ASEAN, U.S. to Further Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit

JAKARTA, 14 February 2020 – ASEAN and the United States reiterated commitment to strengthen their strategic partnership for mutual benefit at the 11th Meeting of the ASEAN-U.S. Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held at the ASEAN Secretariat today.

At the meeting, ASEAN and U.S. officials noted that the longstanding partnership has expanded to cover a wide spectrum of areas under the three ASEAN Community pillars. Taking stock of ASEAN-U.S. cooperation, officials from both sides noted that the ASEAN-U.S. Plan of Action (2016-2020) has fully implemented its final year. The two sides looked forward to the finalisation of the new Plan of Action (2021-2025) which will continue to support ASEAN’s efforts in the promotion of peace, security and prosperity in the region.

In discussing priority areas of cooperation, ASEAN and the U.S. agreed to further deepen collaboration in the areas of maritime security; transnational crime including trafficking in persons, drugs and wildlife; cybersecurity; women in peace and security; trade and investment; digital economy; energy; connectivity; disaster management and humanitarian assistance; human capital development; youth engagement; and educational exchanges.

ASEAN officials looked forward to U.S.’ continued support for ASEAN’s community-building efforts, including its development cooperation programmes such as the Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE) and the Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT). Noting the importance of these development cooperation programmes, ASEAN and U.S. officials will work towards a Regional Development Cooperation Agreement that will contribute to further deepening cooperation between the two sides.

In underscoring the commitment of ASEAN and the U.S. to strengthen their strategic partnership, officials from both sides looked forward to the convening of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit, on 14 March 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada to chart the future direction of the relations.

The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Ekkaphab Phanthavong, Permanent Representative of Lao PDR to ASEAN and Melissa A. Brown, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. The meeting was also attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States or their representatives, as well as officials from the ASEAN Secretariat and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.

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Source: ASEAN.