Tuesday, November 22, 2011

6th East Asia Summit Adopts 2 Declarations

The sixth East Asia Summit (EAS) has recently been held in the Indonesian resort island of Bali. The EAS is a gathering of leaders from 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam– the Dialogue Partners and the United Nations.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addressed the opening ceremony that the combined forces of the participating countries are remarkable. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are represented by their respective Foreign Ministers.
The EAS discussed broad and strategic issues of common concern at the regional and international levels, and ways to enhance and strengthen the cooperation within five priority areas of the EAS, namely finance, energy, education, communicable diseases, and disaster management.
Joint Declarations
At the end of the summit, leaders adopted two declarations namely, the Declaration of the EAS on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations, and Declaration of the 6th East Asia Summit on ASEAN Connectivity.
The first declaration contains basic norms and common principles taken from various previous basic documents including the UN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and other arrangements among EAS participating countries.
It will serve as the guidance of conduct for EAS participating countries toward promoting and maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The second declaration includes connectivity as one of the key areas of cooperation of the East Asia Summit besides the existing five priorities, namely finance, energy, education, communicable diseases and disaster management.
This declaration will inter alia support and facilitate further cooperation between the ASEAN and other EAS participating countries in the Connectivity initiative, and a regional public- private partnership development agenda and will promote greater engagement and cooperation in people-to-people connectivity.
The EAS seeks to promote cooperation in political and security issues, boost economic growth and integration, and secure financial stability. At last year's summit in Vietnam, leaders formally agreed to expand the meeting to include the United States and Russia.
With the participation of the two world powers, the group hopes to strengthen cooperation on global challenges and discuss rules on maritime security and nuclear non-proliferation.
About EAS
The EAS is originally an annual gathering of 10-member ASEAN and six other East Asia countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Established in 1967, ASEAN, which groups Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, forms the core of the broader EAS.
In October 2010, ASEAN leader agreed at the end of the 17th ASEAN Summit to invite the United States and Russia to join the EAS in 2011, which increased the number of ASEAN dialogue partners to eight.
The EAS serves as a forum for dialogue on broad strategic issues of relevance to East Asia as well as other regional and global issues, with the focus on areas such as international terrorism, energy, infectious diseases, sustainable development, poverty reduction and others.
Relief measures for floods and other natural disaster will be a top agenda item for this year's EAS. Leaders will discuss how to recover their economic growth and prevent future natural disaster for the good of the whole region.

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