ASEAN leaders adopt statements at summit in Cambodia focusing on recovery

This photo taken on Nov. 11, 2022, shows the scene of a meeting during the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua

PHNOM PENH -- The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Friday adopted multiple statements during their meeting here in the capital of Cambodia, aiming to further promote cooperation for a post-pandemic recovery and to address key challenges together.

During the 40th summit chaired by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the three documents adopted at the meeting included ASEAN Leaders' Statement on the 55th Anniversary of ASEAN, ASEAN Leaders' Vision Statement on ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together, and ASEAN Leaders' Statement on ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda.


The leaders agreed to strengthen principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter to support the group's continued development into a peaceful, stable, resilient and economically competitive region, according to the relevant statement.

They agreed to "strengthen ASEAN centrality in the ASEAN-led mechanisms in promoting peace, security and prosperity, and shaping an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture", it added.

The statement said the leaders vowed to boost the region's economic growth, pushing for the effective implementation of ASEAN's Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPs) with external partners, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

They agreed to "intensify efforts to comprehensively address the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 and to build back stronger from the crisis with a view to maintaining inclusive, resilient, competitive and sustainable growth", it said.

They also called on all external partners of ASEAN to demonstrate their cooperative efforts to achieve regional peace, security, stability and prosperity through the ASEAN-led mechanisms and frameworks.


The leaders agreed to promote cooperation and partnerships within ASEAN and with external partners through ASEAN-led mechanisms based on the principles of consultation and consensus, equality, partnership, and mutual respect, a statement said.

It added that they agreed to "strengthen ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture toward peace, stability, harmony and prosperity".

The leaders also vowed to "maintain ASEAN as a region of peace, freedom, stability and security, where differences and disputes are resolved by peaceful means; and free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction".

They agreed to accelerate ASEAN's transformation into a highly integrated, competitive, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous economic region, fostering innovation and creativity.

They also agreed to enhance ASEAN's participation in the global economy by fully utilizing ASEAN's existing free trade agreements and to strengthen food security, particularly in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, the statement said.


The leaders agreed to advance the "ASEAN connectivity post-2025 agenda", saying that it was vital to promote people-centered approaches, sustainable development, regional integration, and future-oriented policies, including climate resilient and sustainable infrastructure, smart cities, digital transformation, supply chain connectivity and green growth.

They were "determined to foster a caring and sharing, peaceful, prosperous and seamlessly connected ASEAN Community in order to secure a future ready ASEAN", according to one of the statements.

The leaders "agreed that the development of an ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda shall be carried out with a whole-of-community approach in a comprehensive, pragmatic, participatory, inclusive, responsive, coherent and coordinated manner, toward synergizing and complementing connectivity efforts across sectors," it added.

The regional leaders also agreed to strengthen engagement with private sectors, international and regional organizations, relevant stakeholders, and external partners, to support the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the development of ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda.

They tasked the ASEAN Coordinating Council to oversee the development of ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda that would be aligned with the development of ASEAN Community's Post-2025 Vision, the statement said.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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