Chairman’s Statement of the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Informal Consultations 22 July 2009 Phuket, Thailand
The East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers
22 July 2009
1. The East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers Informal Consultations chaired by H.E. Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand was held in Phuket, Thailand, on 22 July 2009.
2. The Foreign Ministers had wide-ranging and productive exchanges of view on regional and international political and economic issues. The Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their support for the agreement at the London Summit on 2 April 2009, in particular the need to restore growth and jobs, resist protectionism, reform the international financial system and institutions and ensure an inclusive, green, and sustainable recovery for all.
3. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the Joint Press Statement of the East Asia Summit on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis issued by Thailand, as the ASEAN Chair and the EAS Coordinator, on behalf of the EAS participating countries, on 3 June 2009. The Foreign Ministers were of the view that the EAS participating countries can play an important role in restoring financial stability and generating sustainable economic growth and development, and further enhancing regional financial cooperation.
4. The Foreign Ministers welcomed Thailand’s proposal to organize an EAS Workshop on Trade Finance in collaboration with the interested EAS participating countries and regional financial and research institutes, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), to assess the trade financing needs in the EAS participating countries.
5. They expressed their grave concern over the recent underground nuclear test and missile launches undertaken by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) which constituted a violation of the relevant UNSC resolutions. They urged the DPRK to fully comply with its obligations and the relevant UNSC resolutions. They expressed their full support for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. They also emphasized the importance of addressing outstanding issues, including humanitarian concerns. The Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed their support for possible contribution of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), as the premier regional security forum that includes all participants of the Six-Party Talks, towards an enduring peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
6. The Foreign Ministers welcomed a visit to Myanmar by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 3-4 July 2009. They reaffirmed their view that the UN has a special role to play in the process of national reconciliation in Myanmar. They encouraged the continuing role of the UN in the democratization process in Myanmar which must be inclusive, credible and transparent. They encouraged the Myanmar Government to hold free, fair and inclusive election in 2010, thereby laying down a good foundation for future social and economic development. They also welcomed close cooperation between the Government of Myanmar and the UN in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.
7. The Foreign Ministers strongly condemned the acts of terrorism in Jakarta on 17 July 2009 that caused loss of lives as unjustifiable by whomsoever committed such acts. They extended their condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, and to the people and the Government of Indonesia. They reaffirmed their confidence in the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers, and sponsors of these reprehensive acts of terrorism to justice. They are committed to strengthen their cooperation in combating terrorism/extremist, and stressed the need, among others, to empower the moderate sectors of society and the promotion of inter-faith dialogue.
8. The Foreign Ministers noted that climate change was another key concern for the EAS participating countries. In leading up to the Copenhagen Conference at the end of this year, the Foreign Ministers encouraged the EAS Environment Ministers who will meet in Singapore in October 2009 to look into a possibility of developing a common position on climate change with a view to supporting the Copenhagen Conference. The Foreign Ministers expressed the hope that there would be an ambitious equitable and fair outcome in Copenhagen based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
9. The Foreign Ministers also noted Thailand’s readiness to host a UN Climate Change Talks on 28 September-9 October 2009 in support of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Copenhagen and the People’s Republic of China’s proposal to hold the 2nd EAS Seminar on Capacity Building for Climate Change Adaptation in September 2009 and India’s offer to host a Clean Technology Conference in October 2009.
10. As a result of extreme weather events brought about by atmospheric instability and climate change, the Foreign Ministers reiterated the need to enhance disaster management cooperation and recommended the adoption of a Statement on EAS Disaster Management at the 4th EAS in October 2009 in Thailand.
11. In response to the outbreak of the new influenza A(H1N1) as a new challenge to economic growth and well-being of peoples in the region, the Foreign Ministers encouraged their national health authorities to step up efforts in collectively fighting the pandemic, including sharing of information on the current situation and knowledge on how to effectively deal with the pandemic. They also stressed the desirability of establishing more regional stockpiles of essential medical supplies and assisting one another in acquiring cheaper medicines and pandemic influenza vaccines.
12. The Foreign Ministers agreed that education is one of the most important vehicles in bridging development gaps, enhancing regional competitiveness and promoting human resources development. They noted the progress of India’s effort to revive the Nalanda University which could serve as a cultural and intellectual link among countries in the region, the progress in the implementation of Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths, Australia-sponsored research study on harnessing EAS education cooperation and the offer by the People’s Republic of China to provide 2000 government scholarships and 200 MPA scholarships to developing countries in the EAS in the next five years and to host Forum on Higher Education Cooperation. They welcomed that education will be one of the key elements in the central theme of the 15th ASEAN Summit in October 2009.
13. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the initiative of New Zealand, in conjunction with Indonesia to sponsor an EAS Asia Pacific Regional Media Programme in Jakarta in November 2008. This Initiative is aimed at improving relations and understanding between communities in the region. New Zealand, in conjunction with Indonesia, is planning a further Regional Media Programme in Jakarta later this year.
14. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the on-going effort to explore the feasibility of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA). In this connection, they looked forward to a report of the Track II Study Group on the CEPEA to be submitted to the 4th EAS in October 2009 in Thailand. They also noted the importance of enhancing transport and IT connection in order to advance economic linkages, narrow development gap and promote people-to-people exchanges in the region.
15. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the official inauguration of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) on 3 June 2008 with its temporary office in Jakarta to serve as an independent institute to provide policy recommendations on enhancing economic integration, narrowing development gaps, and promoting sustainable economic development.
16. The Foreign Ministers reiterated their support for ASEAN’s role as a driving force in the evolving regional architecture. They welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter on 15 December 2008 and the signing of the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on a Roadmap to an ASEAN Community at the 14th ASEAN Summit on 1 March 2009. They reaffirmed their commitment to support ASEAN community building.
17. The Foreign Ministers discussed the Future Direction of the EAS and welcomed an encouraging development of the EAS in the evolving regional architecture. They reaffirmed the nature of the EAS as a Leaders-led forum and its founding principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness, which enable it to respond promptly to any emerging challenges and adjust appropriately to the changing regional and international landscape. They noted the continuous support for Russia’s participation in the EAS in the future.
18. The Foreign Ministers acknowledged the key contributions of existing regional processes, including the EAS, in advancing the stability and prosperity of the region based on existing mechanisms and with ASEAN as the driving force, and appreciated Australia’s elaboration of its proposal on the Asia Pacific community.