PostHeaderIcon Chairman's Statement of the 1st Meeting of the ASEAN

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
THE FIRST MEETING OF THE ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM

Bangkok, 25 July 1994

 

1. The First Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held in Bangkok on 25 July 1994 in accordance with the 1992 Singapore Declaration of the Fourth ASEAN Summit, whereby the ASEAN Heads of State and Government proclaimed their intent to intensify ASEAN's external dialogues in political and security matters as a means of building cooperative ties with states in the Asia-Pacific region.

2. Attending the Meeting were the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN, ASEAN's Dialogue Partners, ASEAN's Consultative Partners, and ASEAN's Observers or their representatives.' The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, served as Chairman of the Meeting.

3. Being the first time ever that high-ranking representatives from the majority of states in the Asia-Pacific region came to specifically discuss political and security cooperation issues, the Meeting was considered a historic event for the region. More importantly, the Meeting signified the opening of a new chapter of peace, stability and cooperation for Southeast Asia.

4. The participants of the Meeting held a productive exchange of views on the current political and security situation in the Asia-Pacific region, recognizing that developments in one part of the region could have an impact on the security of the region as whole. It was agreed that, as a high-level consultative forum, the ARF had enabled the countries in the Asia-Pacific region to foster the habit of constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern. In this respect, the ARF would be in a position to make significant contributions to efforts towards confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

5. Bearing in mind the importance of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the maintenance of international peace and security, the Meeting welcomed the continuation of US-DPRK negotiation and endorsed the early resumption of inter-Korean dialogue.

6. The Meeting agreed to:

  • convene the ARF on an annual basis and hold the second meeting in Brunei Darussalam in 1995; and
  • endorse the purposes and principles of ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, as a code of conduct governing relations between states and a unique diplomatic instrument for regional confidence-building, preventive diplomacy, and political and security cooperation.
7. The Meeting also agreed to entrust the next Chairman of the ARF Brunei Darussalam, working in consultation with ARF participants a appropriate, to:
  • collate and study all papers and ideas raised during the ARF Senior Officials Meeting and the ARF in Bangkok for submission to the second ARF through the second ARF-SOM, both of which to be held in Brunei Darussalam. Ideas which might be the subjects of such further study including confidence and security building, nuclear non-proliferation, peacekeeping cooperation including regional peacekeeping training centre, exchanges of non classified military information, maritime security issues, and preventive diplomacy;
  • study the comprehensive concept of security, including its economic and social aspects, as it pertains to the Asia-Pacific region;
  • study other relevant internationally recognized norms and principles pertaining to international and regional political and security cooperation for their possible contribution to regional political and security cooperation;
  • promote the eventual participation of all ARF countries in the UN Conventional Arms Register; and
  • convene, if necessary, informal meetings of officials to study all relevant papers and suggestions to move the ARF process forward.
8. Recognizing the need to develop a more predictable constructive pattern of relationships for the Asia-Pacific region, the Meeting expressed its firm conviction to continue to work towards the strengths and the enhancement of political and security cooperation within the region as a means of ensuring a lasting peace, stability, and prosperity for the region and its peoples.
 

Note

ASEAN consists of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. ASEAN's Dialogue Partners are: Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and the United States. ASEAN's Consultative Partners are China and Russia. And, ASEAN's Observers are Laos, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam.