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24 SEPTEMBER 2010
RP LEADS NEGOTIATION, ADOPTION OF KEY ASEAN-US JOINT STATEMENT
24 September 2010, New York – The Philippines led the successful negotiations on a key document that will bring the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States to a new era of revitalized relations.
Leaders of the 10 ASEAN member countries and the U.S. adopted today the 2 nd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting Joint Statement which identifies specific areas of cooperation, as well as future concrete actions, to further boost ASEAN-U.S. relations.
“Following extensive discussions between our hardworking senior officials, I am glad that there is agreement that this 2 nd ASEAN-US Leaders Meeting is to herald a new era of revitalized ASEAN-US relations,” President Aquino said in his statement.
President Aquino, who is here with over 140 world leaders to attend the 65 th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and special high-level meetings on the Millennium Development Goals, played an active role in the ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting.
The ASEAN-U.S. meeting was opened and co-chaired by Vietnamese President Nguyen and President Obama. President Aquino, as country coordinator, spoke after the two co-chairs to lead off the two-hour dialogue.
For his part, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, who attended the meeting with President Aquino, said the second meeting among the leaders of ASEAN and the U.S. is a testimony to the latter’s firm commitment to become an active partner of ASEAN in the years to come.
Prior to the adoption of the Joint Statement by the Leaders of ASEAN and the U.S., Senior Officials from their countries held several rounds of talks. As country coordinator for ASEAN-U.S. relations, the Philippines took a lead in these negotiations.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio headed the Philippine negotiating team. With Undersecretary Basilio were Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Victoria Bataclan and Assistant Secretary for American Affairs Patricia Paez.
The Joint Statement welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN-U.S. Eminent Persons Group which will come up with concrete and practical recommendations towards elevating relations to an enhanced partnership.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in addressing 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.
Moreover, they tasked ASEAN and U.S. officials to continue to pursue programs and activities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, enhanced regional integration, and the realization of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
The Leaders also reiterated their countries’ commitment to prevent the use and spread of weapons of mass destruction and congratulated the Philippines for its able and effective Presidency of the May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“This is a moment of renewal and revitalization, of words matching deeds. The Philippines is committed to broadening the horizons and expanding the frontiers of our relationship – a relationship that we see as a pillar of the continued stability and prosperity of our region. A relationship that holds the promise of an even better future for all our peoples,” President Aquino added.
The first ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting was held in Singapore in November 2009 where all parties agreed to work closely to address regional security, environmental, as well as developmental issues. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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