RUSSIAN-ASEAN RELATIONS PROPPED UP
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
I am a strong believer in ASEAN unity, even as I’m strongly convinced that socio-economic and institutional development of its member nations will be accelerated by many folds should they forge an economic union at the least and a political union at the max.
In the international relations terrain, ASEAN can leverage its unified strengths vis a vis former world powers. It is gladdening to note that even prior to the 2015 economic union, such relations are already being forged with couples of nations and regions, inclusive of Russia.
I would prefer the mutual benefits that relating parties can have in terms of the sharing of expertise. Experts constitute the greatest innovators that can build prosperous nations, as 77% of development is constituted by human & social capital. Only 5% of development is contributed by natural resources, so the forging of stronger ties with emerging markets such as Russia should go beyond the conventional “we-bond-to-exchange-natural-resources” Jurassic cliché.
Below is an update ASEAN report about the status of the dialogue between the Russian Federation and the ASEAN.
[Philippines, 04 September 2011]
JOINT STATEMENT OF
THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE
ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
AND THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE
15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASEAN-RUSSIA DIALOGUE PARTNERSHIP
Bali, 22 July 2011
1. We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprising Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the Russian Federation, held the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Russian Federation on 22 July 2011 in Bali, Indonesia, on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership.
2. We acknowledged with satisfaction that since the establishment of the full ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership in 1996, our cooperative partnership has developed and become comprehensive, turning into an important factor for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Considerable progress has been made in all spheres of ASEAN-Russia relations with the establishment of an effective dialogue partnership and cooperation mechanisms.
3. We recalled that the Dialogue Partnership has been elevated to the highest level. The First ASEAN-Russia Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 13 December 2005 laid a strong foundation for the dialogue partnership and defined priority areas of cooperation. The Second ASEAN-Russia Summit in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 30 October 2010, reaffirmed our commitment to consolidate and further promote ASEAN-Russia progressive and comprehensive partnership. In this regard, we look forward to holding further ASEAN-Russia Summits on a regular basis and an intensified exchange of bilateral visits of Heads of State and Governments of the ASEAN Member States and the Russian Federation.
4. Russia reiterated its continued support for maintaining ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture. ASEAN welcomed Russia’s active contribution to promoting peace, stability and socio-economic development in the region. We reaffirmed our commitment to the development of an ASEAN-led regional architecture that is open, transparent and inclusive, and based on principles of consensus, multilateralism and equality, and generally-accepted norms of international law. This architecture would include the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). ASEAN and Russia are prepared to make efforts with a view to developing working relations between ASEAN-led arrangements and other key multilateral fora, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Russia appreciated ASEAN’s support for its participation in the East Asia Summit and reaffirmed its readiness to contribute to the EAS process in order to make the expanded forum a common ground for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
5. ASEAN commended Russia’s accession to the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and its ratification of the Third Protocol to the TAC.
6. We are convinced that the establishment of a South-East Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) can contribute towards global nuclear complete disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation which are crucial for regional peace, security and stability. We confirmed that ASEAN and Russia will work constructively with a view to ensuring early accession of the Nuclear Weapon States to the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty. To that end, the Russian Federation is willing to continue together with other Nuclear Weapon States, consultations with ASEAN on early resolution of outstanding issues pertaining thereof on the basis of the groundwork already done.
7. ASEAN highly appreciated Russia’s continued support for the regular participation of the ASEAN Chair in the G20 Summits.
8. We pledged to continue joint efforts to maintain peace and stability at the regional and global levels. We are convinced that all disputes between states should be resolved through dialogue and by peaceful means without the threat or use of force. We reaffirmed our mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states in accordance with international law.
9. We attached importance to promoting innovative projects in the framework of ASEAN-Russia cooperation, inter alia, in the areas of peaceful use of outer space, non-conventional and renewable energy, tourism, agriculture and food security. We are confident that their realization will contribute to the economic modernization of ASEAN Member States and Russia, the bridging of the development gap between ASEAN countries, socio-economic progress of Siberia and the Russian Far East. Russia reiterated its strong commitment and support for ASEAN’s integration and community building process, including through the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity. We agreed to explore enhanced connectivity between ASEAN and other regions, including Russian Far East. ASEAN looked forward to Russia’s support for the implementation of the IAI Work Plan II and other sub-regional initiatives aimed at bridging the development gaps within ASEAN, as well as the practical steps on the Russian side towards developing partnerships in support of the Mekong River basin development and enhancing regional capacity programmes.
10. We are committed, in accordance with the Joint Statement of the Second ASEAN-Russia Summit and the Comprehensive Programme of Action to Promote Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Russian Federation 2005-2015, to enhance cooperation in the key areas such as trade, investment, energy security, including renewable and alternative energy, combating terrorism and transnational crime, disaster preparedness and response, science and technology, health care, education, SME, culture and tourism. We noted with satisfaction that the Second ASEAN-Russia Summit gave considerable impetus to the broadening of contacts between the relevant ASEAN bodies and Russian agencies.
11. We noted the fruitful activities of the ASEAN-Russia Working Group on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime and the ASEAN-Russia Senior Officials Meetings on Transnational Crime Consultations, as a framework for cooperation in tackling terrorism and transnational crime. Russia welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism in May 2011. We reiterated strong commitment to work effectively and efficiently to fight against terrorism.
12. We attached importance to the early finalization of the ASEAN-Russia Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation Roadmap and ASEAN-Russia Disaster Management Cooperation Work Plan, and the implementation of the ASEAN-Russia Energy Cooperation Work Programme.
13. We underscored the need for greater cooperation between ASEAN and Russia in natural disaster early warning and mitigation. To this end, we would further explore practical cooperation, including establishing permanent channels of information exchange, and a system of mutual expert support, including the working-level contacts between National Emergency Management Centre of the EMERCOM of Russia and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre).
14. We considered the implementation of projects supported by the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund to be especially helpful in enhancing the outcome of our cooperation. In this regard, ASEAN appreciated the Russian Government’s decision to increase annual contributions to the Fund, beginning in 2011.
15. We recognized the importance of promoting inter-civilizational and intercultural dialogue and moderation, which we considered to be a crucial element in preventing global and regional conflicts and ensuring international peace and security and promoting tolerance, culture of peace and respect for diversity. We further supported cultural cooperation, closer people-to-people contacts, in particular among representatives of parliaments, academia, youth and business communities, and increased cultural exchanges in addition to promoting tourism. In this connection, we considered the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the Governments of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Government of the Russian Federation of 30 October 2010 to be a basis for such cooperation and therefore called for its early entry into force.
16. We look forward to further enhanced ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership on the basis of mutual benefit and shared interests and see this partnership as an important element of the evolving regional architecture. ASEAN welcomed Russia’s support for an ASEAN community playing proactive role in the global community of nations.
17. We welcomed the steps to carry out the Programme of Activities to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership and believed that this occasion presents a good opportunity to review our existing cooperation with a view to elevating our partnership to a higher level.
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