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Highlights of the ASEAN Post- Ministerial Conferences

Highlights of the ASEAN Post- Ministerial Conferences

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday, August 7, shared the highlights of the Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMCs).

In a press briefing at the International Media Center in Manila, DFA Acting Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said that during European Union (EU) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) dialogue the two regional blocs adopted statements on climate change, discussed the resumption of negotiations on the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement, talked about the realization of a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, and welcomed the enhanced cooperation on non-traditional security concerns. Also during the meeting, the invitation to European Council President Donald Tusk to grace this year’s East Asia Summit was extended.

At the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting, Bolivar continued, the foreign ministers agreed on the Revised Implementation Plan of the Vision Statement for ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. They also talked about the ASEAN Community Building Efforts, including Japan’s support for the ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III.

In a meeting with India, the ASEAN top diplomats had an in-depth dialogue on the importance of improving ASEAN-India connectivity, the need to enhance economic cooperation, and the preparations for the Commemorative Summit on the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership in January 2018.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN foreign ministers met with United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as they discussed the future directions of the US-ASEAN partnerships and the US support for ASEAN centrality and ASEAN Community building efforts.

“The Ministers reaffirmed their intention to pursue strengthening of economic engagement through US-ASEAN Connect, the ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, and the ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment,” Bolivar said.

The DFA spokesperson added that the ASEAN ministers also expressed their commitment to strengthen cooperation with the US in the field of information communication technology, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, sustainable fisheries and marine environment, climate change, education, women’s and youth issues, emerging leadership, and people-to-people exchanges.

The ministers of ASEAN and Russia, on the other hand, noted key deliverables agreed upon during the Commemorative Summit in Sochi, which included counter-terrorism, maritime cooperation, trade and investment facilitation, cooperation in transport, energy, agriculture, tourism, people-to-people connectivity, science and technology, education, disaster management and emergency response, and health development.

At the meeting of ASEAN Plus Three (APT), which groups the 10 member states of ASEAN, China, Japan, and South Korea, held earlier on Monday, Bolivar said DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano underscored in his opening remarks delivered during the APT Meeting that the cooperation on many areas directly impact people’s lives, and he called on the ministers to work towards the continued strengthening of the East Asia Summit.

The ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022 was adopted and endorsed for notation at the 12th East Asia Summit in November. (DFA-PR/PNA)