Chairman's statement of the 5th East Asia Summit Foreign Minister's Meeting

Kuala Lumpur, 6 August 2015

"Our people, our community, our vision"

The 5th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers' Meeting was convened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 6 August 2015. The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dato' Sri Anifah Aman, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.

Review and Future Direction of the East Asia Summit

  1. The Ministers acknowledged the growing importance of the EAS in the regional architecture and reaffirmed its role as a Leaders'-led forum to discuss broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.
  2. The Ministers reiterated that the East Asia Summit would continue to be an inclusive, transparent and outward-looking forum in which the participating countries shall strive to strengthen global norms and uphold universally recognised principles, with ASEAN as the driving force working in partnership with the other participating countries of the East Asia Summit.
  3. The Ministers noted that 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the East Asia Summit and discussed the strengthening of its work processes with the aim of enabling major powers in the region to discuss issues of common interest and concern based on the agenda and methods of work set by ASEAN, which is an important manifestation of ASEAN's centrality in the evolving regional architecture. They looked forward to the Leaders adopting a declaration celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the East Asia Summit and outlining the way forward.
  4. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the 4th EAS Workshop and Dialogue on Regional Security Architecture in the Asia Pacific Region co-hosted by Cambodia and India in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 20 - 21 July 2015, which discussed various proposals introduced during the four workshops. They noted China's offer to host a 5th Workshop in 2016.

Priority Areas of Cooperation

  1. The Ministers welcomed the proposal to extend the Plan of Action to Implement the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative (2014-2015) until the year 2017, which focuses on EAS cooperation in the six priority areas, namely energy, education, finance, global health issues including pandemic diseases, environment and disaster mitigation, and ASEAN Connectivity as well as other areas of cooperation. The extension was agreed upon ad-referendum and will take effect once confirmed by all East Asia Summit participating countries.

Energy

  1. The Ministers noted progress made in the work streams of Energy Efficiency and Conservation; Biofuels for Transport and Other Purposes; and Renewable and Alternative Power Generation under the EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force (ECTF) Work Plan 2013-2014. They acknowledged the outcome of the 8th EAS Energy Ministers' Meeting, held on 24 September 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR which discussed ways to improve energy efficiency, utilise biofuels for transport and other purposes, and promote sustainable natural gas market, clean coal technologies and alternative and renewable energy in the EAS region as the total energy demand of the EAS participating countries would account for approximately 65 per cent of the global energy demand by 2035.
  2. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the Energy Research Network (ERIN) in September 2014 in Brunei Darussalam, comprising a network of research institutes and universities in the EAS region to promote joint research and development on energy. The Ministers noted that the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) has commenced a study on promoting oil stockpiling and reinforcement of emergency response measures in EAS participating countries and welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ERIN and ERIA on 6 September 2014 in Bandar Seri Begawan to enhance collaboration between the two Institutes.

Education

  1. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the 2nd EAS Education Ministers' Meeting on 12 September 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR and noted the review of the EAS Education Cooperation Plan of Action (2011-2015) to identify, collate and analyse lessons learnt in order to facilitate the development of a post-2015 vision and action plan.

Finance

  1. The Ministers acknowledged the importance of financial stability in supporting economic growth by consistently managing risks and vulnerabilities. The Ministers expressed support to further strengthen the region's response to external shocks through continual regional financial cooperation and closer collaboration with international financial institutions.

Global Health Issues including Pandemic Diseases

  1. The Ministers expressed the need to effectively implement the Declaration of the 7th East Asia Summit on Regional Responses to Malaria Control and Addressing Resistance to Anti-malarial Medicine adopted in Cambodia in 2012 and noted with concern the continued spread of Multidrug Resistant Malaria in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and that combating antimicrobial resistance has been identified as one of the health priorities of ASEAN's Post-2015 Health Development Agenda. They welcomed the activities undertaken by the Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) since its inception in October 2013 and reaffirmed commitment to the goal of an Asia Pacific Free of Malaria by 2030. The Ministers also noted the development of the APLMA Malaria Elimination Roadmap as a framework for shared action and looked forward to the Roadmap being presented to Leaders at the 10th EAS.
  2. The Ministers also noted with concern the spread of dengue in an increasing number of countries and that existing vector control methods have not reached the desired effects in most dengue endemic countries. They called for collaboration and cooperation to test proof new technologies and to take advantage of new tools which are on the horizon.
  3. The Ministers expressed concern over the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and its spread to countries in the region. They emphasised the need to strengthen regional mechanisms and increase national capacity to contain its reach as well as prevent the spread of other pandemic diseases through increased surveillance, prevention and control so as to minimise risks to public health.
  4. The Ministers noted the importance of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and acknowledged the need to enhance coordination and cooperation in areas such as infectious diseases, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases and strengthening of health systems, based on the principle of universal health coverage for the region.

Environment and Disaster Mitigation

  1. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the 4th EAS Environment Ministers' Meeting on 31 October 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR which discussed ways to further enhance EAS cooperation in this important area.
  2. The Ministers expressed concern over the grave impact of climate change on the economy, livelihood and sustainable development of all countries in the region. They recognised the need for urgent and concrete action to address climate change and reaffirmed their commitment to closely cooperate towards the adoption of an ambitious protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all Parties under the UNFCCC at COP21 in Paris to be held at the end of 2015.

ASEAN Connectivity

  1. The Ministers noted the on-going implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), and highlighted the important role of MPAC initiatives towards supporting greater ASEAN integration and growth. They looked forward to the convening of the 6th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium entitled The Connectivity Agenda for an Integrated ASEAN Community, to be held on 16 October 2015 in Penang, Malaysia, which would bring together relevant stakeholders to share views and discuss ASEAN's post-2015 Connectivity Agenda as well as the best methodology to address challenges in the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity post-2015.

Other Areas of Cooperation

Disaster Management

  1. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the 3rd ACDM Session on EAS Cooperation in Disaster Management held on 15 October 2014 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam and the 4th Session held on 22 April 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Through these sessions, ASEAN further familiarised the non- ASEAN EAS participating countries with the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2010-2015 and explored cooperation in various areas.
  2. The Ministers noted the launch of the EAS Earthquake Risk Reduction Centre with the Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP) in December 2014 in New Delhi, India and encouraged EAS participating countries to make active use of the VKP. The Ministers welcomed the launching of the EAS Rapid Disaster Response Toolkit at the Indonesia- Australia EAS Rapid Disaster Response Workshop which was held on 10-11 June
    2015 in Bali, Indonesia, and noted the convening of the Indonesia-New Zealand EAS Disaster Recovery Workshop on 12 June 2015 in Bali, Indonesia. The Toolkit endeavours to streamline disaster response amongst EAS participating countries, building on existing regional mechanisms with a view to providing a practical platform to strengthen technical cooperation. The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the Australia-Thailand EAS Search and Rescue Lessons Learned Seminar to be held on 20-21 September in Sydney, Australia.

Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Security in the Use of ICTs

  1. The Ministers noted the outcome of the EAS Symposium on Religious Rehabilitation and Social Integration, held in Singapore on 16-17 April 2015 which aims to mitigate the threat of terrorism and violent extremism by building community resilience against radical narratives and help re-integrate rehabilitated individuals into mainstream society.
  2. The Ministers highlighted the need for countries to support efforts to counter terrorist and violent extremist ideology and propaganda; to work with members of civil society and the private sector to promote positive messages of respect, inclusion and moderation; to build resilience and prevent the process of radicalisation, particularly
  3. online and to this end welcomed the initiative of an EAS statement on countering violent extremism.
  4. The Ministers expressed concern over the emerging threat of cyber-crime and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for terrorist purposes as well as those that are inconsistent with international peace and security. They noted an initiative to issue an EAS statement on transnational cyber issues.

Maritime Cooperation

  1. The Ministers underscored the importance of peace and stability in the region and reiterated the Leaders' call for regional efforts to enhance cooperation in promoting maritime safety and security. In this regard, the Ministers looked forward to the convening of the 4th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum back-to-back with the 6th ASEAN Maritime Forum, to be held in Manado, Indonesia. The Ministers further noted a proposal to elevate the EAMF into a Track 1 Forum as well as an initiative of an EAS statement on enhancing regional maritime cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

Regional and International Issues

  1. The Ministers discussed developments in the South China Sea and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation in and over-flight over the South China Sea.
  2. The Meeting discussed matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of the serious concerns expressed by some Ministers over the recent and on-going developments in the area, including land reclamation, which have resulted in the erosion of trust and confidence amongst parties, and may undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea.
  3. The Meeting reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea.
  4. The Meeting emphasised the need for ASEAN Member States and China to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China (DOC) in its entirety: to build, maintain and enhance mutual trust and confidence; to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities; to not to resort to threat or use of force; and for the parties concerned to resolve their differences and disputes through peaceful means, in accordance with international law including 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  5. The Meeting welcomed the recent agreement between ASEAN Member States and China to proceed to the next stage of consultations towards the establishment of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and looked forward to the expeditious establishment of the COC.
  6. The Ministers expressed concern over recent developments in the Korean Peninsula and underlined the importance of peace, stability and security in the region. They registered deep concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's recent ballistic missile launch and highlighted the importance of trust-building activities on the Peninsula and the need to fully comply with all relevant United Nations Security
    Council Resolutions and for parties to abide by their commitments under the 19
    September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The Ministers called for the creation of necessary conditions for the early resumption of Six-Party Talks which would pave the way for the complete and verifiable de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.
  7. The Ministers expressed support for the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to an independent state of Palestine with the realisation of two states, Palestine and Israel, living side-by-side, and called upon Israel and Palestine to constructively engage in peace negotiations. The Ministers called on all parties to make every effort to remove obstacles related thereto, in particular the construction and expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories, and expressed support for all efforts towards finding a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  8. The Ministers welcomed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran on 14
    July 2015 and issued a Statement on this matter.
  9. The Ministers expressed grave concern at the continued expansion of activities of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and resolved to step up efforts to counter violent extremism by strengthening intelligence and security cooperation while highlighting that terrorism must be addressed in a comprehensive manner and not through the use of force alone, including commitment to international law, peaceful resolution of conflicts, democratic values, equitable and inclusive economic growth, tolerance and mutual respect and adherence to social justice.
  10. Recognising moderation as an approach to counter extremism in all its forms, the Ministers highlighted its important role in the pursuit of long lasting peace and as a tool to counter violent extremism and terrorism, diffuse tensions and negate radicalism and welcomed the adoption of the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates at the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the proposal for an EAS Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates.
  11. The Ministers recognised the importance of strengthening economic relations among EAS participating countries and the significance of the on-going negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). RCEP would affirm ASEAN centrality in the regional economic architecture and the interests of ASEAN's FTA Partners. Once concluded, RCEP would provide a platform for trade and investment integration in Asia and the wider region. The Ministers recognised that RCEP contributes to economic integration, equitable economic development and strengthening economic cooperation among participating countries, through working towards a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement.
  12. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for comprehensive, transparent and efficient multilateral approaches to addressing global challenges, and underscored the central role of the United Nations in on-going efforts to find common solutions to such challenges. They reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including revitalisation of its General Assembly to become the chief deliberative, policy making and representative organ of the United Nations as well as the reform of the Security Council, guided by the principles of democracy, transparency and accountability and achieved through open-ended and inclusive consultations. The reform of the Security Council should reflect contemporary geo- political realities and make it more effective, efficient, transparent, democratic and representative so that it could better respond to today's global challenges. They recognised the challenges associated with the process and therefore urged all UN Member States to work in a concerted manner towards this end.
  13. The Ministers discussed preparations for the upcoming East Asia Summit, which would commemorate the 10th anniversary of its establishment. The Summit is scheduled to be held in November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  14. The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the 6th EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting, to be held in Lao PDR in 2016.

Last Updated: 24 August 2015