- February 27, 2017
Press Release On the Outcomes of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat), 21 February 2017 in Boracay Island, the Philippines
His Excellency PRAK Sokhonn, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, led a Cambodian delegation to attend the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) on 21 February 2017 in Boracay Island, the Philippines, to discuss important issues related to the implementation of the ASEAN Leaders decisions during the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit, especially the ASEAN Community building process, ASEAN external relations, and exchange of views on regional and international issues.
During the Retreat, the Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs briefed the Meeting on the six priorities of the Philippines, as Chair of ASEAN for 2017, namely, 1) people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN, 2) peace and stability in the region, 3) maritime security and cooperation, 4) inclusive, innovation-led growth, 5) ASEAN resiliency, and 6) ASEAN: a model of regionalism, a global player.
On ASEAN Community building, the Ministers deliberated on the implementation of ASEAN Community Vision 2025 especially the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint, the ASEAN integration, narrowing development gap and ASEAN connectivity. In connecting with these matters, His Excellency Senior Minister underscored the importance of the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Initiative Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 with the aim of narrowing development gap in ASEAN. He proposed to establish an effective monitoring and coordinating mechanism in order to successfully implement these two Plans. His Excellency Senior Minister also requested the ASEAN Secretariat to work on mobilizing financial and technical assistance as well as to assess the quality of the implementation of ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2016-2025.
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers emphasized the need to continue strengthening the ASEAN centrality and ASEAN’s leading role in the evolving regional architecture and in its engagement with external parties. His Excellency Senior Minister PRAK Sokhonn raised that in the context of geopolitics and economics development in the region and the world as well as the rivalry between major powers in the region, ASEAN must continue strengthening its centrality in the ASEAN-led mechanisms such as ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus. ASEAN must ensure a well-balanced and consistent interaction in its relations with external partners.
The Ministers exchanged views on regional and international issues including counter-terrorism and violent extremism, Korean Peninsular and South China Sea. On the South China Sea issue, His Excellency Senior Minister raised that Cambodia has always attached great importance to maintaining and strengthening peace and stability in the region for the common interests and regional prosperity based on the strategic vision of the relation between ASEAN and China which is an important Strategic Partner of ASEAN. His Excellency Senior Minister took note the positive and encouraging steps which were taken last year, including the establishment of MFA-to-MFA Hotline between all ASEAN Member States and China and the issuance of the Joint Statement on the Application of the Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the South China Sea. His Excellency Senior Minister also took note on the dialogue among the parties concerned which has contributed to defusing the tension in the South China Sea. His Excellency Senior Minister encouraged relevant parties to continue this process and work closely to finalize the Framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (Framework of COC) by mid-2017 toward the early conclusion of an effective COC.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers agreed on the preparation of important activities to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN in 2017 in order to promote ASEAN awareness among the peoples in the region and in the world.