PostHeaderIcon Chairman's Statement of the 11th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum, Jakarta, 2 July 2004

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
THE ELEVENTH MEETING OF ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM

Jakarta , 2 July 2004

 

1.      The Eleventh Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held in Jakarta , Indonesia , on 2 July 2004 . The meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. N. Hassan Wirajuda, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia .

2.      The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of all ARF participating countries. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also present. The List of Delegates appears as ANNEX A.

3.      A meeting among defence and military officials attending the 11th ARF was also held on 1 July 2004 .

4.      The Ministers welcomed the admission of Pakistan as the 24th participant of the ARF and took note of its expressed commitment to help achieve the ARF’s key goals and to abide by and respect fully the decisions and statements already made by the ARF.

 

Overview of the ARF Process

 

5.      The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of ARF as the main political and security forum in the region, and reiterated the importance of further strengthening the ARF. The Ministers also reiterated their support for ASEAN as the primary driving force of ARF and further encouraged the contribution of all ARF participants in moving the ARF process forward.

6.      The Ministers discussed extensively issues of common concern and reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region. The Ministers also stressed the importance of ARF focusing its deliberations on regional issues, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as global/international issues with regional repercussion, and excluding issues of a bilateral nature.

7.      The Ministers noted with satisfaction the significant progress and the role that ARF has played in enhancing political and security dialogue and cooperation as well as confidence building in the Asia-Pacific region. The Ministers agreed to continue to observe the basic principles of decision-making by consensus and non-interference The Ministers reaffirmed that ARF should move forward at a pace comfortable to all.

8.      The Ministers recognized that the challenges facing the Asia Pacific region are becoming more complex and intertwined. The Ministers emphasized the importance of enhancing cooperation and dialogue in a frank and open manner.

9.      The Ministers acknowledged the importance of the involvement of the ASEAN Secretariat in assisting the ARF Chairman. In this regard, they welcomed the participation of the ASEAN Secretariat in all ARF activities, including ISG on CBMs and ISM on CTTC.

 

Highlights of Issues Discussed

 

10. The Ministers welcomed the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II) at the 9th ASEAN Summit, which recognized the ARF’s role as the primary forum in ehancing political and security cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, as well as the pivot in building peace and stability in the region. The Ministers supported ASEAN’s intention to enhance its role in further advancing the stages of cooperation within the ARF to ensure the security of the Asia Pacific region. The Ministers further welcomed the endorsement of the ASEAN Security Community, as one of the pillars of the ASEAN Community which would ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic, and harmonious environment, and regard their security as fundamentally link ed to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives. The Ministers expressed their support for the realization of the ASEAN Security Community in 2020 and the development of its Plan of Action, as this will strengthen ASEAN as it leads the ARF towards a more secure and stable region.

11. The Ministers recognized the importance of the purpose and principles of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in the Southeast Asia (TAC) which can serve as the key code of conduct for the promotion of cooperation, amity and friendship within Southeast Asia and between ASEAN and other ARF participants. The Ministers welcomed the accession by the People’s Republic of China and India to the TAC during the ASEAN+China Summit and ASEAN-lndia Summit in October 2003. They also welcomed the accession by Japan and Pakistan to the TAC during the current series of the 37th AMM/PMCs/11th ARF.

12. The Ministers exchanged views on recent developments on the Korean Peninsula . The Ministers encouraged the efforts of concerned parties towards the maintenance of peace and security on the KoreanPeninsula and the region by achieving a peaceful solution through dialogue to denuclearization on the KoreanPeninsula. The Ministers took note positively that the Third Round of Six Party Talks was recently held in Beijing on 23-26 June 2004, and the participating states agreed to convene the Fourth Six Party Talks in September 2004 in Beijing. The Ministers supported the parties’ commitments to the goal of denuclearization of the KoreanPeninsula and underlined the need to take first steps towards that goal as soon as possible. The Ministers emphasized the importance of a step-by-step process of “words for words” and “action for action” in search of a peaceful solution to the nuclear issues.

13. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress made in recent years by the North and South towards reconciliation and cooperation, and reiterated support for continued dialogue and contacts between the North and South, at various levels.

14. The Ministers underlined the importance of the implementation of Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC). The Ministers also stressed that the parties concerned exercise self-restrain in the conduct of activities that would affect peace and stability in the region. The Ministers emphasized the importance of confidence building and the need to explore ways and means for cooperative activities among the parties concerned, thus creating favourable conditions for settling disputes in South China Sea peacefully. The Ministers welcomed the proposal of ASEAN and China to convene a Senior Officials’ Meeting under the DoC and establish an ASEAN China Working Group that will oversee the implementation of the Declaration in spirit and letter.

15. The Ministers noted the briefing given by Myanmar and discussed the development in Myanmar . The Ministers recalled and emphasized the continued relevance of the 10th ARF Chairman’s Statement. In this regard, the Ministers underlined the need for the involvement of all strata of Myanmar society in the on-going National Convention. The Ministers urged Myanmar to take every action that will add substance to the expression of its democratic aspiration. The Ministers also recognized the role of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General in assisting Myanmar to achieve this goal.

16. The Ministers reiterated their support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia , and emphasized that durable stability, economic prosperity, and democratization would contribute to peace, stability and development in the region.

17. The Ministers welcomed the full reassertion of the sovereignty of Iraq on 28 June 2004 . We emphasized the need to ensure substantive materialization of this sovereign status. The Ministers were concerned by the current security situation in Iraq , and hoped that a durable solution could be attained in order to achieve peace, security, stability and national reconciliation for the well being of the Iraqi people. We stressed the importance of the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 (2004) on Iraq, and the importance of all nations supporting the full transfer of sovereignty to Iraqi authorities, and the presence of the multinational force in Iraq for the time period described in UNSCR 1546. We further emphasized the central role of the United Nations in the process of political transition from the sovereign interim government to a democratic government; reconstruction; and development of the country.

18. The Ministers expressed deepest sympathy and condolences to the death of civilian victims in the on-going situation in Iraq , in particular the death of civilian hostages of various nationalities, including nationals of ARF participans. The Ministers, therefore, condemned the barbaric killings and acts of terrorism against civilian hostages, and consider those acts as offences of grave concern to the international community. Furthermore, they expressed their determination to prevent the recurrence of civilian hostage taking.

19. The Ministers affirmed that terrorism, irrespective of its origins, motivations or objectives, constitutes a threat to all peoples and countries, and to the common interest in ensuring peace, stability, security and economic prosperity in the region and beyond. The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers emphasized the importance of avoiding the identification of terrorism with any particular religion or ethnic group. The Ministers agreed that the campaign against terrorism should be conducted in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with the principles of international law, in particular humanitarian and human rights law.

20. The Ministers welcomed the results of the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS) held in Jakarta , 23-25 February 2004, which among others condemned acts of terrorism with any religion, in particular Islam, and any race. They noted that Moslem scholars from all parts of the world stressed the fact that the campaign against terrorism can only be won through comprehensive and balanced measures, in particular by squarely addressing the root causes of terrorism, including poverty, intolerance, and injustice.

21. The Ministers Welcomed the Joint Communique of the 4th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crimes (AMMTC) and the Joint Communique of the 1st AMMTC+3 in January 2004 in Bangkok . Furthermore the Ministers commended the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and China on Cooperation in the Field of Non-Traditional Security Issues at the 1st AMMTC+3, which provides concrete and operational measures on cooperation in the field of non-traditional security issues between ASEAN and China. The Ministers welcomed the signing of ASEAN-India Joint Declaration for Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism at the 2nd ASEAN-India Summit in Bali 2003. Ministers also welcomed the signing of the ASEANAustralia Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism at the 10+1 Meeting in Jakarta on 1 July 2004 . They further Welcomed the signing of ASEAN-Russia Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism during the 11th ARF.

22. The Ministers, recalling the objectives agreed at the Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People’s Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime in February 2002 and April 2003 in Bali , welcomed the results of the Bali Process Senior Officials Meeting held in June 2004 in Brisbane . The Ministers noted that the Bali process was continuing to work on practical activities to combat people’s smuggling and trafficking in persons.

23. The Ministers welcomed the Convening of the Bali Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter Terrorism (BRMM-CT), held in Bali on 4-5 February 2004, co-hosted byIndonesia and Australia as a means to translate strong political commitments of the countries in the Asia Pacific region in combating terrorism into practical collaborative actions. The Ministers further encouraged participants to actively participate in the two ad-hoc Working Groups established as a followup of the Bali Meeting.

24. The Ministers welcomed the formal opening of the JakartaCenter for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) in Semarang, on 3 July 2004, to build regional operational law enforcement capacity needed to fight transnational crimes, with a key focus on terrorism, and expressed interest in appropriate national agencies drawing on the resources that will be provided by the Center for operational support. The Ministers also encouraged contributions from ARF countries to the work of the JCLEC. The Ministers expressed their support for the center forming complementary working relations, including cooperation in the training of officials involved in counter-terrorism with other relevant regional bodies, such as the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok and the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT) in Kuala, Lumpur.

25. The Ministers were pleased with the outcomes of the second Intersessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM on CTTC) in Manila , on 30-31 March 2004. They expressed their appreciation for the work of the Philippines and Russia as co-chairmen of that meeting. The report of the co-chairmen appears as ANNEX B.

26. The Ministers adopted the ARF Statement on Strengthening Transport Security against International Terrorism, as recommended by the ISM on CTTC. The Statement, which appears as ANNEX C, expressed the ARF participants’ determination to take concrete and cooperative measures in safeguarding their means of transportation from terrorist threats.

27. Noting the important work being done by the ISM on CTTC, the Ministers agreed to extend its mandate for one more year, while maintaining the current format. The Ministers welcomed Canada and Thailand ’s offer to co-chair the next ISM on CTTC in 2005 in Thailand .

28. The Ministers reiterated the importance of addressing the issue of nonproliferation and disarmament in all its aspects. The Ministers underlined the importance of close collaboration between participants to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The Ministers also stressed the need to strengthen technical cooperation in order to enhance countries’ capabilities and to strengthen national legal measures to address the issue of nonproliferation in all its aspects, in accordance with the international law. The Ministers adopted the ARF Statement on Non-proliferation, as appears in ANNEX D.

29. The Ministers of the States Parties to NPT agreed to make further efforts for the successful outcome of the 2005 NPT Review Conference. They emphasized the importance of promoting the universalization of non-proliferation and disarmament agreements. The Ministers called for the maintenance of existing moratorium on nuclear testing. The Ministers also reaffirmed their support for the concept of internationally recognized nuclear-weapons-freezones (NWFZs) established on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States in the region, and emphasized the contribution of such zones to enhancing global and regional peace and security. They reaffirmed the importance of the early accession of Nuclear Weapons States to the Protocol of the SEAN WFZ Treaty.

30. The Ministers noted the importance of all countries in the region to take strong measures to eliminate the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons to non-state actors.

31. The Ministers noted the success to date of the Pacific Island Forum’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which represented a Pacific solution to a Pacific problem.

 

Activities of the Current Inter-sessional Year (July 2003-July 2004)

 

32. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the success of Track l and Track II activities during the current inter-sessional year (July 2003 — July 2004). They noted, in particular, the ARF Inter-sessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures (ISG on CBMs), co-chaired by China and Myanmar, held in Beijing, China, 20-22 November 2003 and in Yangon, Myanmar, 11-13 April 2004. The Ministers commended the work of the ISG on CBMs in advancing the ARF process. They noted the summary report of the co-chairmen, which appears as ANNEX E, and endorsed its recommendations.

33. The Ministers noted the following activities, which were completed in intersessional year 2003/2004:

·         7th ARF Meeting of the Heads of Defence Colleges/lnstitution in New Delhi, 15-17 October 2003.

·         Workshop on “Civil-Military Relations and the Rule of Law” in Brunei Darussalam, 11-12 February 2004.

·         ARF Workshop on Preventive Diplomacy, Tokyo , 16-17 March 2004.

 

Programme of Work for the Next Inter-sessional Year

 

34. The Ministers agreed that the ISG on CBMs continue its work and welcomed the offer of Cambodia and the European Union to co-chair the ISG on CBMs in the next inter-sessional year. The Ministers also noted that the next ISG on CBMs will be held in Phnom Penh on 26-27 October 2004 and the second meeting of the ISG on CBMs will be held in Berlin in March 2005.

35. The Ministers reaffirmed the procedure that proposed activities should first be discussed at the ISG level before SOM noted the new activities. In this regard, the Ministers approved the work program for the next inter-sessional year (July 2004 –July 2005), as indicated by the proposed CBM activities listed in ANNEX F.

 

Future Direction of the ARF Process

 

36. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with further progress made in the implementation of the Nine Recommendations of the Stocktaking of the ARF process and underlined the importance of implementing all remaining recommendations.

37. The Ministers stressed the importance of the adopted Concept and Principles of Preventive Diplomacy in guiding the ARF in its actions and works in Preventive Diplomacy (PD) thus far, noting that some of the concepts have been translated into actions. In this regard, they expressed their appreciation for the convening of the Workshop on Preventive Diplomacy in Tokyo , March 2004, which had explored and elaborated various ideas for moving the ARF process further. In the same vein, the Ministers also took note of the concept papers circulated by Canada and Japan , respectively, regarding the evolution of the ARF. The Ministers requested the ISG on CBMs to continue its efforts in discussing PD. In this regard, the Ministers underlined that the present work in tackling terrorism represents a milestone in the ARF’s development of a preventive role.

38. The Ministers agreed to extend further cooperation and support for the ARF Chair in carrying out the mandates outlined in the paper on the Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair, particularly in assigning the ASEAN Secretariat to assist the ARF Chairman in facilitating the work of the ARF. In this regard, the Ministers were encouraged by and supported the establishment of an ARF Unit within the ASEAN Secretariat, which would, among others, regularly update the ARF Register of CBMs and serve as the repository of ARF documents.

39. The Ministers emphasized the need to continue strengthening ties with other regional and international security organizations as well as link ages between Track I and Track II.

40. The Ministers noted that the continued publication of the ARF Annual Security Outlook (ASO) is an important contribution to transparency as well as confidence building among ARF participants. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the fifth volume of the ASO compiled without editing by the ARF Chair. They also encouraged the continued submission of inputs on the next volume of the ASO.

41. The Ministers appreciated the publication of an updated Register of Experts/Eminent Persons (EEPs). In this connection, the Ministers agreed to adopt the Guidelines for the Operation of the ARF EEPs, which appears as ANNEX G. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Republic of Korea in working closely with ARF countries to finalize the Guidelines.

42. The Ministers welcomed the contribution made by defence officials in the ARF process and endorsed China ’s proposal on the ARF Security Policy Conference (ASPC), which appears as ANNEX H. The Ministers welcomed China ’s offer to host the 1st ASPC by the end of 2004 and agreed that Indonesia would Chair this Conference. The Ministers underlined the principle that the ASPC should be convened back-to-back with the annual ARF SOM and therefore subsequent ASPC will be hosted and chaired by the ARF Chair country. The 2nd ASPC will therefore be held in Vientiane under the chairmanship of Lao PDR.

43. The Ministers noted the Matrix of ARF Decisions and Status prepared by the ARF Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat and agreed that the Matrix should be updated on an annual basis to contribute to building ARF institutional memory. The Matrix appears as ANNEX I.

44. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the open dialogue regarding the progress of the ARF process and committed to further advancing the ARF process towards the preventive diplomacy stage and beyond, at a pace comfortable to all, while continuing to build mutual confidence and trust among its participants.