18th ASEAN Summit concludes in Jakarta with Chair's Statement

08:10, May 09, 2011      

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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addresses a press conference after the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on May 8, 2011. The 18th ASEAN Summit concluded here Sunday with the release of the Chair's Statement on ASEAN Community-building, the implementation of ASEAN Charter and other issues. (Xinhua/Li Qiuchan)

The two-day 18th ASEAN Summit concluded here Sunday with the release of the Chair's Statement on ASEAN Community-building, the implementation of ASEAN Charter and other issues.


The leaders agreed and adopted three joint statements on "ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations", "Establishment of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation" and "Enhancing cooperation against trafficking in persons in Southeast Asia."

While acknowledging the challenges of establishing the ASEAN community, the ASEAN leaders agreed to increase the efforts of each individual member state and joint efforts to establish the ASEAN Community by 2015.

As to the fight against people trafficking, they agreed to enhance the work of the existing law-enforcement agencies, ensure the victims are treated humanely and have essential medical and other forms of assistance and accelerate the consideration of an ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons.

They also recommend the establishment of an "ASEAN Institute of Peace and Reconciliation," with the aim to "promote a culture of peace as well as respect for diversity and tolerance in order to create the conditions necessary for sustainable regional peace and reconciliation."

The leaders discussed the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which provides the basis for regional connectivity that prioritizes the development of infrastructure, institutions, and community empowerment.

Other strategic issues discussed include the protection of rights of migrant workers, the handling of piracy and terrorist activities and the expansion of cooperation in food and energy security, and disaster management.


The leaders also agreed to facilitate the resolution of the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia, and they also agreed that ASEAN must take the leading role in securing the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

With the mediation of Indonesia, chair of ASEAN, Cambodian and Thai leaders met Sunday on the border issue.

The two countries have agreed on the deployment of Indonesian observer team to monitor cease-fire. But Thailand has not formally submitted its acceptance letter. On Monday, the foreign ministers from Cambodia and Thailand will continue dialogue with the presence of Indonesian foreign minister.

Meanwhile, Thailand has invited Cambodia to participate in meetings of the Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC), the Regional Border Committee and the General Border Committee.

"We are waiting for Cambodia to accept the invitations", said Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit during a press conference held on Saturday.


The first ASEAN-EU Business Summit was held before the 18th ASEAN Summit, giving business from ASEAN and the EU not only an opportunity to engage between themselves, but also to have dialogue with policy makers from both regions.

The Summit aims to enhance business networking and rising awareness about trade and investment opportunities in ASEAN and the EU, to identify market access opportunities and challenges, and to better facilitate trade and investment relations between the two sides with formulation of policy advice and recommendations to the ASEAN Governments and the European Commission.

Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, said that the EU has been the No. 1 source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into ASEAN.

"We all agree that the trade between us has been robust, although the year 2009 it dipped a little bit about 16 percent, but this year we are going up again, and it is very very encouraging," he said.

For his part, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said the first-ever ASEAN-EU Business Summit provides an opportunity for creating business ties and the platform to engage with governments.

Source: Xinhua
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