PostHeaderIcon Co-Chairmen's Summary Report of the Meeting of the ARF Intersessional Support Group (ISG) on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Seoul,1-3 November 2000 and Kuala Lumpur,18-20 April 2001

Co-Chairmen's Summary Report of the Meeting of the ARF Intersessional Support Group (ISG) on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)
Seoul,1-3 November 2000 and Kuala Lumpur,18-20 April 2001

Introduction

1. Pursuant to the decision of the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held in Bangkok on 27 July 2000, the Intersessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures (ISG on CBMs), co-chaired by the Republic of Korea and Malaysia, held two intersessional meetings during the 2000/2001 intersessional year, the first in Seoul on 1-3 November 2000, and the second in Kuala Lumpur on 18-20 April 2001.

2. The first Meeting of the ISG on CBMs in Seoul was attended by representatives of all ARF member countries with the exception of the  Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). At the second ISG on CBMs in Kuala Lumpur, representatives from all ARF member countries attended. The DPRK participated for the first time since its admission as a member of the ARF in Bangkok in July2000. The DPRK's participation was warmly welcomed. In line with the decision of the 7U1 ARF to encourage continued participation of defence and military officials in all relevant activities, many of the delegations included defense officials. The Programmes of Activities of the Seoul and Kuala Lumpur ISG meetings are attached at annexes A and B, the Annotated Agendas as annexes C and D and the lists of delegations as annexes E and F respectively.

1st ISG Meeting, 1-3 November 2000, Seoul ,Republic of Korea
Exchange of Views on Regional Political and Security Situation

3. There was an extensive exchange of views among the participants on political and security developments in the region since the 7U1 ARF Ministerial Meeting. The discussion, which was held in an open and free flowing manner, covered a wide range of issues that have an impact on the region as a whole.

4. There was general agreement among the participants that the regional security situation remains relatively stable as cooperative relations among ARF countries, including the major powers, have improved. The Meeting noted the rapid recovery of economies in the region. The participants, however, acknowledged the existence of challenges in the region and agreed that it was necessary to continue to strengthen the process of regional security dialogue and cooperation under the ARF .

5. The participants welcomed the historic inter-Korean summit in June 2000 and follow-up steps taken to implement the South-North Joint Declaration which covers humanitarian issues, including family reunions, economic cooperation and military talks. They further encouraged both North and South Korea to build on the success of the summit to continue the peace process, with a view to establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. They welcomed the ongoing normalization talks between the DPRK and Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, as a contribution to reducing tension in Northeast Asia. They also welcomed the recent visit to Pyongyang by the US Secretary of State, involving serious and constructive talks on a range of issues. The participants considered the admission of the DPRK into the ARF in July 2000 to be a significant step towards strengthening the ARF process and advancing the cause of regional peace and security. Notwithstanding positive developments in the region, some participants expressed concerns regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula and hoped for further positive developments.

6. The participants noted the successful holding of the third Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 3) in Seoul on 20-21 October 2000 and welcomed the adoption of the "Seoul Declaration for Peace on the Korean Peninsula", which expresses support for the process of rapprochement and cooperation under way between North and South Korea. They noted that this Declaration underlines the importance of strengthening efforts to improve relations between ASEM partners and the DPRK. The participants also welcomed the ASEAN+3 Summit to be held in Singapore in late November 2000 as a further step towards strengthening regional cooperation.

7. The Meeting emphasized their support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia. The participants welcomed the progress toward the restoration of stability in East Timor and acknowledged the achievements made by United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in cooperation with Indonesia and other countries. They underscored the need for tile international community to extend support for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and nation-building of East Timor and for cooperation with UNTAET .they also recognized the importance of the urgent resolution of the problem of East Timorese refugees in West Timor in a comprehensive manner in order to ensure peace and harmony of all  Timorese. They emphasised the need for further action to resolve the refugee problem, including dealing with the militia activity.

8. The participants noted that the situation in the South China Sea has been marked by positive developments and welcomed the ongoing progress made in the consultations on developing a Regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea between ASEAN and China held in Dalian in August 2000 and Hanoi in October 2000. They were also encouraged by the commitment of the countries concerned to resolving disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

9. The participants took note of developments in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Some participants expressed their interest in seeing the early return to democratic government in these two countries. The participants also welcomed the recent visits to Myanmar by Mr. Razali Ismail, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General.

10. Some participants exchanged views on the strategic implications of the development of the Theater Missile Defense (TMD), and also on matters related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery .The Meeting welcomed the US-DPRK missile talks held in Kuala Lumpur from 1-3 November 2000. Some participants expressed their support for the outcome of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). They also shared the view that the universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention (BWC) Verification Protocol should be concluded as early as possible. The participants welcomed the P-5 Joint Statement concerning security assurances for Mongolia and supported the nuclear weapon-free status of Mongolia. They noted China's decision to sign the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) when it is open for signing. The Meeting also noted ASEAN's desire for the other Nuclear Weapon States to sign the Protocol as soon as possible.

Transnational Crime of Concern to the Region

11. The EGM on Transnational Crime, co-chaired by Malaysia and the ROK, was held back-to-back with the ISG Meeting on CBMs. The Co-Chairs of the EGM briefed the ISG meeting on the Summary Report of the EGM on Transnational Crime, attached at Annex Q. The participants agreed to continue discussions on the three transnational crimes of piracy, illegal migration and illicit trafficking of small arms at the next EGM to be held back-to-back with the 2nd ISG meeting in Kuala Lumpur in April 2001. The Meeting also recalled that the Ministers, at the 71h ARF in Bangkok, had noted the need to address other transnational crime. With a view to ensuring tangible and concrete results from the EGM, the participants will consult their experts and send comments to the Malaysian Co-Chair. The Co-Chairs will then provide a discussion paper based on the summary report of the first EGM, which is to serve as a basis for discussions at the 2"d EGM.
Consideration of CBMs

12. The participants took note of the implementation of the agreed CBMs and the following reports by:

  • Singapore on "Combined Humanitarian Assistance Response Training (CHART)" held in Singapore in August 2000;
  • China on the "4th Meeting of Heads of Defense Colleges, Universities and Institutions" and on the "Seminar on Defense Conversation Cooperation" held in Beijing in September 2000 as well as the establishment of the ARF Regional Maritime Information Center (ARF-RMIC);
  • The EU on the "Seminar on Approaches to Confidence Building" held in Helsinki in October 2000; and
  • India on the "Workshop on Anti-Piracy" held in Mumbai in October 2000.

13. The Meeting revised the list of proposed CBM activities, removing those implemented and moving some from Basket 2 to Basket 1. The revised list is at Annex H.

14. The Meeting agreed to present the following CBMs, which have been proposed for inclusion in Basket 1, for the consideration of the ARF SOM to be held in Vietnam in May 2001 :

  • Thailand's proposal to continue the Seminar on the Law of the , Armed Conflict: In Relation to Peace Support Operations in the latter part of 2001 ;
  • Japan's proposal to host the 5th ARF Meeting of Heads of Defense Colleges/Institutions in late August to early September 2001;
  • Vietnam's proposal for a Seminar on Economic Security for Asia-Pacific in the First Decades of 21s1 Century in late 2001 or early 2002; and
  • the US proposal to host a Workshop for Mid-level ARF Civilian and Defense Officials on Preventive Diplomacy.

Preventive Diplomacy

15. The participants expressed their appreciation to Singapore for its valuable contribution in submitting the Paper on the Concept and Principles of PD (Annex I). The participants were requested to submit written comments on the PD paper to Singapore by 15 January 2001. Singapore would then proceed to review these comments and provide some suggestions on areas for future discussion at the next ISG meeting in Kuala Lumpur in April 2001.

Future Direction of the ARF

(i)  Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair

16. The participants exchanged constructive views on principles, procedures and mechanisms for the Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair based on the paper (Annex J) revised by Japan. They expressed their appreciation to Japan for its valuable work in preparing this paper. The Meeting requested that countries submit written comments to Japan by 15 January 2001. Japan would then revised the draft paper and recirculate it together with some suggestions on areas for future discussion at the next ISG in Kuala Lumpur in April 2001.

(ii) ARF Register of Experts/Eminent Persons (EEPS)

17. The participants discussed the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Experts/Eminent Persons (EEPs) drafted by the Co-Chairs of the ISG on CBMs, the ROK and Malaysia (Annex K). The participants noted that the draft TOR for the EEPs was a useful paper presenting a good basis for the discussion of the issue. The participants were requested to submit written comments on the TOR for the EEPs to the Co-Chairs by 15 January 2001. The Co-Chairs would revise the draft Terms of Reference (TOR) and recirculate this paper for further discussion at the next ISG in Kuala Lumpur in April 2001.

(iii) Annual Security Outlook

18. The participants noted that the first volume of the ARF Annual Security Outlook could contribute to the promotion of confidence and also agreed to further enhance the value of the ASO by encouraging all members to participate in the production of the ASO. The Meeting agreed to recommend to the 8th ARF SOM in Vietnam that the next ASO would not be treated as confidential.

(iv) Voluntary Background Briefings on Regional Security Issues

19. Following Canada's proposal that a new item 'Voluntary

Background Briefings on Regional Security Issues" be added to the agenda, five countries presented voluntary briefings.
Other Issues

20. Russia provided a briefing on the current status of the development of the Pacific Concord.

21. Defense officials briefed the ISG on the outcome of their discussions at the Defense Officials' Lunch held on 2 November 2000 (Annex L). The Meeting encouraged the continued holding of the Defense Officials' Lunch as a useful confidence building measure.

22. The participants had discussions on the need for a Maritime Specialist Officials' Meeting. It was agreed that further discussions and information were necessary and that a decision to recommend to the SOM on this will be made at the next ISG in Kuala Lumpur.

23. India expressed its interest in co-chairing the ISG on CBMs in the 2001 -2002 intersessional year with an ASEAN Co-Chair.
Arrangements for the Second Meeting of the ISG on CBMs

24. The participants took note of Malaysia's proposal that the 2nd ISG on CBMs for the intersessional year 2000 -2001 be held in Kuala Lumpur on 18 -20 April 2001. The ISG will be preceded by an EGM on Transnational Crime which will be held on 16 -17 April 2001. The Meeting also took note that the programme of the ISG in Kuala Lumpur would include a visit to a defense facility on 20 April 2001.

2nd ISG meeting. 18-20 April 2001. Kuala Lumpur

Review of Outcome of the 1st ISG Meeting in Seoul and interim activities

25. The Republic of Korea, as the Co-Chair of the 1 51 ISG Meeting in Seoul, reviewed the outcome of the 151 ISG Meeting and interim activities, and the Meeting agreed with the review.
Exchange of Views on Regional Political and Security Situation

26. The participants had an extensive exchange of views on the political and security developments in the region since the last ISG meeting in Seoul. The frank and substantive discussions were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere thereby contributing to the confidence among the participants.

27. The Meeting agreed that on the whole, the situation in the region had been relatively stable. The Meeting also noted that despite certain challenges and uncertainties, and differences in political and strategic perceptions, the region continues to enjoy peace and stability. The Meeting also acknowledged the importance of peaceful and stable relations between the major powers as the key to regional and global peace and security.

28. The participants welcomed the historic inter-Korean summit in June 2000 and follow-up steps taken to implement the North-South / South-North Joint Declaration. They further encouraged both the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to build on the success of the summit to continue the peace process, with a view to establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. The participants considered the admission of the DPRK into the ARF in July 2000 and the attendance of the DPRK at this ISG meeting to be a significant step towards strengthening the ARF process and advancing the cause of regional peace and security.

29. The Meeting noted that the situation in Southeast Asia on the whole had been peaceful and stable. The Meeting exchanged views on the developments in the South China Sea and welcomed the progress in the consultations between ASEAN and China to develop a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. The Meeting was encouraged that all parties directly concerned continued to exercise self-restraint and are committed to peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.

30. The participants noted that the 41h ASEAN Informal Summit (AIS) held in November 2000 was one of the most significant events that had taken place since the Seoul ISG. At the AIS, ASEAN leaders had recognised the need toward enhancing ASEAN's cohesiveness and had pushed forward proposals that would enable closer integration and help to reduce the developmental gap within ASEAN. Another key outcome was the clear sense amongst the ASEAN leaders and the leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ASEAN+3) to start moving towards closer East Asian cooperation. The ASEAN+3 leaders believed that a gradual approach towards closer East Asian cooperation would enhance the peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

31. The Meeting had an exchange of views on the developments in East Timor. The Meeting agreed that a strong international presence continue to be required in East Timor and reiterated the need for the support of the international community including ASEAN to play an active role in the nation building efforts of East Timor. They supported the efforts to resolve the problem of East Timorese refugees in East Nusa Tenggara province in a comprehensive manner in order to ensure peace and harmony of all Timorese.

32. The Meeting had an exchange of views on Myanmar and took note of the encouraging developments in the country. The Meeting also appreciated the efforts of the Government of Myanmar, ASEAN and the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar and the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General towards the developments in Myanmar. Some participants also expressed continued concern about the situation in Fiji and Solomon Islands. They hoped for positive results out of the Fijian elections to be held in August 2001.

33. Indonesia offered to share information of its efforts in managing itsinternal matters. The Meeting reiterated its support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia.

34. Some participants had an exchange of views on the strategic implications of the development of the Theater Missile Defense (TMD), and also on matters related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery. The Meeting also noted the efforts to achieve progress especially on securing the accession of the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) to the Protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty.

35. The Meeting agreed that in addition to exchanging views on regional and security issues, it would be useful to discuss issues such as transnational crime and globalisation whose impact transcended borders and whose impact on regional security in the Asia-Pacific might be indirect and less immediately apparent. The suggestion was made that future Co-Chairs could consider taking up these issues as themes for discussion as well as the possibility of having experts brief the meeting on such issues or themes. The Meeting requested that Singapore could prepare a concept paper to elaborate on this ISG suggestion for the ARF SOM in May 2001.

Transnational Crime of Concern to the Region

36. The EGM on Transnational Crime co-chaired by Malaysia and the ROK, was held back-to-back with the ISG Meeting on CBMs. The Co-Chairs of the EGM briefed the ISG meeting on the Co-Chairmen's Summary Report of the EGM on Transnational Crime, attached as annex M. The EGM continued discussions on the three transnational crime namely, piracy, illegal migration and illicit trafficking of small arms. The Meeting endorsed the concrete and practical measures recommended by the EGM to enhance regional cooperation to combat piracy. Further, the Meeting noted the deliberations of the EGM experts on Australia's draft declaration. on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Meeting also endorsed the EGM's recommendation to the ISG that the ARF members would forward their comments on the draft text to Australia for further consideration by the ARF SOM.

37. The Meeting exchanged views on the EGM and agreed that it had generally been useful. The Meeting also deliberated on the future of the EGM. Various modalities were considered. The Meeting agreed to recommend to the ARF SOM to consider winding down the EGM in the present format in respect to the three transnational crime namely, piracy, illegal migration and illicit trafficking of small arms. These and other transnational crimes including terrorism, drug trafficking and cyber crime could be discussed in the future in similar or alternative formats of EGM, ad-hoc workshops, seminars or symposia. The Meeting agreed that consideration of new transnational issues for discussion should be on the basis of certain criteria, which could include: relevance to the ARF process, non-duplication of the work in other fora and to produce concrete results and recommendations.

38. The Meeting adopted the Co-Chairmen's Summary Report on the ARF Experts' Group Meeting on Transnational Crime heldin Seoul, Republic of Korea 30-31 October 2000 and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 16-17 April 2001 and would recommend it for the consideration of the ARF SOM.
Consideration of CBMs

39. The Meeting took note of the implementation of the agreed CBMs and report by Cambodia on "Seminar on Transparency and Responsibility in Transfers of Conventional Weapons" co-hosted with Canada and Japan on 21-22 February 2001 in Phnom Penh.

40. The Meeting took note of the reports of the following CBMs for consideration of the ARF SOM to be held in Viet Nam in May 2001 :

  • Japan's proposal to host the 5111 ARF Meeting of the Heads of Defense Colleges/Institutions in late August to early September 2001 ;
  • Thailand's proposal to host the 2nd Seminar on the Law of Armed Conflict: "the relevance of the LoAC to Peacekeeping" 7 -10 August 2001 ;
  • US and Brunei's proposal to host a workshop for Mid-level ARF Civilian and Defense Officials on Preventive Diplomacy in September 2001 ;
  • Viet Nam's proposal for a Seminar on Economic Security for Asia-Pacific in the First Decades of the 21st Century on 26-28 February in 2002; and
  • Russia's proposal to host the 6111 ARF Meeting of the Heads of Defense Colleges/Institutions in 2002.

41. The Meeting also took note of the following CBMs proposed for inclusion in Basket 2;

  • Canada’s proposal for an ARF Peacekeeping Seminar to be co-sponsored with India and Malaysia; and
  • India's proposal to host the 7th ARF Meeting of the Heads of Defense Colleges/Institutions in 2003.

The Meeting agreed that it was important to keep records of completed CBM activities and agreed that New Zealand would prepare a concept paper on maintaining a record of CBM activities.

43. The Meeting took note of the report on the ARF Maritime Information Network (ARF-RMIC), based on the National Marine Data and Information Service of China for the purpose of serving the members of the ARF with maritime data and information.

Preventive Diplomacy

44. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to Singapore for submitting the paper on the Concepts and Principles of Preventive Diplomacy (PD) (Annex N). The Meeting agreed to adopt the PD paper as a snapshot of the state of current discussion on PD in the ARF. The Meeting also decided that the ISG would continue to discuss PD and focus on those issues where there remained divergence of views.
Future Direction of the ARF

(i) Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair

45. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to Japan for the revised

paper on the Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair (Annex O). The Meeting agreed that ARF members would reflect further on the proposed changes and that Japan would circulate through the ARF Chair, a new revised paper for consideration of the ARF SOM.

(ii) Terms of Reference for the ARF Register of Experts/Eminent Persons

46. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Co-Chairs for the revised paper on the Terms of Reference for the ARF Register of Experts/Eminent Persons. The Meeting adopted the revised paper as appears in Annex P

(iii) Annual Security Outlook

47. The Meeting agreed to recommend to the 8U1 ARF SOM inViet Nam that the next ASO would not be treated as confidential.

(iv) Voluntary background briefing on Regional Security Issues

48. The Meeting took note of the briefings presented by Australia, Canada, EU, India, Japan, Thailand and the US.

49. The Meeting took note of DPRK's comments that it accepted the paper on Preventive Diplomacy and the paper on the Terms of Reference for the ARF Register of Experts/Eminent Persons ad referendum and that it would forward its comments to the Co-Chairmen separately.

Qther Issues

50. The Meeting noted that ASEAN and Russia would continue their Consultations on the draft Pacific Concord.

51. The Meeting took note of the briefing by the Co-Chair of the Defence Officials' Luncheon (DOL) on the outcome of their discussions held on 19 April 2001 (Annex Q). The Meeting also took note that the extended luncheon had been useful in allowing the defense officials more time for discussions and that the Malaysian concept paper had served as a useful basis for discussion. The Meeting agreed to recommend to the ARF SOM to include the Defence Officials luncheon as a regular feature of the ISG.

52. The Meeting agreed that the Defense Officials' Luncheon at the New Delhi ISG would discuss maritime strategy and that the US would present a concept paper at the ISG on a follow-up workshop.

Co-Chairmanship of the ISG on CBMs for the intersessional 2001/2002

53. The Meeting agreed with the offer by India and Viet Nam to co- chair the Intersessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures (ISG on CBMs) for the Intersessional Year 2001/2002.