Joint Statement of the ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations

Joint Statement of the ASEAN-U.S. Commemorative Summit on the 40th Anniversary of the ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations

  1. WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States of America, gathered in Manila on 13 November 2017 on the occasion of the 5th ASEAN-U.S. Summit to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations. Since the engagement between ASEAN and the United States was first made in September 1977, our cooperation has rapidly grown and expanded to cover a wide range of areas, including political and security, economic and trade, social and cultural, and development, with the two sides becoming enhanced partner in 2005 and strategic partner in 2015.
  2. In 2008, the United States became the very first non-ASEAN country to name a resident Ambassador to ASEAN and in 2009, acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC). The close cooperation and commitment between ASEAN and the United States was further elevated through the establishment of the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership in Kuala Lumpur in 2015 and its implementing Plan of Action (2016-2020).  We reaffirmed our strategic partnership at the ASEAN-U.S. Special Leaders’ Summit in 2016, as well as earlier this year during the Vice President of the United States’ visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta and Special ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Washington, D.C. To commemorate forty years of progressively closer relations, and to celebrate our shared goals and opportunities, we take this opportunity to reaffirm the key principles guiding our partnership.
  3. ASEAN and the United States support mutual respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality, and political independence of all nations by firmly upholding the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter, and international law, and the right of every nation to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion, or coercion.
  4. We maintain a shared commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  5. We are dedicated to maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region, and to ensuring maritime security and safety, including the rights of freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the seas, and unimpeded lawful maritime commerce as described in the 1982 UNCLOS as well as non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities. We have a shared commitment to promote cooperation to address common challenges in the maritime domain.
  6. We are committed to ensuring opportunities for all of our peoples, through strengthening democracy, enhancing good governance and the rule of law, promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, combating corruption and encouraging the promotion of tolerance and moderation.  The ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development, and Security (PROGRESS) program works with ASEAN governments to build the capacities of ASEAN governments to respond to the needs of their citizens.
  7. The ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership and its implementing Plan of Action (2016-2020) demonstrate the partnership, particularly within the five priority areas of cooperation: economic integration, maritime cooperation, transnational challenges including climate change, emerging leaders, and women’s opportunities.
  8. We recognise and support ASEAN Centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture. ASEAN and the United States adhere to the rules-based international order that upholds fundamental principles, shared values and norms, and protects the sovereign rights of all States. We are committed to the full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in all its aspects, as well as to relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and relevant multilateral treaties to which ASEAN Member States and the United States are parties.
  9. The ASEAN-U.S. partnership plays an increasing role in addressing transnational challenges. We seek to enhance our cooperation in non-traditional security issues through the framework of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) Plus U.S. Consultations, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus, and the East Asia Summit (EAS), including through training courses and exercises. We are committed to curtailing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism through information sharing and law enforcement cooperation, including through our Southeast Asia Aviation and Border Security program, as well as strengthening data exchange with INTERPOL. We are dedicated to the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. We are also cooperating on cyber security, search and rescue and humanitarian assistance, combating trafficking in illicit drugs, wildlife and timber trafficking, and addressing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, marine debris and degradation of the marine environment, piracy and armed robbery against ships.
  10. We are dedicated to shared prosperity based on sustainable, inclusive economic growth and mutual benefit.  We recognise the importance of pursuing policies that lead to dynamic, open, and competitive economies that foster economic growth, job creation, and respect for workers’ rights, and spur innovation, entrepreneurship, and connectivity. Through our strategic framework for economic engagement, U.S.-ASEAN Connect, and development programmes such as U.S.-ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (ACTI), we are pursuing our joint goals of prosperity for our peoples.  ASEAN Member States and the United States, and the private sector aim to continuously work together to strengthen partnerships and support the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, which benefits the peoples of ASEAN and the United States. We also look forward to continuing the discussions on issues of common interest, including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), innovation and digital economy.
  11. We support stronger economic engagement between ASEAN and the United States. ASEAN Member States together rank as the 4th largest export destination for U.S. companies and 4th largest supplier of imports to the United States, with total two-way trade of $211.8 billion in 2016. In 2015, exports to ASEAN supported over 500,000 U.S. jobs. Going forward, we will continue to strengthen ASEAN-U.S. economic ties, including through the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement as well as the U.S.-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement (E3).
  12. We support a strong, stable, politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, people-oriented, people-centred, and rules-based ASEAN Community. In addition to enhancing cooperation to implement the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III, sub-regional mechanisms like the Lower Mekong Initiative support these goals, strengthening ASEAN unity and helping ASEAN nations to bridge the development gap. We also have a shared commitment to strengthening people-to-people connections through programs that engage ASEAN and American citizens, particularly youth, and that promote opportunities for all our peoples, particularly the most vulnerable. The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) represents our commitment to building youth capabilities and strengthening network and leadership development among youth. Other 40th anniversary celebratory events include: think tank conferences, YSEALI and Fulbright workshops and exchanges, a film showcase, grant opportunities, technology camps, and an e-exhibit. We also reaffirm the role and contribution of the private sector and welcome greater private sector collaboration, including through the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council in supporting economic growth and development in ASEAN.
  13. ASEAN and the United States are dedicated to enhancing collaboration at international and regional fora, especially at existing ASEAN-led mechanisms.  We retain a shared commitment to continue political dialogue at the Head of State/Government level through our Leaders’ attendance at the annual ASEAN-U.S. Summit and the EAS and at the ministerial level, at the annual ARF and associated meetings.