The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 17, 2005

Joint Vision Statement on the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership

Recalling that the significant progress made in the relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States since 1977 has contributed to the deepening of ties in all fields of cooperation, and such has been nurtured through the annual ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference, the ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue at senior officials' level, and other fora;

Further recalling the meeting between Leaders of ASEAN Member Countries which are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the President of the United States during the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting at Los Cabos, Mexico on 26 October 2002, and the announcement by the United States that year of the Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative (EAI) and the ASEAN Cooperation Plan (ACP) which have contributed to growing cooperation between ASEAN and the United States in numerous areas of interest;

Welcoming the continuing progress in ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations recently, particularly following the meeting between the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the Secretary of State of the United States in New York on 12 September 2005;

Sharing a common desire to live with one another and with the world at large in a just, democratic, and harmonious environment, and in this context, recognizing that equitable, democratic, and caring societies are the foundation for durable peace, stability, and shared prosperity;

Expressing the need to work closely to help alleviate poverty and address development gaps in ASEAN, through sustained economic growth and enhanced economic interaction and links between ASEAN and the United States, and joint efforts in nurturing human, cultural, and natural resources for sustainable development, and to further build on the existing friendship, goodwill, understanding, and people-to-people linkages between ASEAN and the United States;

Reaffirming support for the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and other universally recognized principles of international law;

Expressing a common interest in the development of ASEAN as a regional institution that will effectively contribute to peace, prosperity, and stability in Southeast Asia and the world, and recognizing the important contribution of the United States to maintaining peace and stability and to promoting prosperity;

Sharing a great interest in the success of ASEAN's efforts in pursuing comprehensive integration towards the realization of an open and outward-looking, dynamic and resilient ASEAN Community by 2020 and a Southeast Asia bonded together in partnership as a community of caring societies, as envisioned in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II;

Expressing desire to further increase cooperation and friendship between ASEAN and the United States to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of an increasingly interdependent world.

ASEAN and the United States hereby:

1. Agree to launch an ASEAN-United States Enhanced Partnership that is comprehensive, action-oriented, and forward-looking, and comprising political and security cooperation, economic cooperation, and social and development cooperation including, but not limited to, the following elements:

Political and Security Cooperation 2. Support the integration of ASEAN, leading to an ASEAN Community through, inter alia, the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) and appropriate successor plans;

3. Acknowledge that the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) acts as a code of conduct governing inter-State relations in the region for the promotion of peace and stability, and its role as a unifying concept for ASEAN, and respect the spirit and principles of the TAC, in line with the commitment of ASEAN and the United States to enhance their partnership;

4. Support the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as the premier regional political and security forum in the Asia-Pacific region with ASEAN as the driving force;

5. Recognize the importance of non-proliferation in all aspects of nuclear weapons in Southeast Asia;

6. Promote closer cooperation on combating transnational crimes, including inter alia, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, and enhancing maritime and border security, and express readiness to build on the ASEAN-United States Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism signed in Bandar Seri Begawan in 2002 to develop joint activities;

7. Cooperate in multilateral frameworks, including the UN, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the APEC, emphasize the importance of ambitious outcomes in the Doha Round that would bring tangible benefits to all, support the early accession of Laos and Viet Nam to the WTO, and consider the admission of ASEAN Member Countries that are not members of APEC into that forum;

Economic Cooperation 8. Strengthen economic cooperation by, inter alia, continuing to implement the EAI, which serves as a mechanism to enhance trade and investment flows between ASEAN and the United States, and in this regard, agree to work together to conclude a region-wide ASEAN-United States Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA);

9. Further enhance economic linkages, which will assist in sustaining economic growth in ASEAN and the U.S., and cooperate jointly in support of ASEAN's realization of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2020, if not earlier;

10. Enhance economic cooperation in areas to be mutually agreed upon between ASEAN and the U.S., including but not limited to trade and investment facilitation; and undertake missions and measures to strengthen the investment climate in ASEAN thereby encouraging U.S. investment into the region;

11. Collaborate to reform and strengthen international financial institutions in the areas of economic surveillance through the sharing of macroeconomic and financial information where disclosure of information is permitted by domestic laws and regulations of the respective countries, and agree to work more closely in international financial institutions to promote the influence of Asia to a level more commensurate with its economic weight;

12. Promote greater interaction between their respective private sectors, recognizing the pivotal role of the business community;

13. Pursue the development and deployment of cleaner, more efficient energy technologies of all kinds, including renewable and other low-emitting sources of energy, enhance ASEAN's regional energy infrastructure, promote energy security, promote the protection of the environment and the sustainability of natural resources, recognizing that economic growth is a necessary condition for deploying the cleaner technologies needed for continued environmental improvement, and pledge further collaboration in all modes of transport, including air maritime and multimodal transport to facilitate the movement of peoples and goods;

Social and Development Cooperation 14. Collaborate in the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) and its successor programmes or plans so that ASEAN may accelerate its regional integration, recognizing the importance of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and other sub-regional growth areas which would bridge the development gaps within ASEAN, and stress the importance of cooperation to promote sustainable development;

15. Cooperate at the regional and global levels on disaster management, including the development of regional and global standby arrangements for disaster management and emergency response, and in this connection, welcome the ASEAN Standby Arrangements for Disaster Relief and Emergency Response;

16. Resolve to work together to prevent the spread and reduce the harm of HIV/AIDs, SARS, other infectious diseases and, on an urgent basis, develop mechanisms for cooperation to contain outbreaks of avian influenza as well as pledge cooperation to put in place systems and procedures to control infectious diseases including animal diseases;

17. Foster and deepen cooperation in science and technology, and information and communications technology and encourage people-to-people interactions and exchanges as well as inter-faith dialogues, and promote cooperation through networking activities and capacity building in education such as student exchange, fellowship programme, academic attachment and research collaboration, as well as promotion of ASEAN studies in the U.S. and U.S. studies in ASEAN Member Countries;

18. Welcome the intention of the U.S. to foster educational exchanges and the continuing efforts of the U.S. to strengthen its engagement with the ASEAN Secretariat and support the capacity building of the Secretariat;

Follow-Up 19. Call on the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the U.S. Secretary of State, with the assistance of the senior officials, to develop a Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-United States Enhanced Partnership;

20. Call on the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to meet and contribute to the implementation of the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership and its Plan of Action.

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