and post-conflict peace building. In this regard, we approved our officials’ recommendation that Indonesia develop the Plan of Action for the ASEAN Security Community which would be reported to the 37th AMM in Jakarta in 2004 and would be subsequently endorsed by the Leaders at the 10th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane in 2004. The Plan on Action is part and parcel of the Bali Concord II, thus it would be treated as an Annex to the Bali Concord II.

ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

We agreed that the ASEAN Economic Community enhance ASEAN competitiveness, improve ASEAN’s investment environment and narrow the development gap amongst ASEAN members. We emphasized that the ASEAN Economic Community would be the realization of the end-goal of the economic integration stipulated in ASEAN Vision 2020.

We noted that our Ministers had deliberated on the concept of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and we agreed on the creation of AEC to achieve deeper economic integration of the region, as outlined in the Roadmap for Integration of ASEAN (RIA) and Vision 2020. We further noted that the AEC would be characterized by a single market and production base, with free flow of goods, services, investment and labor, and freer flow of capital.

We recognized that the realization of a fully integrated economic community requires implementation of both liberalization and cooperation measures. There is a need to enhance cooperation and integration activities in other areas. These will involve, among others, human resources development and capacity building; recognition of educational qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transaction though e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement.

The leaders exchanged views on the possibility of advancing the end date of the AEC and the idea of adopting a “2+x” approach to ASEAN economic integration besides the existing “ASEAN-x” formula. In the 2+x approach, it was proposed two countries that are ready to cooperate on specific sectors could work together first. To further enhance ASEAN’s integration, each member country is supposed to designate a minister who would be national focal point for ASEAN economic integration.

To achieve an integrated economic community, we adopted a progressive approach as outlined in the Recommendations of the High-Level Task Force on ASEAN Economic Integration and as annexed to the Bali Concord II.

ASEAN Socio-cultural Community (ASCC)

We envisaged an ASEAN Socio-cultural Community in consonance with the goal set by ASEAN Vision 2020, in which we would be bonded together in partnership as a community of caring societies. Through the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community, we could foster our cooperation in social and rural population, and at the same time, seek the active involvement of all sectors of society, including women, youth and community groups. The ASEAN Socio-cultural Community would intensify cooperation in addressing problems associated with population growth, education, unemployment, prevention of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS, environmental degradation and trans-boundary pollution. In this regard, we supported our officials’ recommendation to ask the Philippines to develop the Plan of Action for the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community which would be reported to the 37th AMM in Jakarta in 2004 and subsequently endorsed by the Leaders at the 10th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane in 2004. The Plan on Action is part and parcel of the Bali Concord II, thus it would be treated as an Annex to the Bali Concord II.

Regional and International Political and Economic Issues

We firmly agreed to continue to undertake and build on the specific measures outlined in the ASEAN Declaration on Joint Action to Counter Terrorism, which we adopted in Brunei Darussalam in November 2001. We committed ourselves to intensifying our efforts, collectively and individually, to prevent, counter and suppress the activities of terrorist groups in the region. We underlined the need to maintain practical cooperative measures among ourselves and with the international community.

We reaffirmed our determination to work together in mitigating the adverse impact of terrorist attacks on ASEAN countries and urged the international community to assist us in these efforts. We pledged to ensure the security and harmony of our societies and the safety of our peoples and also of others visiting or residing in our countries and in the region.

The Leaders welcomed the recent positive developments in Myanmar and the Government’s pledge to bring about a transition to democracy through dialogue and reconciliation. The roadmap as outlined by the Prime Minister of Myanmar that would involve all strata of Myanmar society is a pragmatic approach and deserves understanding and support. The Leaders also agree that sanctions are not helpful in promoting peace and stability essential for democracy to take root.

We noted that current developments in Iraq and the Middle East remained cause for great concern. With regard to post-war situation in Iraq, we reaffirmed our position that the United Nations must continue to play a central role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq in accordance with the aspirations of its people and with the UN’s responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

ASEAN Leaders reiterated their support for the Roadmap for Peace initiative to end the violence in the Middle East and to secure durable peace on the basis of justice and which would lead to the realization of a viable Palestinian state. We reaffirmed the right to peaceful co-existence of all states in the region within recognized and secure boundaries.

Other Matters

We took note of the need for a comprehensive approach and better cross-sectoral coordination to improve ASEAN mechanisms and processes and thereby ensure effective implementation of decisions. In this regard, we stressed the need to revive the Joint Ministerial Meeting (JMM), which would function as a filtering mechanism that would enable us to focus on the most important issues of common concern.

We reaffirmed the decisions we reached at the ASEAN+China Summit on SARS in April 2003, and the timely follow-up action by our Health Ministers that resulted from their meeting in June 2003. We underlined the need to further strengthen cooperation among the health and other relevant agencies to promote, and facilitate the exchange and sharing of information as well as strengthen the early warning system to deal with and prevent the spread of SARS and other communicable diseases.

We agree to maintain our support for the role of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council as a key component to the overall strategy of increasing the private sector’s presence in ASEAN economic policy deliberations. We took note of ABAC recommendations on the need to increase competitiveness of ASEAN companies, especially SMEs, in the global market, particularly in the field of tourism and agriculture. To this end, we underlined the need for closer coordination between the private sector and relevant government agencies in the implementation of the recommendations.

Deepening East Asia Cooperation

We held discussions with our colleagues from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea on regional and international political, security and economic issues. We also consolidated and reaffirmed our cooperation and partnership with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

ASEAN+3 Leaders expressed concern at the recent terrorist attacks in Jakarta and at the UN Headquarters in Iraq. We reiterated our determination to intensify our joint efforts in combating terrorism in East Asia and our commitment to support global efforts to fight terrorism.

ASEAN+3 Leaders welcomed and firmly supported the adoption of the Bali Concord II.

We exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and reaffirmed our commitment to a peaceful solution of the nuclear issue facing the Korean Peninsula through dialogue. We welcomed the convening of the Six-Party Talk as a positive step towards this end, and we will work together to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula.

We endorsed the Implementation Strategy of the Short-Term Measures of the Final Report of the East Asia Study Group (EASG). We pointed out that the Strategy would ensure that the measures would be implemented effectively, efficiently and systemically. We welcomed the Report of the ASEAN+3 Study Group as presented by the Prime Minister of Japan on Facilitation and Promotion Exchange of People and Human Resources Development and appreciated the initiative taken in implementing the short-term measures as recommended by the Group. We held discussions on the progress of the Initiative for Development in East Asia in the framework of ASEAN+3 Cooperation.

We also explored some new ideas such as to study the feasibility of East Asia Free Trade Area.

Finally, we committed ourselves to sustaining the ASEAN+3 process so as to achieve greater synergy through broader and deeper cooperation.