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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Joint Statement of the 2ND U.S.- ASEAN Leaders Meeting

1. We, the heads of State/Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the United States (U.S.), held our Second ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting on September 24 in New York.  The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Nguyen Minh Triet, President of Viet Nam, in his capacity as Chairman of ASEAN, and H. E. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.  The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance. 

2. ASEAN appreciated the United States’ sustained engagement at the highest level with ASEAN Member States.  We reaffirmed that U.S. participation in the annual Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) meetings, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the upcoming ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) process, sustained engagement through the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA), U.S. accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and the establishment of a permanent Mission to ASEAN have all demonstrated the United States' firm commitment to continue to strengthen comprehensive relations with ASEAN.  We welcomed the appointment of the first resident U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta. 

3. We recognized these elements of greater engagement between ASEAN and the United States.  We agreed to further deepen our current partnership in order to provide the framework for continued growth in ASEAN-U.S. relations and to expand the significant contributions our cooperation already has made to peace, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia and the broader East Asia region. We welcomed the idea to elevate our partnership to a strategic level and will make this a primary focus area of the ASEAN-U.S.  Eminent Persons Group and will task it to develop concrete and practical recommendations to that end by 2011.  We also looked forward to the adoption of the new five-year Plan of Action for 2011-2015.

4. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the United States’ support for ASEAN Community and Connectivity.  We will strengthen cooperation with the United States in addressing issues related to human rights, trade and investment, energy efficiency, agriculture, educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, interfaith dialogue, science and technology, disaster risk management and emergency response, health and pandemic diseases, environment, biodiversity conservation, climate change, combating illicit trafficking in persons, arms and drugs and other forms of transnational crimes.  We resolved to deepen cooperation against international terrorism under the framework of the ASEAN-U.S. Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism.

5. We discussed the growing efforts to promote regional cooperation in East Asia and reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality in the EAS process.  ASEAN welcomed the U.S. President’s intention to participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) beginning in 2011 and Secretary Clinton’s attendance as a guest of the chair at the Fifth EAS meeting on October 30, 2010 in Ha Noi.  ASEAN and the United States expect to continue to exchange views with all stakeholders to ensure an open and inclusive approach to regional cooperation in the future.  

6. We reviewed our discussion from our first historic meeting in Singapore last year and noted with satisfaction the substantial accomplishments of the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership.  We reaffirmed the importance of our common goals, and tasked our officials to continue to pursue programs and activities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, enhance regional integration, and support the realization of an ASEAN Community by 2015.

7. We committed to further enhance cooperation on sustainable agriculture development and food security through the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, in particular to promote investment in country led-plans, greater efficiency of production and distribution, capacity building, sharing of experience and best practices, research and development as well as infrastructure development.  In particular, we pledged to strengthen food security through support for the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security (SPA-FS) and through the promotion of agricultural and fisheries trade. 

8. We acknowledged the continued relationship on technical assistance and capacity-building for intellectual property protection and enforcement matters through a Letter of Arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in place since 2004 and recently extended for another five years, and commended the results from previous training under this arrangement. 

9. Building on our decision at the First ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting, further consultations between relevant U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and their ASEAN counterparts should be explored and encouraged to develop areas of mutual cooperation.

10. ASEAN and the United States have learned valuable lessons from the crises of 1997 and 2008 and resolved to contribute to the reforms in the global financial architecture to safeguard the global economy from future crises, and committed to establish a durable foundation for future growth that is more balanced in its sources of demand and provides for development in line with the G-20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth.  In this respect, the United States acknowledged ASEAN’s constructive role in multilateral fora, including its contributions to the G-20 process.

11. We welcomed the rebound in trade between ASEAN and the United States and remained committed to further enhance economic cooperation in order to sustain the recovery and create jobs and additional economic opportunities in each of our countries.  Two-way ASEAN-U.S. trade in goods reached $84 billion in the first six months of this year, an increase of 28-percent over last year.  In addition, the stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in ASEAN totaled $153 billion in 2008 and the stock of ASEAN foreign direct investment in the United States was $13.5 billion.

12. We supported the  intensification of efforts to advance new initiatives identified by all Parties under the ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (ASEAN-U.S. TIFA), including completion of a trade facilitation agreement, continued development of trade finance and trade and environment dialogues, and continued cooperation on standards under the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ).  We welcomed that our Finance Ministers have met, for the first time, to discuss issues of mutual concern in the global economy, and regional developments. 

13. We recognized that corruption and illicit trade undermine development, investment, tax revenues and legitimate business in the region, creating insecurity in our communities and long-term barriers to growth.  For this reason, we underscored the importance of ratification and full implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption. We also recognized the need to deepen our cooperation, especially in regard to discussions on achieving more durable and balanced global growth, increasing capacity building activities in the key areas such as combating corruption and illicit trade, preventing bribery, enhancing transparency in both public and private sectors, denying safe haven, extradition and asset recovery.  We also welcomed the G-20’s efforts to advance the fight against corruption. 

14. We welcomed continued progress on regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, including through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) process, as well as ongoing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership involving several members of ASEAN as well as the United States.

15. We recognized that climate change is a common concern of humankind.  In line with the Bali Roadmap, we reaffirmed that all countries should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.  We agreed to strengthen our cooperation on addressing the climate change issues including on adaptation, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.  We recognized the important contribution of the Copenhagen Accord and are committed to work together towards a successful outcome of the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

16. We appreciated the United States’ support for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the offer to support the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children through capacity building programs.  We looked forward to the outcomes from the AICHR study tours that are to take place in the United States later this year and the visit of the ASEAN Commission on Women and Children planned next year. 

17. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the continued U.S. engagement with the Government of Myanmar.  We expressed our hope that ASEAN and U.S. engagement encourages Myanmar to undertake political and economic reforms to facilitate national reconciliation.  We welcomed the ASEAN Chair’s Statement of 17 August 2010.  We reiterated our call from the November 2009 Leaders Joint Statement that the November 2010 general elections in Myanmar must be conducted in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent manner in order to be credible for the international community.  We emphasized the need for Myanmar to continue to work together with ASEAN and the United Nations in the process of national reconciliation.

18. We reaffirmed the importance of regional peace and stability, maritime security, unimpeded commerce, and freedom of navigation, in accordance with relevant universally agreed principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international maritime law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. 

19. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the signing of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms on 8 April 2010 in Prague.  ASEAN and the United States consider this an important step towards a world without nuclear weapons.  In addition, ASEAN and the United States reaffirmed that the establishment of the South-East Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) contributes towards global nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, regional peace and stability.  We encouraged Nuclear Weapon States and State Parties to the SEANWFZ to conduct consultations, in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Treaty.  In this regard, ASEAN welcomed the U.S. announcement at the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that it is prepared to consult and resolve issues that would allow the United States to accede to the SEANWFZ Protocol.  ASEAN congratulated the United States on the successful outcomes of the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, in which several ASEAN countries participated, and will work together implement the pledges and commitments they made there, and to engage others in the global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism.  

20. We reiterated our commitment to prevent the use and spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), in an effort to build a world free of their threats.  We congratulated the Philippines for its able and effective Presidency of the May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and stressed the necessity for all NPT Parties to continue to fulfill our respective obligation under the NPT.  We reiterated the importance of a balanced, full and non-selective application and implementation of the Treaty’s three pillars - nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

21. We reaffirmed the importance of continuing to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1929 on Iran as well as 1718 and 1874 on Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK).  We called on both countries and the international community to implement their obligations  under the aforementioned resolutions.  We further called on DPRK to implement its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the NPT and to IAEA safeguards.  We also urged the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

22. The Leaders of ASEAN and the United States welcomed the ADMM-Plus as a framework that could help strengthen the existing cooperation on regional defense and security between ASEAN and its partners in accordance with ADMM’s open, flexible and outward-looking orientation.  ASEAN welcomed the planned participation of the Secretary of Defense in the inaugural meeting of the ADMM-Plus in October.

23. We welcomed the continuation of the U.S.-Lower Mekong Initiative to promote cooperation in the areas of environment, health, education and infrastructure development.  We supported the continued convening of the ministerial meetings between the United States and Lower Mekong Basin countries.  We encouraged U.S. engagement and support to Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Indonesia Malaysia Thailand-Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Cambodia Laos Myanmar Viet Nam (CLMV), Heart of Borneo, and other sub-regional cooperation frameworks.

24. We recognized the importance of cooperation among ASEAN educational and research institutions and encouraged more such academic linkages.  In this regard, we noted with appreciation the ERIA-Harvard University Cooperation in academic exchanges and research collaboration, particularly their joint-sponsored Symposium in Ha Noi on 26 October 2010 entitled “Evolving ASEAN Society and Establishing Sustainable Social Security Net.”

25. We stressed the importance of sustaining dialogue at the highest level between the two sides and committed to hold our third meeting next year in conjunction with the 2011 East Asia Summit.