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Chairman’s Statement of the 15th East Asia Summit

21-11-2020, 10:00:00

The 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) was convened via video conference on 14 November 2020. Below is the full text of the Summit's Chairman's Statement.

1. The 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) was convened via video conference on 14  November 2020. The Meeting was chaired by His Excellency Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the  Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and attended by the Heads of  State/Government and High Representatives of ASEAN Member States, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Russian Federation and the United States of America  (U.S.). The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance. The Secretary General of the United Nations, and President of the World Bank Group briefed the 15th EAS on global efforts in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting comprehensive recovery. 

Review and Future Direction of the East Asia Summit 

2. In commemorating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the EAS, we noted with satisfaction the significant progress and achievements thus far, and that the year 2020 is an opportune time to further explore the future development of the  EAS. We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthening the EAS as the premier 

Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia in line with the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit and based on its established principles,  objectives and modalities. 

3. We reaffirmed that the East Asia Summit is an open, inclusive, transparent and outward looking forum which strengthen global norms and universally recognized values with ASEAN as the driving force working in partnership with the other participating countries of the East Asia Summit. We reaffirmed ASEAN’s central role in the EAS, and ASEAN’s commitment to work in close partnership with all EAS  participating countries to ensure that the EAS continues to be an integral component of the evolving ASEAN centred regional architecture. To further strengthen the EAS  and on the occasion of its 15th anniversary, we adopted the Ha Noi Declaration on the  15th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit. 

4. We underscored the need to further strengthen the EAS to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in the face of fast-changing strategic complexities regionally and globally, especially at the significant milestone of the EAS’ 15th anniversary. We emphasized the importance of the EAS in strengthening multilateralism and international order anchored in international law. We also reaffirmed the role of the  EAS in actively contributing to a rules-based approach in managing inter-state relations in the region in accordance with international law; promoting strategic trust;  and helping ensure transparent and predictable behaviour and responsible actions.  We emphasized the importance of the rule of law in international relations. We recognized the importance of having free flowing constructive dialogue on strategic issues amongst Leaders at the EAS in order to reinforce strategic trust and to address common challenges including through practical cooperation, based on mutual trust,  mutual benefit and mutual respect and rule of law. 

5. We welcomed the continued efforts to strengthen EAS work processes to ensure the timely and effective follow-up and implementation of Leaders’ decisions and initiatives, including during the inter-sessional period. We supported the enhanced coordinating role of the Chair of the EAS in ensuring ASEAN centrality, promoting synergy and complementarity between the EAS and other ASEAN-led mechanisms as well as in ensuring effective coordination and exchange of information among EAS  participating countries during the inter-sessional period. We recognized the contributions of the regular engagement between the Committee of Permanent  Representatives to ASEAN and the non-ASEAN Ambassadors of East Asia Summit participating countries in Jakarta in the past five years, encouraged its continuation of work in discussing the implementation of Leaders’ decisions as well as exchanging information on regional development cooperation initiatives and related policies and initiatives, and the discussions on the evolving regional architecture. We also welcomed the further strengthening of the EAS Unit within the ASEAN Secretariat to serve as an information hub to facilitate and support EAS coordination and cooperation. 

Areas of Cooperation 

6. We acknowledged the progress made in the areas of EAS cooperation under the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS  Development Initiative (2018-2022). We looked forward to the timely and effective implementation of the Plan of Action through the existing EAS mechanisms and relevant ASEAN frameworks, in close consultation with and support from the EAS  participating countries. 

7. We reaffirmed our commitment to advancing partnership in promoting  sustainability in all dimensions within the region, including promoting sustainable and  equitable development, sustaining growth, in particular, effectively addressing the  adverse socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforce a people 

centred ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind, looks to the future and is better prepared for opportunities, challenges and uncertainties in the rapidly changing regional and global environment and which will mitigate the multi-faceted impact of the  COVID-19 on the region. 

Environment and Energy 

8. We recognized the opportunities for a sustainable, inclusive and comprehensive recovery, including promoting clean and green technologies and by addressing transboundary challenges such as climate change and air quality, coastal and marine pollution including discharge of litter the emerging issue of and microplastics, as well as management of waste and water resources through strengthening partnership, cooperation and actions. In this connection, we also noted that a draft  EAS Regional Plan of Action (RPoA) on Combating Marine Plastic Debris (CMPD) is currently being developed as a follow-up to the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Combating  Marine Plastic Debris adopted by the 13th EAS in November 2018 in Singapore. 

9. We welcomed the progress made in EAS energy cooperation, including the successful conduct of distributed energy system audits in select ASEAN Member  States led by Japan, the ongoing feasibility study on wind power with energy storage systems in select ASEAN countries led by the Republic of Korea, and the evaluation of carbon emission reduction through mobility electrification and introduction of alternative biofuels led by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia  (ERIA). We noted the expanded EAS initiatives on promotion of natural gas, hydrogen and carbon recycling, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and looked forward to the initiatives contributing to energy transitions in the region. We welcomed the contribution of ERIA to the implementation of the EAS Mid-Term Energy Policy  Research Roadmap for the 3 ECTF work streams. We welcomed the successful convening of the 3rd East Asia Energy Forum (EAEF 3) focusing on CCUS on 9  November 2020 organized by ERIA and Vietnam, and the EAS New Energy Forum held on 24th September 2020 organized by China. We encouraged ERIA to continue high quality policy-based research and pragmatic recommendations reflecting the regional energy situation after COVID-19. 

10. We welcomed the convening of the 14th EAS Energy Ministers’ Meeting hosted by Viet Nam via videoconference in conjunction with the 38th ASEAN Ministers on  Energy Meeting and Associated Meetings (38th AMEM) on 20 November 2020. 

11. We noted that the 11th EAS High Level Seminar on Sustainable Cities (EAS  HLS-SC), organized by the Government of the Philippines, Government of Japan, the  ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC), and the  ASEAN Secretariat, was held virtually on 29-30 September 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Education 

12. We encouraged the EAS participating countries to align the related action lines under the Manila Plan of Action with the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020,  as recommended by the 5th EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting on Education (EAS SOM ED, with a view towards fostering life-long skills development, digital literacy and quality education. We also expressed support for the ASEAN Declaration on Human Resources Development for a Changing World of Work, which also seeks to promote lifelong learning and 21st century skills. We also looked forward to the convening of the 6th EAS SOM-ED and the 5th EAS Education Ministers Meeting to be hosted by the Philippines in 2021. 

Finance 

13. We reiterated the importance of financial stability in supporting economic growth by consistently monitoring risks and vulnerabilities especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expressed support for further strengthening the region’s resilience to external shocks through continued regional financial cooperation and closer collaboration with international financial institutions. 

Regional and Global Health Issues and Pandemics 

14. We acknowledged the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities and economies in the region and reaffirmed our commitment to facilitating equitable access to quality, affordable, safe and effective COVID-19  vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics as the means for curbing its spread. We committed to working together inclusively at the regional and global levels, in consultation with the United Nations and the World Health Organization, to address the health, economic and security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we welcomed the adoption of the 73rd World Health Assembly Resolution on  COVID-19 response and reaffirmed the importance of following up the Resolution.  

15. We recalled the results of the Special Video Conference of the ASEAN Health  Ministers in Enhancing Cooperation on COVID-19 Response on 7 April 2020; the  ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) Special Video  Conference in Synergising COVID-19 Response on 22-23 July 2020; and the video conferences of ASEAN health officials and experts with various Dialogue and  Development Partners. We noted the convening of the EAS Experts’ Meeting on  COVID-19 via videoconference on 14 October 2020 led by Viet Nam as the EAS Chair and Indonesia as the current AHMM/SOMHD Chair, and co-sponsored by China, Russia and Australia, to strengthen EAS coordination and collaboration on the containment and control of the COVID-19, mitigating its socio-economic impacts, and promoting recovery. 

16. We acknowledged the progress of the collective efforts and harmonized cooperation on the preparedness, prevention, detection and response to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, including towards achieving universal health coverage, through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach with mutual support among EAS participating countries at the national, regional and global levels. We took note that the majority of the landscape of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates are from EAS participating countries. We welcomed the launching of  ASEAN key initiatives to strengthen regional preparedness and response to this pandemic and future public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 ASEAN  Response Fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, the Standard Operating  Procedures for Public Health Emergencies, the ASEAN Centre for Public Health  Emergencies and Emerging Diseases and a Comprehensive Regional Recovery  Framework. We welcomed the development of an ASEAN travel corridor arrangement framework and its operationalization to facilitate essential business travels, while prioritizing public health safety, particularly in controlling the transmission of the  COVID-19, without precluding the application of the framework to other categories of travel in the future. 

17. We emphasized that any trade-restrictive emergency measures put in place to address the impact of COVID-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent,  temporary, consistent with World Trade Organization rules and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption of global and regional supply chains. We recognized the increasing pace of digital transformation in the society and economy,  especially the accelerated adoption of digital technologies in coping with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of countering disinformation and misinformation on communicable and emerging infectious diseases, and on COVID-19. 

18. We recognized the importance of cooperation in the development,  manufacturing and distribution of anti-viral medicines and vaccines, including through the COVAX Facility, adhering to the objectives of quality, efficiency, safety, equal accessibility and affordability and noted the role of the International Vaccine Institute  (IVI) in developing and delivering vaccines. 

19. We underscored the critical importance of fair and equitable access to safe,  quality and effective drugs diagnostic tests and vaccines for COVID-19, in order to restore the full range of the region’s economic activity, connectivity, and implementation of regional recovery and global health and ensure drug and vaccine security and self-reliance. 

20. We reaffirmed our commitment to the goal of an Asia-Pacific free of malaria by  2030, and welcomed ongoing efforts to implement proposed actions in the Asia Pacific  Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap, including the five-year progress report delivered to the EAS Leaders in 2020. 

Natural Disaster Management  

21. We recognized that our region is prone to natural disasters, and emphasized the need to foster closer collaboration in disaster management, support regional and sub-regional capacities in disaster management and emergency response, and address their disruptions to the socio-economic development. We reaffirmed our support to the implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One  Response (OAOR): ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region as well as the realization of the ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster  Management. We acknowledge the progress made in the implementation of the  ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER)  Work Programme 2016-2020. We also note the development of the AADMER Work  Programme for 2021-2025 and expressed our commitment to supporting the  ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in its implementation. We commended ASEAN’s effort in building resilience to slow onset disasters such as drought through the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on The Strengthening of  Adaptation to Drought, and expressed support towards its implementation. We also reaffirmed our support towards strengthening the capacity of the ASEAN Coordinating  Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) as the primary ASEAN regional coordinating agency for the implementation of the AADMER. 

22. We encouraged the strengthening of engagement between the ACDM and the national disaster management organizations (NDMOs) of non-ASEAN EAS  participating countries through the participation in ASEAN-led activities/projects, including, but not limited to, the biennial ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency  Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX), the annual AADMER Partnership  Conference (APC) and the annual ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster  Management (SPDDM) as a platform for strategic dialogue to enhance and build  ASEAN’s resiliency to disasters. 

ASEAN Connectivity  

23. We underscored the importance of promoting greater synergies amongst the various connectivity strategies in the region, and as well as promoting sustainable, transparent, quality infrastructure development in accordance with international standards and to facilitate trade, investment and service competitiveness in the region and acknowledged that the mobilization of means of implementation of infrastructure projects is critical. We also emphasized the importance of ASEAN Centrality in promoting ASEAN’s sub-regional economic cooperation efforts which continue to serve as catalysts for economic growth and sustainable, equitable development and for reinforcing regional economic integration and connectivity. We support ASEAN’s efforts in narrowing the development gap with the adoption of the IAI Work Plan IV  (2021 – 2025). We shared the belief that prosperity and sustainable development in the sub-regions are of crucial importance to ASEAN’s regional integration and  Community building process. We supported ASEAN’s enhanced role in ensuring sustainable and equitable development across the ASEAN Community, including through aligning sub-regional growth with the comprehensive development of ASEAN. 

24. We expressed support for ASEAN’s efforts in enhancing the effective implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 including through the conduct of Mid-Term Review of MPAC 2025 towards a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN that will promote competitiveness,  inclusiveness, and a greater sense of Community. We encouraged further engagement between the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and the non-ASEAN EAS participating countries to support MPAC 2025 implementation.  We welcomed the successful convening of the ACCC Consultations with Dialogue  Partners and Other External Partners on Connectivity and 11th ASEAN Connectivity  Symposium on Enhancing ASEAN Cohesiveness, Responsiveness through Resilient  Connectivity and Human Capital Development, with support from the ERIA, on 26  August 2020 and 28 August 2020, respectively. 

Economic Cooperation and Trade 

25. We noted the outcomes of the 8th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting, which was held via video conference on 28 August 2020. We reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening regional economic cooperation and resolved to take actions aimed at mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global and regional trade and investment, ensuring macroeconomic and financial stability and restoring business and consumers’ confidence in the region. We acknowledged the importance of accelerating economic growth, maintain supply chains and market stability, and strengthening the economic resilience in the region so that the region can emerge together strongly in post-pandemic environment. We encouraged increased dialogue on common economic challenges and opportunities facing EAS countries and to further strengthen the multilateral trading system regional economic integration and cooperation and narrow the development gap in the region to make them resilient and less vulnerable to shocks.  

26. We reaffirmed our commitment to promote trade and investment, including keeping markets open, minimize disruptions to trade and global supply chains and facilitate supply chain connectivity, which will help strengthen the resilience and sustainability of regional supply chains and maintain the flow of goods and services,  especially for essential goods such as medical supplies, medicines, including vaccines, food, commodities and other essential supplies and services in the region.  We supported the efforts to realize a free, fair, transparent, non-discriminatory,  predictable, and stable trade environment and affirmed the importance of agreed upon rules in the WTO, which can enhance market predictability and business confidence. 

We acknowledged the intensified efforts of the Regional Comprehensive Economic  Partnership (RCEP) Participating Countries towards signing the RCEP agreement this year. We acknowledged the conclusion and signing of the RCEP agreement at the 4th RCEP Summit in 15 November 2020 as a strong commitment to supporting economic recovery, inclusive development as well as our support for an open, inclusive, rules based trade and investment arrangement. 

27. We commended ERIA for its continued research and analysis on key regional economic issues that support economic integration and the digital economy in the region. We welcomed the report of the 13th ERIA Governing Board Meeting held on  16 October 2020. We encouraged ERIA to continue providing support to the Chair of the ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit by undertaking high-quality policy-based research, especially those that will help the EAS region respond well to the after-effects of COVID-19 pandemic. We welcomed and encouraged further efforts to support the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) in building a network of smart cities that are resilient, innovative and well-connected, in line with the 2018 EAS Leaders’  Statement on ASEAN Smart Cities. 

Food Security 

28. We reaffirmed our commitment to implement the 2013 EAS Declaration on  Food Security and stressed the need to further enhance food security and nutrition through efficient and sustainable use and management of land, forest, water, and aquatic resources towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs). We reaffirmed our support for the work of ASEAN in particular through the  ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), and encouraged the EAS  participating countries to further enhance cooperation in this area in line with action lines as identified in the Manila Plan of Action and the 2016-2025 Vision and Strategic  Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry. 

Maritime Cooperation 

29. We noted the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution  A/RES/74/19, emphasizing, in the Preamble, the universal and unified character of the  1982 UNCLOS, and reaffirming that the Convention sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas are to be carried out and is of strategic importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector. We expressed support for the strengthening maritime cooperation  among the EAS participating countries in line with the 2015 EAS Statement on  Enhancing Regional Maritime Cooperation and the Manila Plan of Action in a collective  and comprehensive approach, at the same time emphasizing the need to enhance  coordination to avoid duplication with other ASEAN led-mechanisms such as the  ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus  (ADMM-Plus), and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) 

30. We noted the convening of the EAS Workshop on Maritime Cooperation:  Sustainable and Responsible Fisheries Management on 17-19 November 2019 in  Manila, Philippines; and the 4th EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation convened by India, Australia and Indonesia on 6-7 February 2020 in Chennai, India.  

31. We noted the outcomes of the 9th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the 7th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) held on 5-6 December 2019 in Da Nang,  Viet Nam and looked forward to the convening of the 10th AMF and the 8th EAMF. 

Other Areas 

32. We stressed the growing importance of security in the use of information and  Communications Technologies (ICTs), and reaffirmed the need to enhance cooperation to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible, interoperable, and peaceful ICT environment and prevent conflict and crisis by developing trust and confidence between and among states and by capacity building. In this regard, we encouraged the EAS participating countries to further enhance cooperation in line with the 2015 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Issues Related to Security of and in the Use of  Information and Communications Technologies and 2018 EAS Leaders’ Statement on  Deepening Cooperation in the Security of Information and Communications  Technologies and of the Digital Economy. We expressed concern about the dangerous spread of disinformation and misinformation, which can cause serious harm. We noted the convening of the EAS virtual workshop on ‘Regional Cyber  Capacity Building: Seizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ on 21-22 September 2020, co-organized by Singapore and Australia.  

33. We acknowledged that discussions on traditional and non-traditional security issues have been increasingly featured in the EAS with a view to further promoting sustainable security. We reaffirmed our commitment to implementing the relevant EAS  Leaders’ Statements and Declarations adopted on these issues.  

34. We noted the complex situation in Rakhine State and appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General of ASEAN in leading the implementation of the recommendation of the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA). We also welcomed the activities of the Ad-Hoc Support Team of the ASEAN Secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations of the PNA. We reiterated the need to find a  durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected community can rebuild their lives. 

Regional and International Issues 

Korean Peninsula 

35. We recognized the efforts and achievements in advancing the peace process on the Korean Peninsula over the last three years. We stressed the importance of continued dialogue and peaceful resolution among all parties concerned in order to realize lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. We urged all parties concerned to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working constructively towards the realization of lasting peace, stability and denuclearization in the Korean  Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the  Panmunjom Declaration, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Joint  Statement by the Leaders of the United States and the DPRK. We underscored the significance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and noted the  ROK’s proposals to advance inter-Korean relations. We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions by all UN Members. We noted the international efforts to bring about the complete,  verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Some Leaders emphasized the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue. 

South China Sea 

36. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability,  security, safety, and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China  Sea and recognized the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace,  stability, and prosperity, especially during this time in the common fight against  COVID-19. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We noted continued cooperation between ASEAN and China, including substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive  Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) consistent with international law,  including the 1982 UNCLOS within a mutually-agreed timeline. We noted efforts undertaken to resume the second reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text  (SDNT) despite evolving pandemic situation. We emphasized the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents,  misunderstandings and miscalculation. We stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; and we reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. 

37. We discussed the situation in the South China Sea, during which serious concerns were raised by some Leaders on the developments, including land reclamations, activities and serious incidents in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions, and may undermine peace, security, and stability in the region. We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation.  We further reaffirmed the need to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982  UNCLOS. We emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South  China Sea. 

Countering Violent Extremism, Radicalisation and Terrorism 

38. We strongly condemned recent terrorist attacks in various countries. We reaffirmed our commitment to countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism, radicalization and terrorism including through the effective implementation of counter-terrorism measures at the national, sub-regional, regional levels including under the  ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism where applicable, the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, and the relevant UNSCRs as well as through the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and  Violent Extremism (2018-2025) and national action plans of the ASEAN Member  States. We stressed the need for countries to support a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States and international and regional organizations to address terrorist threats. 

39. We stressed the importance of strengthening EAS cooperation to address these threats in a comprehensive manner which also includes promoting greater awareness of different cultures, customs and faiths in order to foster tolerant and responsible societies. This is in line with the implementation of EAS Leaders’  Statements adopted in this area, which also include promoting greater awareness of different cultures, customs and faiths to foster tolerant and responsible societies, 

expanding women’s role in the peace process and conflict transformation and advancing inter-cultural exchanges, dialogues, and reciprocal understanding in building peaceful, prosperous, conflict-resilient, and responsible societies. We also underlined the importance of strengthening international cooperation, consistent with applicable international and domestic laws, to address the threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters. We also reaffirmed our strong commitment to preventing the use of  ICTs including the internet for terrorist purposes or the spread of violent extremism conducive to terrorism. 

Enduring Regional Architecture 

40. We recognized the challenges and uncertainties faced by the region that could undermine regional security, sustainable development and economic growth, and reiterated our support for a peaceful, stable, resilient, dynamic, prosperous and inclusive people-centered ASEAN Community and for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture. ASEAN Leaders emphasized the importance of the ASEAN  Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, which stated the principles including strengthening  ASEAN Centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, a rules-based framework,  good governance, respect for sovereignty, non-intervention, complementarity with existing cooperation frameworks, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual benefit and respect for international law. We recognized further that the Outlook will serve as a guide for ASEAN engagement in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions to contribute to peace, stability, freedom and prosperity. ASEAN looked forward to promoting engagement and exploring enhanced cooperation in the priority areas identified in the AOIP through practical projects which are of common interest and mutual benefits through existing ASEAN-led platforms. 

41. We reaffirmed our commitment to consolidate and strengthen the EAS on the basis of its established principles, objectives and modalities of the Declaration of the  East Asia Summit on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations (Bali Principles) in creating a peaceful environment for further enhancing cooperation and strengthening the existing bonds of friendship among EAS participating countries. 

42. With a view to enhancing EAS cooperation in response to existing and emerging issues and challenges, we adopted the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Marine  Sustainability; EAS Leaders’ Statement on Strengthening Collective Capacity in  Epidemics Prevention and Response; EAS Leaders’ Statement on Women, Peace  and Security; and EAS Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation to Promote Steady Growth of Regional Economy. 

43. We looked forward to the convening of the 16th East Asia Summit in Brunei Darussalam in 2021. 

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