1. The 9th ASEM Summit was held in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) on 5-6 November 2012 and attended by the Heads of State and Government of forty- nine Asian and European countries, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). H.E. Mr. Choummaly SAYASONE, President of the Lao PDR delivered his Opening Address at the Opening Ceremony of the 9th ASEM Summit. The Summit was chaired by H.E. Mr. Thongsing THAMMAVONG, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR.
2. Leaders warmly welcomed new ASEM partners, namely Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland, who attended ASEM Summit for the first time.
3. Under the overarching theme of the 9th ASEM Summit “Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity”, Leaders of ASEM partners held a candid and in-depth discussion, exchanged views on important regional and international issues of common interest and concern, reviewed cooperation between Asia and Europe in the three pillars of political, economic and socio-cultural fields, and set out future direction of ASEM.
4. Reaffirmed our determination to respect the right of ASEM peoples to freely choose their political system and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.
5. Leaders noted with appreciation the outcomes of the meetings of the Foreign Ministers, the Education Ministers, the Environment Ministers, the Transport Ministers, the Culture Ministers, the Labour and Employment Ministers, the Finance Ministers, and Mayors and Governors, held since the 8th ASEM Summit.
Reinforcing Economic Partnership
Economic and Financial Restructuring and Recovery
6. Leaders emphasised that strong and sustained economic growth in ASEM partners would contribute to the long-term strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy. They noted that the global growth has decelerated with substantial remaining uncertainties and downside risks for ASEM partners. They expected that the European economy will gradually recover and welcomed the actions taken by the European Union and its member states to address the situation. They underlined the need for Asia and Europe to promote a closer engagement toward stronger and more dynamic partnership in addressing the current global crisis as well as paving the road in creating a stronger, more sustainable and balanced global growth. They supported the full implementation of differentiated growth friendly policies and fiscal consolidation as well as structural reform. They also stressed the need for Asia and Europe to further strengthen their economic and financial cooperation, including capacity building, to promote further economic restructuring and withstand the impacts of the financial and debt crisis. They reiterated the importance of the social dimension of growth and employment policy.
7. Leaders noted with appreciation the outcomes of the 10th ASEM Finance Ministers’ Meeting, held in Bangkok on 15 October 2012, under the theme “Strengthening Dynamic Partnership, Sharing Dynamic Growth”. They expected the gradual recovery of European economy and welcomed the robust performance of Asian emerging economies. As the financial and commodity markets are still volatile, leaders supported the Finance Ministers’ decision to call for international organisations to continue their in-depth analysis of this matter and suggested possible options to mitigate its potential impact. They acknowledged the recent development of major regional crisis management arrangements in Asia and Europe, namely the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), and encouraged sharing of information and experiences from their implementation. They also supported the Finance Ministers’ decision to encourage the European and Asian business and private sector, including the small and medium-sized enterprises, to advance their cooperation with each other to broaden investment and trade flows.
Reform of International Financial Institutions and Global Economic Governance
8. Leaders resolved to give new momentum to the cooperation between Asia and Europe with a view to promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, focusing on employment, including youth employment, restoring market confidence, strengthening the resilience and the transparency of the financial system, reforming the financial sector, contributing to the reform of the international financial institutions and spurring economic growth in ASEM partners, securing environment conducive for investment.
9. Leaders acknowledged the necessity of further strengthening inter-regional financial cooperation between Asia and Europe. Financial sector supervision, exchange of experiences on regional financial arrangements and roles of multilateral surveillance were deemed as key remedies towards facilitating this cooperation. They called for international organisations to conduct studies on lessons learnt from economic integration in both regions.
10. Leaders noted that the strengthening of regional financial arrangements plays an important part in crisis prevention and resolution along with the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They welcomed efforts taken by the IMF to further strengthen the global financial safety net through greater cooperation between the IMF and regional financial arrangements. They also welcomed the international commitment in increasing resources available to the IMF by 461 billion US dollars and looked forwards to the even- handed and effective implementation of the IMF’s strengthened surveillance framework. They reaffirmed the importance of completing the 2010 quota and governance reform of the IMF, and called on the remaining IMF members to take the necessary steps to do so.
11. Leaders supported the resolve of the G20 at the Los Cabos Leaders’ Summit in June 2012 to promote growth and jobs and the commitment to act together to strengthen recovery and address financial market tension. They recognised the greater importance of multilateralism in the current climate and committed to support the work done and the initiative taken by the G20, which had contributed to strengthening the stability and integrity of the international monetary and financial system, and help prevent future crisis.
Multilateral Trade System and Doha Round
12. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to an open, fair, transparent and rule-based multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and agreed to further strengthen ASEM collaboration and coordination on WTO-related issues. In this context, they supported the commitments in the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference last December to conclude the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) by more fully exploring fresh, credible negotiating approaches while respecting the principles of transparency and inclusiveness in accordance with the Doha mandate. They expressed their commitment to advancing the technical discussions actively taking place in Geneva on trade facilitation and other development-related issues as mandated by the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference. They looked forward to the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali in 2013 to deliver various outcomes and to achieve credible ways forward for the conclusion of the Doha Round. They also welcomed other efforts to move forward negotiations in the WTO, including through the ongoing work to expand the product coverage and membership of the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA). They welcomed Russia’s membership of WTO and Lao PDR’s accession to WTO.
13. Leaders committed to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures in all areas, including those that stimulate exports until the end of 2015. They would also rollback the trade-distorting or protectionist measures introduced since the outset of the crisis. They supported the resolve of the G20 at the Los Cabos Leaders’ Summit in June 2012 on tackling rising instances of protectionism. They encouraged the ongoing international discussions on global value chains, which facilitate and enhance participation of developing countries in global production chains.
Trade and Investment Facilitation and Liberalisation
14. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to enhance inter-regional investment and trade flows through the market economy, open multilateral trading system, non-discriminatory liberalisation and open regionalism. They emphasised the importance of enhancing investment flows between Asia and Europe, including through the implementation of the Investment Promotion Action Plan (IPAP). They also recognised the role of the private sector in contributing to the economic growth among others, through its expanded trade and quality investment. They encouraged ASEM business forum to proceed regularly and welcomed the outcome of the 13th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF 13) held on 4-5 November 2012 in Vientiane.
15. Leaders welcomed the outcome of the 9th ASEM Customs Directors-General/ Commissioners Meeting held in 2011 in Thailand, including Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP) on Customs Matters. In this context, they recognised the importance of implementation of World Customs Organisation (WCO) instruments and the tools in the customs field.
Intra and Inter-regional Connectivity
16. Leaders stressed the importance of strengthening regional connectivity to support economic integration, including through sub-regional initiatives and frameworks, in narrowing development gaps and boosting sustainable development within and amongst the sub-regions in Asia and Europe. They welcomed the outcomes of the ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting in China in 2011. They reiterated strong and continued support to the implementation of Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure projects and noted that an improved environment for PPP financing could help boost the pace of development, as well as intra and inter-regional connectivity in both regions.
Fostering Political Dialogue
17. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing political dialogue and maintaining peace and stability, which are indispensable conditions for sustainable development and prosperity of the two regions. They adopted the Vientiane Declaration on Strengthening Partnership for Peace and Development, which aims to promote lasting peace and sustainable development in Asia and Europe.
18. Leaders held in-depth exchange of views on current regional and global issues, including developments in Asia and Europe. They shared the views that in an ever changing and increasingly inter-dependent world where our interests become more closely intertwined, they should strengthen interaction and cooperation to better meet the opportunity and challenges in the bilateral, regional and multilateral and global framework.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development
19. Leaders committed to fighting against poverty and attaining the internationally agreed development goals, and achieving MDGs target to ensure poverty eradication, equitable and sustainable development and inclusive growth. They looked forward to a transparent and inclusive inter-governmental process for an early conclusion on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, taking into account the work of the UN High Level Panel on Post 2015 Development Agenda co-chaired by the Prime Minister David Cameron and the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other relevant inputs.
20. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to achieve sustainable development: sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental protection. They underlined the importance of finalisation of the UN sustainable development goals through a transparent and inclusive inter-governmental process currently being established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), in keeping with the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development. These goals should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015. In this context, they emphasised the urgency of the establishment of the intergovernmental open-ended working group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
21. Leaders noted the importance of green economy and welcomed the outcome of the Rio+20. They welcomed the outcomes of the ASEM Green Growth Forum held in Vietnam in 2011.They welcomed the establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Secretariat in the Republic of Korea and noted the conversion of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) into an international organisation in October 2012.
22. Leaders recalled how social safety nets operated in times of crisis as an economic stabiliser and not just as a welfare or redistributive mechanism. Social safety nets can foster equal opportunity, remove barriers to social mobility, promote social inclusion, ensure appropriate income support and produce beneficial effects on the allocation of resources, sustainable economic growth, alleviation of poverty and overall macro-economic stability. They must be developed on a country per country basis, in order to take account of national circumstances and resources.
23. Leaders, recalling the recommendations of the Budapest Initiative, introduced at the First Meeting on ASEM Sustainable Development Dialogue held in Budapest on 20-22 June 2012, decided to launch a new ASEM-initiative of Sustainable Development Dialogue, establishing a sequence of seminars, to be held alternatively in Asia and Europe upon approval by the ASEM SOM in accordance with paragraph 25 of Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework (AECF) 2000, in order to enable ASEM Partners to regularly discuss issues related to Sustainable Development in accordance with the outcome document of the Rio+20 conference.
24. Leaders emphasised the importance of enhancing cooperation in tackling climate change and reiterated the importance of working together to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force as mandated by COP17 of the UNFCCC. They confirmed our commitment to fully implement the outcomes of the Bali Action Plan, the Cancun agreements and the Durban outcome. They are committed to working together in areas including mitigation, adaptation, financing and technology transfer.
Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
25. Leaders stressed that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. They recognised the importance of advancing the mutually reinforcing objectives of nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and reaffirmed their commitment to the objective of a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. They affirmed their determination to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and related technology and materials.
26. Leaders urged the States Parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to implement the Action Plan adopted at the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty. They welcomed deliberations held at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2015 Review Conference on 30 April-11 May 2012 in Vienna. They expressed support for the preparatory efforts made for the convening of the international conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
27. Leaders emphasised on the need to further strengthen international and national efforts to revitalise the work of multilateral disarmament bodies, in particular with respect to the issues on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament and advance multilateral disarmament negotiations to counter the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. They stressed the need to fully implement all relevant resolutions of the Security Council. They also called on all states participating in the Conference on Disarmament to start immediately within the context of its agreed, comprehensive and balanced programme of work negotiations on a Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
28. Leaders expressed longstanding support for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and welcomed recent CTBT signatures and ratifications, including by Indonesia, an Annex 2 state. They also welcomed the entry into force of the New START Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States. They hoped for a sustained political momentum paving the way for further CTBT ratifications.
29. Leaders further resolved to enhance their cooperation to address the concern caused by explosive remnants of war, including unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Nuclear Security, Nuclear Safeguards and the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
30. Leaders recognised the important role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its safeguards system in upholding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and in verifying peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and called for full cooperation on all matters within its mandate. They in particular supported movement towards the universal adherence and the earliest possible conclusion of the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement by the concerned States. In this regard, they noted the outcome of Second Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) held in Seoul on 26-27 March 2012. They also welcomed the ongoing efforts between ASEAN and the Nuclear-Weapon- States (NWSs) to address the outstanding issues with a view to enabling NWSs to accede to the Protocol to the Treaty on the South-east Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), thus enhancing the effectiveness of this instrument.
31. Leaders underlined the progress made in implementing the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. They recognised the importance of strengthening of international nuclear safety legal framework. They welcomed the ASEM Seminar on Nuclear Safety held in Singapore on 13-15 June 2012, and the offer by Lithuania to host follow-up ASEM seminar on nuclear safety in 2013 and also welcomed the upcoming Fukushima Ministerial
Conference on Nuclear Safety to be held in Japan in December 2012. Leaders also welcomed the initiative on the establishment of the ASEAN Network on Nuclear Regulatory Bodies (ASEANTOM) or relevant authorities to enhance nuclear safety, security and safeguards in ASEAN. This network will support and contribute to the purpose of SEANWFZ. Leaders also look forward to cooperation between ASEAN and all parties on nuclear regulatory matters.
32. Leaders reaffirmed that terrorism continues to be one of the most serious challenges to international peace and security. They stressed that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism. They underlined the need for a comprehensive approach to address root causes and the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and to counter and prevent terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as the need to provide support and assistance to victims of terrorism.
33. Leaders noted the outcome of the ASEM Counter Terrorism Conference held in Indonesia on 12-13 December 2011. They confirmed the United Nations’ leading role in the fight against terrorism and stressed their commitment to take practical steps to fight against terrorism in full respect for the UN Charter and international law and in line with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions. They urged all UN Member States to move towards the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Piracy at Sea
34. Leaders stressed the need to move beyond efforts of deterrence and make sure that they are carried out as a part of comprehensive approach, including measures on land. They agreed that there is a need to further promote anti-piracy cooperation among stakeholders and to assist states in piracy-infested regions in capacity building as well as to support information sharing and reporting. They committed to strengthening cooperation in combating sea piracy and armed robbery against ships to ensure the continued freedom and security of the seas, which is vital to trade between Asia and Europe with a view to calling ASEM partners to criminalize piracy and armed robbery at sea in their national legislation, support the prosecution of pirates, and strengthen the judicial system. The effectiveness of such cooperation requires the full respect by all States of the relevant universally agreed principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They called for further increase of intelligence sharing among ASEM partners, aiming at tracking down and interdicting the financial flows behind enabling means which fund piracy operation acts. They commended the excellent cooperation of the ASEM partners, including the EU naval Operation Atalanta and respective naval operations of other ASEM partners and other navies from ASEM region, including from Australia, China, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore and Thailand, etc. to countering piracy and called on ASEM partners to support Somalia and relevant countries in the region in their activities related to the prosecution of and punitive measures against pirates.
35. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to promote sustainable food security in terms of availability, accessibility, diversity, utilization and to prevent further deforestation. They recognised that food security is heavily impacted by climate change. They also stressed on the need for fair and sustainable access to, and use of, water and land and promote the improvement of water productivity in water scarce areas. They encouraged the increase of production and productivity through the promotion of investments in a responsible manner while noting the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (PRAI) currently under discussion of the Committee on Food Security and the ‘Voluntary Guidelines on responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests’ being taken account as well as enhanced support in capacity building, research, as well as technological development and transfer in the agricultural sector. They called for joint efforts to implement these measures involving all actors including governments, the private sector and other international institutions. They welcomed outcomes of the ASEM High Level Conference on Food Security held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2011, where a number of areas for future cooperation were identified.
36. Leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to ensure energy security in the regions by promoting energy access and energy diversification through information and experience exchanges and researches on alternative, new, and renewable energy development, as well as energy efficiency and conservation, and the use of affordable environmentally- friendly technologies, particularly for the developing countries. They recognised the importance of engaging all stakeholders including governments, the private sector and other regional and international institutions to contribute to the enhanced use of renewable and other non-fossil energy resource and technologies.
37. Leaders agreed to reinforce collective efforts to promote sustainable usage and management of water resources, including development and better utilisation of water resources, flood control, flood risk, mapping, water quality and quality monitoring, wetland and water related habitat conservation, urban drinking and wastewater supply planning and managing, integrated river basin management planning, and other trans-boundary water issues, in order to ensure the right to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, full policy coherence and well-functioning water-related ecosystems and in cooperation of water in all its economic social and environmental dimensions in a framework of governance, financing and cooperation. They welcomed the first ASEM Sustainable Development Seminar held in Budapest, Hungary on 21-22 June 2012, which focused mainly on the crucial role of water in sustainable development objectives as an essential ingredient of life, eco-systems, global cycles and economies on sustainable water management in the Danube and Mekong rivers basins and aimed at sharing experiences and best practices on development and better utilisation of water resources. They also welcomed the establishment of the ASEM Water Resources Research and Development Centre in Hunan, People’s Republic of China in 2011. They further welcomed the outcome of the 4th ASEM Environment Ministers’ Meeting held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 22-23 May 2012 under the theme “Sustainable Water and Forest Management”, which offered an important opportunity to develop ideas and proposals for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.
Food and Energy Security and Water Resources Management
38. Following the unprecedented disasters occurring in the region and taking note of the serious impact of the disasters in impeding sustainable development and poverty reduction, Leaders underlined the need to strengthen collective preparedness and response to disasters and to reduce losses caused by man-made and natural disasters. They stressed the need to enhance cooperation in the areas of disaster management and emergency response, including situation awareness early warning and search and rescue at seas. They welcomed the initiative to hold the first ASEM High Level Meeting on disaster management and relief in response to climate change in Viet Nam in 2013. They particularly highlighted the role of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) and United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) in the overall coordination of disaster response and risk reduction, as well as regional centres on disaster management in the regions, among others, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre), the Asian Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC), Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), the EC Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) as well as the EU Situation Room and the Russian-Serbian Emergency Humanitarian Centre located in the city of Nis.
39. In this respect, Leaders encouraged intensified cooperation among these Centres as well as with UN Bodies, particularly on disaster risk reduction, situation awareness, exchange of innovation and knowledge, dissemination of information and education mechanisms, reduction of underlying risk factors, disaster preparedness for effective response and recovery, financing of disaster relief, and other relevant activities, with variety of topics that include, among others, risks management, natural and man-made hazards, health threats, pandemics, industrial risks, nuclear risks, and agricultural risks. Leaders encouraged the continuation of the capacity building initiatives conducted so far especially in disaster-prone countries.
Transnational Organized Crime, Including Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Narcotic Drug Trafficking
40. Leaders expressed their commitment to enhance cooperation in preventing and combating transnational organized crime, including illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, particularly women and children and smuggling of migrants, which constitute serious threats to international peace and security. To this end, they welcomed the ASEAN Leader’s Declaration on Drug Free ASEAN 2015 and the 2011 ASEAN Leader’s Joint Statement in Enhancing Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons in South East Asia.
41. Leaders underlined the important role of international and national human rights institutions, regional organizations, and civil society in promoting and protecting human rights. They welcomed the 11th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights held in Prague, Czech Republic in November 2011 and the 12th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights held in Seoul, Korea in June 2012. They also noted the progress in the drafting of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration as an important step towards promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN. They supported the important and constructive role of the UN Human Rights Council in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide and underlined their wish to extend cooperation in fora such as the Human Rights Council and, the ASEAN Disaster Management, Mitigation and Emergency Response Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AIHCR) and the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children.
42. Leaders stressed the global efforts to safer world and underlined the need for full implementation by Parties to the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the interest of peace, security and development.
43. Leaders reaffirmed the relevance of interfaith dialogue and its contribution to promoting social cohesion, peace, and development in the context of increasing societal interdependence and religious and cultural diversity in Asia and Europe. They welcomed the increasing efforts at all levels to establish dialogues between people of different religions and other convictions. They supported efforts in establishing inter-religious dialogue and underlined the necessity to involve more participants into this process to increase its efficiency. They resolved to take concerted action to further promote mutual understanding, tolerance and exchanges, taking global leadership in working towards building a world where human beings in their diversity of faiths, religions, languages and cultures co-exist in harmony, and enjoy equal rights and mutual respect. They welcomed the outcome of the 7th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue on harnessing the benefits and addressing the challenges of migration through interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue held in the Philippines in 2011 and adoption of the ASEAN concept paper on the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) at the 20th ASEAN Summit in 2012 in Cambodia. They expressed their support for the UN Alliance of Civilisations and welcomed the results of its 4th forum held in Doha, Qatar in December 2011. They also recognised the contributions to interfaith and intercultural understanding by other fora such as UNESCO, the tripartite Forum on interfaith Cooperation for Peace, and the Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace.
Reform of the UN System
44. Leaders shared the view that a comprehensive reform of the United Nations remains a priority in order for the organisation to most effectively address today’s global challenges and ensure widest support from its members, including in addressing the needs of developing countries. They stressed the importance of pursuing the current reform process in order to achieve a more representative, more efficient and more effective UN Security Council as well as that of a revitalised General Assembly, and ECOSOC, a well-managed Secretariat and effective streamlined specialised agencies in the interest of system-wide coherence and increased sense of ownership on the part of the world community. In this regard, they noted the ongoing work on Delivering as One process and the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review. They also stressed the importance of ensuring that UN financial resources are managed efficiently and effectively, according to the principles of budgetary discipline and coherence, and in conformity with the highest international standards.
45. Leaders exchanged views on the recent developments in Asia and Europe on the basis of equal partnership, mutual respect and mutual benefits. They recognised ASEM partners’ efforts to maintain peace, security and stability and to settle disputes by peaceful means in accordance with UN Charter and international law.
46. Leaders welcomed the progress and achievements made by ASEAN in implementing the ASEAN Charter which provides the legal and institutional frameworks for realising the ASEAN Community by 2015. They also welcomed the remarkable progress in the implementation of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015), and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan II (2009-2015) as well as the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and narrowing the development gaps. They appreciated ASEAN endeavours in expanding its relations with partners while emphasising ASEAN’s central role in various frameworks of cooperation initiated by ASEAN such as ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus). They further welcomed the EU’s and the United Kingdom’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia on 12 July 2012 in Phnom Penh.
47. Leaders shared the view that peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula is of utmost importance in Northeast Asia. They reaffirmed support for the diplomatic efforts made within the Six-Party Talks aimed at comprehensively achieving the goals envisioned in the 2005 Joint Statement. They expressed their concern about the DPRK’s all existing nuclear and missiles programs. In this context, they emphasised the importance of full implementation of all relevant UNSC Resolutions. They also emphasised the importance of addressing the humanitarian concerns.
Middle East and North Africa
48. Leaders exchanged views on recent developments in countries in North Africa and Middle East and expressed support for peaceful solutions and reconciliations in accordance with the UN Charter and international law through an inclusive dialogue reflecting the aspirations of the people in the countries concerned.
49. Leaders reaffirmed commitment to the Two-State Solution with a safe and secure Israel and a sovereign, independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace and security. In this context, they called for immediate resumption of direct negotiations between the parties in order to realise the Two-State Solution that will bring lasting peace and stability and prosperity to the region. They recalled that settlements are illegal under international law and called on parties to refrain from actions that undermine efforts towards a Two-State Solution, including Israeli settlements and rocket attacks from Gaza.They also expressed grave concern over the current financial difficulties of the Palestinian Authority and called on the international community to urgently support the Palestinian Authority and people to overcome such difficulties and called on Israel to take further steps to enable sustainable economic development in the Palestinian territories, including in Area C and Gaza Strip.
50. Leaders expressed their concern about Iran’s continued defiance of relevant IAEA Board of Governors’ and UN Security Council Resolutions regarding its nuclear programme. They also expressed continued support for a peaceful resolution addressing the international community’s concerns, which should be achieved through a constructive diplomatic process, including as its main channel the negotiations with E3/EU+3 that would restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and based on the principles of reciprocity and step-by-step approach and consistent with the NPT. They called upon Iran to comply fully and without delay with all of its obligations under the relevant Resolutions of the UN Security Council, and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and fully co-operate with the IAEA.
51. Leaders exchanged views on recent developments in Afghanistan, emphasising the importance of a peaceful, stable, sovereign, independent, united and democratic Afghanistan with full respect for human rights and of concerted efforts to counter the threats of terrorism and illicit drug production and trafficking. As confirmed in Bonn in December 2011, They expressed their intention to support Afghanistan’s national peace and reconciliation process aimed at ending the ongoing violence in the country and restoring lasting peace, stressing that the process must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and inclusive, while representing the legitimate interests of all Afghan people. The dialogue should be held with all those who renounce violence, respect the Afghan Constitution, including its provisions on human rights, and particularly women’s rights, and cut ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. They expressed continued support for reconstruction efforts, reconciliation and peaceful transition to democratic government in Afghanistan, including its path to self-reliance following the transition to Afghan-led security in 2014. They highlighted the need to advance economic development in Afghanistan, recalling the declaration adopted at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July 2012, particularly within the framework of capacity building, such as programmes and other technical assistance, in order to improve the welfare of local communities and develop human resources. They welcomed the prospect of Presidential elections in 2014 and encouraged Afghanistan to ensure that both the Presidential elections, and parliamentary election in 2015 will be transparent, credible and democratic.
Further Strengthening ASEM partnership
52. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen socio-cultural cooperation and promote greater people-to-people interactions through increasing cultural, education, youth, sports and scholarly exchanges, and enhancing greater contacts between parliamentarians, media personnel, civil societies, academics and Track II institutions. They welcomed the successful outcomes of the Seventh Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP7) held on 3-5 October 2012 and the Ninth Asia-Europe People Forum (AEPF9) held on 16-19 October 2012 in Vientiane. They took note of the recommendations submitted by the two fora and welcomed the outcome of the 2nd ASEM Meeting of Governors and Mayors held on 18-19 October 2012 in Berlin. They also welcomed the offer of Brunei Darussalam to host a Workshop on Challenges to Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Ecosystem on 12-24 May 2013.
53. Leaders noted the establishment of Trans-Eurasia Information Network-star (TEIN*) Cooperation and the successful launch of the 4th phase of the TEIN project, recognizing the important role of the TEIN project to enhance exchanges and cooperation among research and education community in Asia and between Asia and Europe.
Human Resources Development and Education
54. Leaders recognised that human resources development is a key factor in poverty reduction and socio-economic development. They renewed their commitments to further strengthen their cooperation in human resources development, capacity building and sustained dialogue and exchanges in primary, secondary and higher education, vocational education and training and lifelong learning. They recognised the value of attractive vocational training and education systems for better transition into the labour market and employment and, in this context, emphasised the importance of regular and closer cooperation to support effective developments. They took note with satisfaction of the deepening cooperation and the increasing collaboration activities within the ASEM education process including ASEM-duo fellowship programme. They welcomed the 3rd ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting held in Denmark in 2011, the ASEM Education Seminar on quality enhancement in higher education held in Belgium in 2011, the ASEM Technical and Vocational Education Symposium held in China in 2011, the International Asia-Europe Conference on Enhancing Balanced Mobility held in 2012 in Thailand and the ASEM Symposium on Technical and Vocational Education and Training held in Germany in 2012 as well as the Quality Assurance seminar held in Cyprus (2010), Germany (2011) and France (2012). They also welcomed Malaysia’s offer to host the 4th Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME 4) in 2013.
Employment and Social Policies
55. Leaders recognised and encouraged the achievements of the ASEM Dialogue on Employment and Social Policies and ASEM’s contribution in creating global employment and decent work for all as well as in strengthening social development at the global level. They welcomed the outcome of the 4th ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conference held in Viet Nam in October 2012, which stressed the importance of employment and social protection in ensuring social cohesion and promoting economic growth - two essential pillars of sustainable development. They endorsed the need to enhance cooperation with international organisations, particularly in formulating and implementing country-specific social protection policies. They welcomed the outcomes of the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico in May 2012 and supported the G20 Leaders’ commitment to quality employment made in Los Cabos, Mexico in June 2012, which emphasised that jobs with labour rights, social security coverage and decent income contribute to a more stable growth, enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty.
56. Leaders underlined their conviction that cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity, and reaffirmed their determination to respect, protect and promote cultural
diversity and the equal dignity of all cultures. In this context, they further committed to promote cultural exchanges among ASEM partners and to enhance cooperation in various areas including tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the framework of the UNESCO conventions.
57. Leaders emphasised the need for global recognition of cultural diversity. They noted with satisfaction the outcome of the 5th ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting and the First ASEM Language Diversity Forum held in Indonesia in September 2012, which highlighted the importance of sustainable development of heritage cities and recommended an Asia- Europe Creative City network. They also committed to support the ongoing works on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions and noted encouragement to ratify the related UNESCO Convention adopted in 2005.
58. Leaders stressed the importance of tourism, which contributes to promoting of better understanding and enhancing connectivity between peoples of the two regions, as well as to job creation, economic growth and development, and they agreed to further strengthen cooperation in this area.
59. Leaders acknowledged the cultural and economic contributions made by migrants and migrant workers to receiving societies and their communities of origin. They underlined the need to identify appropriate means of maximising development benefits and responding to the challenges which migration poses to countries of origin, transit and destination, especially in light of the impact of the financial and economic crisis. They committed to ensuring the protection of human rights of migrants and their families, including migrant workers particularly in the face of economic difficulties and to strengthening mechanisms for international cooperation, without undermining the application by receiving states of their laws, regulations and policies. While recognising the link between development and migration, they also acknowledged the importance of regional collaboration in addressing irregular migration and reaffirmed their commitment to exploring ways of strengthening cooperation in tackling irregular migration and properly implementing the existing readmission agreements. They concurred that attention should be given to legal migration, including promotion of cultural and educational cooperation and labour activities based on the principles of mutual advantage, responsibility and support among ASEM partners. The projects and activities have to be in line with the current legislation on labour market access for third countries. While recognising the link between development and migration, they called for the sharing of best practices and the exploration of comprehensive approaches with a view to maximising the positive effects of such migration on development and decreasing the potential negative effects. They emphasised on consideration of all aspects of migration and development at the Second UN High Level Dialogue at the UN GA in 2013. They welcomed the outcome of the 10th Conference of Directors-General of Immigration on Migratory Flows between Asia and Europe held in Mongolia in 2011, and the outcome of the 11th ASEM Conference of the Directors-General of Immigration and Management of Migratory Flows held on 30-31 October 2012 in Cyprus.
60. Leaders commended the achievement of Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in promoting mutual understanding between Asia and Europe through intellectual, cultural and people-to-people exchanges during the past fifteen years. They recognised ASEF’s active role in promoting Asia-Europe dialogue and cooperation and enhancing visibility of ASEM through effective implementation of its priorities. They also commended ASEF’s participation in ASEM Chairman Support Group (ACSG) and its role in the ASEM cooperation. They called on ASEM partners to enhance, through the regularity of their contribution, the financial sustainability of ASEF and encouraged active participation of the new ASEM partners in it.
61. Leaders welcomed the success of the ASEM’s 3rd pillar, presented by the various educational, cultural and people-to-people exchange projects carried out by ASEF. China, partnered by India, Lao PDR, Poland and ASEF will host the symposium “Towards Peace and Prosperity in Asia and Europe: The Need of A Dynamic ASEM” in 2013 in China. Denmark, France, the Philippines, Sweden and ASEF, together with ASEM partners, will host the 13th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights in 2013.
Future of ASEM
62. Leaders took note of the solution by the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting at Copenhagen in March 2012 on the abolishment of the Temporary Third Category. They welcomed Australia, New Zealand and Russia as partners in the Asian regional group and also admitted new partners of ASEM namely Bangladesh as a partner in the Asian regional group, and Norway and Switzerland as new partners in the European regional group.
63. Follow-up on the outcome of the ASEM 8 in Brussels, Leaders commended ASEM Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Senior Officials for the work on the improvement of ASEM working methods. They welcomed the establishment of the ASEM Chairman Support Group (ACSG) to assist ASEM partners in enhancing the efficiency, the coherence, the continuity and the visibility of the work of ASEM and to continue to explore working methods based on the questions raised by AECF 2000.
64. Leaders noted with satisfaction the significant increase in public awareness and visibility of ASEM. They recognised that ASEM visibility depends on initiatives, activities and communication policies of partners themselves. They, therefore, called on all ASEM partners and the ASEF to increase their efforts to promote public awareness and visibility of ASEM through various activities, including mass media as well as provisions of target group-oriented information.
New Initiatives and Work Programmes
65. Leaders, proceeding from the past achievements of ASEM, approved the List of New Initiatives and the ASEM Work Programme for 2012 – 2014, which appear as Annexes 1 and 2, respectively.
11th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM 11)
66. Leaders welcomed the offer of India to host the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM11) on 14-15 November 2013 in New Delhi.
10th ASEM Summit (ASEM 10)
67. Leaders expressed their sincere appreciation to the Host Country, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the successful 9th ASEM Summit and accepted with gratitude the offer by the European Union to host the 10th ASEM Summit and looked forward to meeting again in Brussels in the second half of 2014.