Joint Statement of the 4th ASEAN-U.S. Leaders' Meeting
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 19 November 2012
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 Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the 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 Fourth ASEAN-U.S. Leaders' Meeting on 19 November 2012 in Phnom Penh. The Meeting was co-chaired by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia in his capacity as Chairman of ASEAN, and the Honourable Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. The ASEAN Secretary General was also in attendance.
2. We expressed our deep sympathy and deepest condolences to the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia and especially to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia and Her Majesty Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, for the passing away of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the late King-Father of Cambodia, on 15th October 2012. We shared our sadness for this great loss with the people of Cambodia during this period of mourning. Cambodia expressed gratitude to the respective ASEAN and United States Leaders for their shared condolences to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, Her Majesty Queen Mother, the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia.
3. We commemorated the 35th Anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. Relations, noting with satisfaction the strengthening and deepening of ASEAN-U.S. cooperation, which has contributed to peace, stability, prosperity and resiliency in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. We decided to accelerate the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership for Enduring Peace and Prosperity 2011-2015 adopted at the 3rd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting on 18 November 2011 in Bali.
4. We welcomed efforts to elevate the ASEAN-U.S. partnership to a strategic level. We received with appreciation the report of the ASEAN-U.S. Eminent Persons Group (EPG) and welcomed the recommendation, inter alia, that the annual meeting between the Leaders of ASEAN and the United States is fundamentally important and should be institutionalized from an ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting to an ASEAN-U.S. Summit. We tasked the relevant Ministers to review and consider the recommendations of the ASEAN-U.S. EPG as appropriate.
5. ASEAN welcomed the continued participation of the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, at the East Asia Summit (EAS). We recalled the 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration, the 2010 Ha Noi Declaration, and 2011 Declaration of the East Asia Summit on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations, which reaffirms and elaborates the broad vision, principles, objectives and modalities of the EAS. We welcomed continued efforts in the six priority areas of cooperation under the EAS framework and recognized high-level U.S. engagement in those areas including energy, education, environment and disaster management and response. We underscored the need for the EAS to address political, economic and strategic issues of common interest and concern, such as nonproliferation and disarmament, maritime security cooperation, food and energy security, and ASEAN Connectivity. We reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN as the driving force of the EAS, working in close partnership with the other participants, and underscored the importance of regular participation at the highest level from all participating countries in the EAS.
6. We appreciated the substantial increase in high-level U.S. engagement in ASEAN-led political-security fora, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), the EAS, and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum. We encouraged efforts to strengthen coordination among these fora. We welcomed the ADMM’s decision to increase the frequency of the ADMM-Plus to once every two years. We welcomed the efforts this year of Indonesia, Republic of Korea and the United States to orient the ARF Inter-sessional Meeting on Maritime Security to include civil maritime law enforcement cooperation and capacity building.
7. We welcomed the progress in the implementation of the activities of the five ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Groups (ADMM-Plus EWGs) to facilitate cooperation in maritime security, counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and military medicine. We welcomed U.S. participation in the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (AHMX+) to be held in Brunei Darussalam in 2013. We welcomed the 2nd ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter-terrorism, which was held in Washington from 3 - 5 April 2012, and took note of the efforts by the United States and Indonesia to develop a scenario for a Counterterrorism Exercise (CTX) to be held in September 2013 in Indonesia.
8. We recognized the enduring importance of the United States and emerging role of ASEAN as a US$2.2 trillion engine of global economic growth, noting that ever closer economic ties are of crucial importance to both ASEAN and the United States, as well as to the world economy. We committed to redouble our efforts to increase both two way trade and investment. Drawing from U.S. data, total goods trade between ASEAN and the United States in 2011 showed a 9.2% increase to $194 billion. U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in ASEAN countries was US$ 159.6 billion, up 11.2% from 2010. ASEAN FDI stock in the United States demonstrated even stronger growth, increasing 13.1% to US$ 24.6 billion.
9. We reaffirmed our commitment to deepen trade and investment ties and welcomed the launch of the 2013 ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) Work Plan. The Leaders welcomed the launch of the U.S. - ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) initiative, which will promote closer economic cooperation between ASEAN and the United States, and facilitate the pursuit of high standard trade agreements. Drawing on the TIFA work plan, E3 initiative activities may include negotiation of a U.S.-ASEAN trade facilitation agreement, the joint development of principles on information and communication technology, the joint development of investment principles, the development of a code of conduct for small and medium-sized enterprises on ethical business practices in key sectors, and the expansion of cooperative work on standards development and practices, including on technical barriers to trade and good regulatory practices. We tasked the Economic Ministers and Senior Economic Officials to explore and develop these activities. Recognising the vital role that business plays in our economic relationship and the success of the inaugural U.S.-ASEAN Business Summit in Siem Reap in August 2012, we agreed to expand our commercial engagement by holding an annual U.S.-ASEAN Business Summit and holding a second ASEAN Economic Ministers Roadshow to the United States in 2013.
10. We noted the official launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations as part of ASEAN’s efforts towards deepening regional economic integration. We also noted the development of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a high-standard agreement, which will boost trade and investment and promote regional economic integration throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond.
11. We welcomed the strong interest of the United States in supporting the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), and highlighted the unique competencies of the United States Government and American business in support of the implementation of the MPAC in the areas of transportation, energy, and information technology connectivity. We looked forward to further progress on the ASEAN-U.S. Connectivity Cooperation Initiative, supported by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), including engaging U.S. private sector resources to help ASEAN implement the MPAC. The first of these activities was the ASEAN Emergency Preparedness Workshop, held in Bangkok in May 2012, and the second was the ASEAN Smart Grid Workshop, held in Hanoi in early November 2012. We welcomed the positive outcomes of the “Commitment to Connectivity” ASEAN-U.S. Business Forum (C2C Forum) held in Siem Reap in July 2012, which brought together dozens of business leaders from U.S. and Southeast Asian companies. We also noted the U.S. interest in supporting the development of the Mekong-India-Economic-Corridor (MIEC) which will contribute to the realization of ASEAN’s broader regional connectivity goals.
12. We welcomed the innovative and active collaboration between ASEAN and the United States to boost trade facilitation measures that will support ASEAN's goal of a single economic community and production base by 2015. In particular, we welcomed the significant contribution of the United States through USAID in supporting the development of ASEAN Single Window project, which aims to develop an integrated cross-border process for customs clearance to increase trade efficiency, trade security, and competitiveness across the region. We further recognized consistent United States support for the promotion and implementation of region-wide technical and product standards to facilitate trade with and within ASEAN.
13. We discussed economic challenges that pose threats to global economic recovery, food and energy security, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We further welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Secretary-General High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on Post 2015 Development Agenda, of which the President of Indonesia is one of the Co-Chairs as representation of the region as well as the developing world. We, therefore, agreed to support the work of the United Nations Secretary-General High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on Post 2015 Development Agenda.
14. We reaffirmed our commitment to resist protectionism and to achieve strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. We stressed that global financial turmoil and elevated commodity prices underscore the urgency for continued attention through policy coordination. We stand by the Doha Development Agenda and reaffirm our commitment to pursue fresh, credible approaches to furthering trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with an emphasis on specific areas where progress is most likely in the near term. We welcomed Indonesia’s offer to host the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in early December 2013, and stand ready to cooperate with all Members in making the Conference a success and produce outcomes that address the needs of all Members, including developing countries and LDCs. We noted the Los Cabos Growth and Job Action Plan adopted at the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 19 June 2012 and recognized the important contributions of ASEAN in the G-20 process.
15. We welcomed the successful convening of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok, Russian Federation from 8-9 September 2012, where the Leaders from APEC economies agreed to the APEC List of Environmental Goods on which they would reduce tariffs to 5% or less by the end of 2015; a comprehensive approach to improve supply chain performance; further work to promote market driven and non-discriminatory innovation policy; increased transparency in due process; combating wildlife trafficking; and enhancing food security. We pledged to work together to support Indonesia’s 2013 APEC host year. We look forward to the convening of the 21st APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting under the Chairmanship of Indonesia in 2013, with the theme of `Resilient Asia Pacific, Engine of Global Growth` and looked forward to further advancements on these and other critical issues, including good regulatory practices and local content requirements on APEC’s trade and investment agenda, and to attain the Bogor Goals, sustainable and inclusive growth, and connectivity.
16. We looked forward to further positive cooperation and progress on intellectual property rights (IPR). We commended past and on-going cooperation between ASEAN and the United States in the provision of technical assistance and capacity-building, the commitment by ASEAN to achieve effective intellectual property regimes and enforcement consistent with international standards and international agreements to which ASEAN Member States are parties, and cooperation in the enforcement against global intellectual property crime. Noting ASEAN's commitment to the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2011-2015, we looked forward to the progress resulting from cooperation and capacity-building in fighting trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy and to the development and strengthening of intellectual property rights regimes.
17. We noted progress in the Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development and Trade (MARKET), a U.S. program that directly supports the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) framework and associated Strategic Plan of Action for Food Security (SPA-FS), emphasizing enhanced trade facilitation as well as improved farmer and policy-maker access to information, in partnership with the private sector. We welcomed the second annual dialogue between ASEAN Agriculture Ministers and food industry leaders in September 2012. We acknowledged that improved agricultural innovation and trade would improve the lives of ASEAN citizens by increasing food supplies to those areas that need it most.
18. We welcomed continued high-level ASEAN-U.S. consultations on energy. We decided to sustain cooperation on energy efficiency and conservation, and launch new cooperation in renewable energy, civilian nuclear energy and natural gas including the transfer of technology We welcomed the theme of “ASEAN Green Connectivity” at the 30th ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting in September 2012 as a way to reflect their high participation in production and utilization of energy to minimize any harm to the environment, ecosystem, nature and society. We looked forward to the implementation of the ASEAN-U.S. Energy Cooperation Work Plan (2012-2014) and noted the United States’ initiative for the “U.S.-East Asia Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future” to be launched by the United States at the 7th East Asia Summit.
19. We reiterated our strong commitment to address climate change issues and to work together to secure a balanced and comprehensive outcome in the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-18 UNFCCC) and 8th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP-8 Kyoto Protocol) in Doha, Qatar at the end of 2012. We welcomed the outcome of the 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa. We welcomed the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio+20) held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June 2012, which reiterated the importance of global commitment in achieving sustainable development. We noted U.S. support for green growth in ASEAN through, inter alia, facilitation of a trade and environment dialogue in ASEAN and looked forward to continued cooperation on green growth, environment, climate change and biodiversity. We welcomed further U.S. support for ASEAN's Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC) initiative and ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity.
20. With regard to the problem of poaching of and illicit trade in endangered and protected wildlife and living marine resources, ASEAN welcomed U.S. support in combating illicit trade in wildlife, and both sides agreed to explore future cooperation in this area.
21. Given the high human and economic cost of natural and man-made disasters in the region, we recognized ASEAN’s cooperative disaster management and response efforts which promote a sense of ASEAN Community and relevance among its populations. We highlighted consistent ASEAN-US cooperation on disaster management and response in support of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and its mechanism. We welcomed U.S. support to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) as well as technical support on disaster management to the ASEAN Secretariat’s ASEAN Regional Forum Unit. We welcomed U.S. assistance in advancing ASEAN implementation of an all hazard disaster monitoring and response system. We looked forward to a 2013 U.S.-ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction and real time information sharing. ASEAN welcomed U.S. efforts to promote mechanisms to facilitate disaster relief in the region, and we took note of the US-proposed Rapid Disaster Response (RDR) Agreement Concept, which outlines a legal and procedural bilateral framework to accelerate the deployment and acceptance of assistance personnel, supplies, and services in the event of major disasters. We looked forward to further consultations on RDR concept development in the region. We expressed support for further cooperative efforts between our scientists and researchers in disaster risk reduction.
22. We reaffirmed our shared interests on the importance of regional peace and stability, which are fundamental to growing prosperity in the region. In this context, we underscored the importance of maritime security, freedom of navigation and over flight, unimpeded lawful commerce, respect for international law, continued constructive dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We welcomed deepening ASEAN-U.S. cooperation on maritime issues, through promotion of capacity building, information sharing, and technology cooperation across a variety of maritime fora. We welcomed the outcomes of the 3rd ASEAN Maritime Forum and inaugural Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum, held in the Philippines in October 2012. In this regard, we welcomed the proposal of the United States to establish an Expanded ASEAN Seafarers Training Program. We took note of the U.S. initiative on Southeast Asia Maritime Partnership (SAMP) that aims to enhance maritime cooperation in the region.
23. We recognized the importance of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea and welcomed its implementation. We looked forward to the early conclusion of a Regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). We expressed support for ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on ASEAN’s “Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea”, adopted on 20 July 2012, and its effective implementation. We took note of the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 19 November 2012.
24. We recognized the grave risks posed by proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery and acknowledged the need to cooperate to reduce potential threats to legitimate trade. We welcomed the U.S. commitment to achieving general and complete nuclear disarmament and our common vision of a world without nuclear weapons. We affirmed our support for the implementation of the Action Plan adopted by the May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and we stressed the necessity for all NPT parties to continue to fulfill their respective obligations under the NPT. We welcomed the successful second Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul in March 2012. Further, we supported the implementation of actions called for by the Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference in December 2011. On the 15th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), we reiterated our commitment to meeting our obligations under the Convention, including the complete destruction of chemical weapons stockpile under verification as soon as possible, in order to protect the integrity of the Convention. We also urged countries that have yet to join the Convention to do so. We committed to the universalization of the IAEA Additional Protocol as soon as possible. In this regard, we welcomed the accession and ratification to the IAEA Additional Protocol by several ASEAN Member States. We reiterated the importance of a full and non-selective application and implementation of the NPT's three pillars - nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. ASEAN expressed appreciation for U.S. support of the ASEAN-sponsored United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution on SEANWFZ, which was adopted by consensus at the 66th UNGA.
25. We reaffirmed the critical importance to regional and global security of the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We called on the DPRK to comply fully with its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks and its obligations under the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes and return, at an early date, to the NPT and to IAEA safeguards.
26. We resolved to deepen cooperation against international terrorism under the framework of the ASEAN-U.S. Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism, the ARF statements and its Work Plan on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crimes, and the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy. The U.S. expressed its appreciation to ASEAN Member States for their counterterrorism efforts. We noted significant achievements of law enforcement and security forces in ASEAN over the past several years in countering terrorist threats. We committed to continue identifying and implementing actions towards this goal.
27. We noted our support for the efforts of ASEAN and the ARF in addressing cyber security matters. We acknowledged the work of the ARF on cyber confidence building measures intended to build transparency and cooperation in an effort to reduce risk in cyberspace, and commended the United States and Vietnam for hosting a workshop this year on Proxy Actors in Cyberspace. We committed to partner on practical workshops for senior experts in law enforcement, IT and other fields to address national cyber strategies, domestic and regional coordination, public-private partnerships in cyber security and the development of national Computer Emergency Readiness Teams (CERTS).
28. We decided to strengthen efforts to prevent and combat other transnational crimes, such as illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, people smuggling, money laundering, arms smuggling, sea piracy, armed robbery against ships, cybercrime and other forms of international economic crime in accordance with national laws and regulations. ASEAN Leaders appreciated U.S. support through ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility (TATF) in providing a trade based money laundering training, which help build capacity within ASEAN Member States to detect trade-based money laundering techniques.
29. The United States welcomed ASEAN’s goals to realize an ASEAN Community based upon adherence to rule of law, democracy, and the promotion and protection of human rights, and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter. We commended the successful visit to the United States of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) in April 2012. We further welcomed the incorporation of a focus on women, gender, and youth issues in all Lower Mekong Initiative Pillars following the July 2012 Women’s Gender Equality and Empowerment Dialogue in Siem Reap, and also reaffirmed the Joint Statement on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment adopted by LMI Ministers and endorsed by Friends of LMI Ministers in July 2012.
30. We noted the importance to regional rule of law of increasing exchanges among ASEAN member-states’ judiciaries and appreciated the U.S. contributions to ASEAN’s first ever judicial cooperation workshop in 2012. ASEAN looked forward to considering the U.S. initiative to organize a workshop on the development of model legislation to support ASEAN integration and community building. In this context, we also welcomed the establishment of the Singapore-US Third Country Training Program, which also offers relevant capacity building programs for ASEAN Member States.
31. We highlighted continued efforts by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) to combat trafficking in persons (TIP). We welcomed the U.S. commitment to enhanced collaboration in addressing human trafficking, which presents a serious challenge to the region as well as the world. We looked forward to enhanced cooperation that will include support for efforts to harmonize ASEAN Member States’ legal frameworks in defining and prohibiting human trafficking, increase cross-border joint investigation, and build capacity for a standardized response to the needs of trafficking victims. The United States pledged to support ASEAN’s plans to develop the Regional Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (RPA) and the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) as announced at the SOMTC Meeting in September 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. This is in line with the global efforts under the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. We welcomed continuing U.S.-ASEAN cooperation on the MTV EXIT -- End Exploitation and Trafficking -- campaign in Southeast Asia, which raises awareness of the problem by reaching millions of ASEAN youth through symposia, live concerts, and regional and local television, radio and online content.
32. We welcomed increasing regional cooperation under the U.S.-Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) in the areas of energy security, health, agriculture and food security, education, connectivity, environment and water, which significantly contributes to quality of life and capacity building among the Lower Mekong Basin countries, and supports ASEAN's aim of narrowing the development gap among its Member States and addressing the common challenges. We were also pleased to note the admission of Myanmar as sixth member of the LMI at the 5th Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting on 13 July 2012 in Phnom Penh. We welcomed the U.S. announcement of $50 million from the Asia-Pacific Strategic Engagement Initiative (APSEI) for LMI programs over a three year period and also took note of $1 million support for a Mekong River Commission (MRC) Study on the sustainable management and development of the Mekong River. We noted with appreciation the launch of “Connect Mekong,” which facilitates linkages between LMI and ASEAN, fast tracks LMI programs related to ASEAN connectivity, and initiates efforts in grass-roots entrepreneurship in the Mekong sub-region. We looked forward to U.S. support for other sub-regional cooperation frameworks in Southeast Asia.
33. We welcomed positive steps being taken in Myanmar that could facilitate national reconciliation, and encouraged further progress towards a democratic and open political and economic system. ASEAN Leaders expressed their hope that the United States and Myanmar would continue to deepen their engagement, including through taking advantage of Myanmar’s role as Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-United States dialogue relations until July 2015. ASEAN welcomed the United States’ continuing engagement in Myanmar.
34. We welcomed U.S. efforts to build people-to-people ties between the United States and ASEAN. We noted with interest the expansion of the U.S. Fulbright Exchange Program to include regional scholarships with a focus on ASEAN-U.S. priorities. We looked forward to the U.S. - ASEAN Young Leaders Summit on 5-9 December 2012 in Jakarta, which will bring together alumni of the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) from all ASEAN Member States.
35. We welcomed the U.S. support for the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme (AYVP) to promote people-to-people connectivity in ASEAN and enable youth in ASEAN Member States to be deployed to fellow Member States in support of socio-cultural, economic, and environmental programmes. Building on USAID technical assistance working with the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Youth (SOMY) and ASEAN Secretariat, the U.S. government will continue to support the launch of the AYVP in 2013.
36. We recognized the importance of science and technology as enabling factors for sustained economic development. We welcomed the United States announcement of the Innovation in Science through Partners and Regional Engagement (INSPIRE) initiative, which will foster cooperation between U.S. and ASEAN scientists in such areas as pandemic flu monitoring and prevention, development of low-cost vaccines, drug treatment monitoring, health innovation, and disease research. We looked forward to the launch of the U.S.-ASEAN Prize for Women in Science. We looked forward to continued dialogues to strengthen ASEAN-U.S. cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation and promote the implementation of the eight thematic tracks of the ASEAN Krabi Initiative and Flagship Program.
37. We highlighted the value of increased and more efficient access to digital content among ASEAN Member States, especially to promote knowledge sharing in matters of academic and policy studies. We expressed appreciation for U.S. contributions to the redesign and relaunch of the ASEAN website, and looked forward to further collaboration to promote digital literacy among ASEAN Member States.
38. We discussed the pivotal role of education in ASEAN in promoting human resources development, bridging the development gap, enhancing regional competitiveness, promoting sustained economic development, and facilitating friendship and mutual understanding among people in the region. We recognized the United States as a longstanding educational resource and destination for students from ASEAN, and highlighted the desirability of increased opportunities for two-way academic exchanges and programmes. We looked forward to continued U.S. support for the ASEAN University Network (AUN), including through implementation of an ASEAN Studies course, which was launched in ASEAN universities in 2012. We welcomed the launch at the 7th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting in Yogyakarta in July 2012 of the U.S.-supported ASEAN Curriculum Sourcebook as a manual for teachers to incorporate lessons on ASEAN into primary and secondary classrooms. We noted that the first group of students in the US$ 25 million Brunei-U.S English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN started their training at Universiti Brunei Darussalam in September and will complete their training at the East-West Centre in Hawaii in December 2012.
39. We acknowledged the consistent and productive engagement among the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), the U.S. Mission to ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, and are committed to work together to boost the capacity of ASEAN to address regional challenges. ASEAN appreciated the U.S. Mission to ASEAN's efforts in promoting frequent meetings and exchanges of views with visiting U.S. officials, which have enhanced common understanding of ASEAN and U.S. policies, and facilitated development and implementation of new programs. In this context, we noted the successful visit of the CPR in September 2012 to the United States. We noted the high-level engagement with the United States, including Secretary Clinton’s visit to the ASEAN Secretariat on 4 September 2012.
40. We emphasized the importance of sustaining dialogue at the highest level and looked forward to the first ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Brunei Darussalam in 2013.