ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability 23 June 2019, Bangkok

We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely 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:

RECALLING the Bangkok Declaration of 1967 in which ASEAN declared to promote regional cooperation in the spirit of equality and partnership and to secure for its peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity, and ASEAN’s pledge to its peoples in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 to realise a rules-based, people-oriented, and people-centred ASEAN of One Vision, One Identity, One Community.

REAFFIRMING AND ADHERING to the purposes and principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter and upholding the Charter of the United Nations.

REAFFIRMING the importance of continuity and sustainability in ASEAN Community-building efforts and committing to further cooperate in promoting partnership for sustainability, within ASEAN and with various sectors of society, and in ASEAN’s relations with the international community, in order to reinforce a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind, looks to the future and remains central in the regional architecture.

RECOGNISING the growing change and complexities in the regional and global environments, and global trends including the Fourth Industrial Revolution which pose both challenges and opportunities for ASEAN and its peoples as it seeks to navigate through this period.

To this end, we hereby agree to:

1. PROMOTE cooperation and partnerships within ASEAN and with external partners through various ASEAN-led mechanisms in order to achieve sustainability in all dimensions of ASEAN Community-building and in promoting regional peace and prosperity.

2. MAINTAIN ASEAN as an area of peace, freedom and security, where differences and disputes are resolved by peaceful means; where states remain free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, including through the effective implementation of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty and its Plan of Action; where ASEAN adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member States; and where maritime cooperation is enhanced in accordance with internationally-accepted treaties and principles, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

3. STRENGTHEN ASEAN unity and solidarity as well as ASEAN’s central role in maintaining and promoting peace, stability, harmony and prosperity in the region.
(Political-Security Cooperation)

4. PROMOTE sustainable security in the region by reinforcing strategic trust and mutual confidence within ASEAN and in the wider Asia-Pacific region and reaffirming the principles of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as well as its application to this wider region.

5. STRENGTHEN defence cooperation to tackle traditional and non-traditional security challenges, while upholding the principles of ASEAN Centrality, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consensus-based decision making, participation on the basis of flexible, voluntary, and non-binding nature with assets remaining under national command and control.

6. CONTINUE TO ENHANCE strategic dialogue and promote practical cooperation on regional defence and security issues among ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners by implementing the Work Programme of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the Three Year Work Plans of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups, namely, in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, maritime security, military medicine, counter-terrorism, humanitarian mine action, and cyber security.

7. REAFFIRM the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, work actively towards the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, while enhancing mutual trust and confidence.

8. PROMOTE regional peace and stability by practising and enhancing confidence-building measures such as the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, the Guidelines for Air Military Encounters, Guidelines for Maritime Interaction and the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure, to promote communication, mutual trust and confidence, and reduce miscalculations and mishaps in the air and at sea.

9. COOPERATE EFFECTIVELY with partners within and beyond the region to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as prevent and counter the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism as enshrined in the Manila Declaration adopted in 2017 and the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism adopted in 2018.

10. STRENGTHEN cooperation on border management in accordance with domestic laws and policies to better safeguard the increasingly interconnected and integrated ASEAN Community by having the relevant sectoral bodies discuss common concerns such as transnational crimes, human trafficking, illegal wildlife trade, illicit drug trafficking and cross-border challenges including pandemics.

11. COMMIT to progressing negotiations on the ASEAN Extradition Treaty to strengthen ASEAN’s resilience and capacity to combat transnational crimes, and enhance cooperation within ASEAN to ensure respect for the rule of law.

12. CONTINUE TO ENHANCE cybersecurity cooperation and the building of an open, safe, secure and resilient cyberspace supporting the digital economy of the ASEAN region through a feasible coordination and discussion mechanism on Cybersecurity issues, promoting voluntary and non-binding cyber norms of responsible State behaviour in cyberspace and adopting cybersecurity Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) as per the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation, as well as supporting the cybersecurity activities and training programmes of the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) in Bangkok and the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) in Singapore which will complement existing ASEAN efforts in cybersecurity capacity-building.

13. PROMOTE cooperation in addressing humanitarian aspects of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) issues in the region through the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC).

(Economic Growth, Cooperation and Sustainable Development)

14. PROMOTE dynamic, sustainable, equitable and inclusive economic growth in ASEAN by equipping ASEAN to take advantage and maximise the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through region-wide initiatives such as deepening trade facilitation measures for stronger economic cooperation with the full participation of ASEAN Member States in the ASEAN Single Window in 2019; enhancing digital integration in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution with the development of the ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan 2015-2025 and improving connectivity through sustainable infrastructures; achieving inclusivity through narrowing the development gaps within and between Member States; promoting a green economy through the effective use of existing centres and institutions such as ASEAN Institute for Green Economy (AIGE) and other similar centres and institutions in the region for green growth opportunities, and pursuing economic partnerships which promote the effective and comprehensive implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

15. EXERT strong political impetus to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that will generate benefits for the region, urge the exercise of maximum flexibility by all RCEP Participating Countries, and intensify the ongoing efforts to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial RCEP this year, which will uphold a global trade environment that is open, mutually beneficial, rules-based and inclusive.

16. ENHANCE sustainable development cooperation, including with Dialogue Partners and external parties, by promoting complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Complementarities Initiative) including through the development of a “Roadmap of Action for the Complementarities Initiative” and other feasible projects that generate concrete benefits for the people of the region and strengthen partnerships between ASEAN, regional organisations and UN Regional Commissions, UN Development System and other international organisations in achieving sustainable development for the region.

17. LOOK FORWARD to the launching of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue in Thailand in 2019 and its role in helping promote sustainable development cooperation in the region, including in the areas of smart cities, and implement the Complementarities Initiative, as well as encourage the Centre to cooperate with various centres and institutions in the region.

18. LOOK FORWARD also to the launching of the STI Framework for Action: Converging towards the Development of an ASEAN Platform on Science, Technology and Innovation for Disaster and Climate Resilience.

19. CONTINUE TO TAKE FORWARD the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) in order to realise a smart cities network that is sustainable, and catalyse more opportunities for growth, collaboration, innovation, capacity-building, climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable development, while promoting cultural links and understanding, and explore the development of networks of cooperation between smart and sustainable towns and villages.

20. ENHANCE cooperative efforts to narrow development gaps within ASEAN through bilateral, trilateral and multilateral programmes based on the needs and priorities of the relevant ASEAN Member States, the effective and comprehensive implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and subsequent plans, and the development of links and synergies with other regional and subregional initiatives, including through promoting rural development and poverty eradication.

21. ENCOURAGE ASEAN and regional cooperation to promote sustainable fisheries and address the issue of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing through existing mechanisms under ASEAN, including by supporting effective implementation of relevant international law and instruments, exploring the possibility of establishing an ASEAN IUU Network, as well as implementing sustainable fisheries management and cooperation.

22. SUPPORT inclusive human capital development regional cooperation, and public-private partnership initiatives such as mentorship programmes to further enhance skills and capacities of ASEAN human resources especially for Micro, Small and MediumEnterprises (MSMEs), women, youth, children, and persons with disabilities, as well as other vulnerable groups in preparation for the opportunities and challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

23. SUPPORT the conduct of inclusive business in ASEAN; through business models and practices that address the needs of and generate opportunities for all.

24. ENHANCE regional connectivity through effective implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) and development of links and synergies between MPAC 2025, the ACMECS Master Plan and other connectivity strategies in the region, in order to strengthen physical, institutional and people-to-people linkages, and also enhance cooperation in the pursuit of ASEAN as a single tourism destination.

25. CONTINUE to strengthen the role of sub-regional mechanisms, including the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), and Singapore-Johor-Riau (SIJORI) Growth Triangle, in creating a resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive ASEAN region.
(Socio-Cultural Cooperation)

26. STRENGTHEN the capacity of ASEAN to address the challenge of natural disasters in a timely and systematic manner through the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) as the common platform for effective implementation of “One ASEAN One Response” and, in this regard, welcome the launch of the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) warehouse in Chai Nat, operating alongside other DELSA warehouses in the region and the enhancement of ASEAN-ERAT members’ capabilities under the management of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) in Jakarta, and work towards the operationalisation of the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (AMRG on HADR).

27. SUPPORT AND PROMOTE the conservation and sustainable use of ASEAN’s coastal and marine environment, including to ensure food security, improve nutrition and promote benefits for the people.

28. CONTINUE TO PROMOTE biodiversity conservation and management and endeavor to mainstream biodiversity into the various development processes in ASEAN through ASEAN Member States’ concerted efforts through, with the support of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, cognisant that diversity of life provides a multitude of opportunities for livelihood and economic development, contributes to poverty alleviation, and technology and innovation, and serves as an effective adaptation and mitigation measure against climate change impacts and natural disasters in the region, and acknowledge that the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is an inter-generational responsibility that is entrusted to the present generation.

29. STRENGTHEN ASEAN’s capability and capacity to respond to the adverse effects of climate change, by facilitating the sharing of information and best practices to enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in order to build climate resilient communities in Southeast Asia and advance ASEAN’s agreed concerns based on consensus on common interests on climate change through joint statements at the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York and the 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 25) in Santiago, Chile.

30. STRENGTHEN the preparedness of ASEAN to deal with the trends of an ageing society including through development of an ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI), and promote better social safety nets in the region through the development of an ASEAN Training Centre for Social Work and Social Welfare.

31. SUPPORT efforts to intensify convergence among ASEAN Member States on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and workforce development, with a view to develop a world class ASEAN labor force responsive to the rapid changing needs of the labor market.

32. SUPPORT efforts to mainstream gender and development initiatives, consistent with the ASEAN Declaration on the Gender-Responsive Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals.

33. ENHANCE regional platforms to promote equitable opportunities, participation, and effective engagement of youth living in remote and border areas and vulnerable groups in the development and implementation of ASEAN policies and programmes.

34. STRENGTHEN engagement with relevant stakeholders in society, with a view to enhancing their roles as partners for sustainable development and contributing to the realisation of a people-oriented and people-centred ASEAN Community.

35. ENHANCE awareness of ASEAN culture through concrete joint activities during ASEAN Cultural Year 2019, promote dialogue and cooperation between the ASEAN Cultural Center in Thailand and other similar centres and institutions in ASEAN Member States, and to further strengthen cooperation with culture centres and institutions of dialogue partners.

36. PROMOTE a greater sense of ASEAN identity and sense of belonging to the ASEAN Community, including through the development of a Network of ASEAN Associations in ASEAN Member States and strengthening the role of the ASEAN Foundation.

(External Relations)

37. CONTINUE TO DEVELOP friendly relations and mutually beneficial dialogue, cooperation and partnerships with countries and sub-regional, regional and international organisations and institutions

38. REINFORCE an effective, sustainable and inclusive ASEAN-centred regional architecture based on ASEAN-led platforms and a rules-based order underpinned by international law, regional norms, mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual interest.
39. ENSURE continuity in ASEAN policies across the various ASEAN Chairmanships while ascertaining the full functionality and effective use of existing ASEAN institutions and centres in promoting sustainability in the region and, in this connection, reaffirm the principles and priorities as contained in the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision for a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN adopted in 2018.