Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued a press release on the outcomes of the 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat), held in Jakarta, indonesia on Feb. 3-4:
The full press release AKP received this morning reads as follows:
“On 3-4 February 2023, His Excellency PRAK Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation attended the 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting and ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ (AMM) Retreat at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, the Republic of Indonesia. Further, it was a historical moment that Her Excellency Adaljiza Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, joined for the first time these ministerial meetings after her country became in principle the 11th member of ASEAN at the 41st ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
The 32nd ACC Meeting started with a comprehensive briefing by Her Excellency Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and the Chair of ASEAN in 2023 on the key priorities under the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.” The Ministers also shared the same view that ASEAN does matter, and reassured her of their full support, and strongly believed that key deliverables of this year Chairmanship will help transform ASEAN into a region of peace, stability and prosperity.
The Meeting commended High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision (HLTF-ACV) for their efforts, particularly in providing Recommendations on Strengthening ASEAN’s Capacity and Institutional Effectiveness, which were adopted at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits in November last year. The Ministers agreed for the Senior Officials’ Meeting to study a possibility of establishing a Working Group to discuss how to strengthen ASEAN’s ability to respond to crisis in an effective and timely manner, and further tasked the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) to consult closely with ASEAN Secretariat and relevant bodies on other key recommendations of the HLTF-ACV.
The Meeting underscored the importance of taking concrete steps to realise the goals of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and tasked the CPR to discuss the ASEAN Roadmap for Promoting the AOIP and the follow-up to the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Mainstreaming Four Priority Areas of the AOIP. Moreover, the ACC also exchanged view on the follow-up to the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the Blue Economy, and agreed to develop an ASEAN Blue Economy Framework.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitments to strengthen regional mechanism and framework to respond to public health crisis beyond the COVID-19, including the early operationalization of the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. The ACC also approved the amendments to the Terms of Reference of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, allowing member states to utilize the Fund balance to procure vaccines for other infectious diseases.
On Timor-Leste, the Ministers tasked the ACC Working Group on Timor-Leste to expedite the drafting of an objective criteria-based Roadmap for Timor-Leste’s full membership in ASEAN, which is planned to be adopted at the 42nd ASEAN Summit. They also endorsed the Guidelines to Implement Observer Status Granted to Timor-Leste’s Application for ASEAN Membership to allow Timor-Leste to participate in all ASEAN Meetings and make statement where and when appropriate.
Moreover, the Ministers underlined the importance of effective implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will play a key role in regional economic recovery. The Meeting also recalled the initial idea to establish an ASEAN Green Deal, which is a practical and actionable framework that allows member states to make gradual transition toward a green and sustainable future.
During the AMM Retreat, the Ministers deliberated on the follow-up to the ASEAN Leaders’ Decision and Review on the Implementation of the Five-Point Consensus (5PC), and they acknowledged the complexity and difficulty of the political crisis in Myanmar, and that it will take time to reach a long-lasting political settlement. While cessation of violence and inclusive dialogue are an important step toward enduring peace, urgently building trust among concerned parties is a must. The Meeting agreed that engagement with all concerned parties should be intensified in an inclusive and flexible manner, and in accordance with the ASEAN Charter.
The Ministers reaffirmed the commitment to maintain ASEAN Centrality and Unity in the handling of the political crisis in Myanmar in all circumstances, and they also expressed their full support for Her Excellency Retno Marsudi and her Office of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar. In addition, the Meeting welcomed the draft implementation plan for the 5PC, which is a living document that can be further updated in light of progress and development in Myanmar.
The Retreat also exchanged views on various regional and international issues of common interest and concern including the situation in Myanmar, Korean Peninsula, the war in Ukraine, and the South China Sea, among others. The Ministers underlined the need to strengthen and promote multilateralism, constructive dialogue and win-win cooperation to overcome these unprecedented challenges. Furthermore, the Retreat emphasised that initiatives of partners have to be in line with the ASEAN Charter and the AOIP, and should contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity.
On the sidelines of the 32nd ACC Meeting and the AMM Retreat, His Excellency PRAK Sokhonn also had bilateral meetings with Her Excellency Adaljiza Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and His Excellency Bùi Thanh Són, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual strategic interests, and the efforts of member states to advance the ASEAN Community building process.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press