JOINT COMMUNIQUE OF THE 34TH ASEAN MINISTERIAL MEETING Hanoi, 23-24 July 2001
We, the Foreign Ministers of the ten ASEAN Member Countries, met in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 23-24 July 2001 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Dy Nien, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. The Meeting was also attended by the Secretary-General of ASEAN. Present at the Opening Ceremony of the Meeting were the representative for Papua New Guinea as Observer and the representative of the United Nations. Transitional Administration in East Timor as guest of the host country. His Excellency Mr. Phan Van Khai, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam delivered the Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony of the Meeting.
1. We reviewed the recent political-security developments in the world, particularly the relationship among the major powers which might influence political and security situation in East Asia. We noted there were challenges but believed that positive trends towards peace, stability and cooperation still prevailed.
2. We discussed the challenges facing ASEAN, in particular the global economic outlook, the impact of globalization and the region's political and economic situation that could undermine ASEAN's development and progress.
3. We expressed concern over the global economic outlook, especially the economic downturn in the U.S., Japan and Europe, which in turn could hamper the prospects for continued growth in the ASEAN region. We resolved to accelerate existing cooperative endeavours to enhance ASEAN's dynamism and competitiveness.
4. We exchanged views on how ASEAN could best position itself to reap the benefits and meet the challenges of globalization including the need to address the development gap and digital divide. We also discussed the need to promote regional stability, sustain economic growth. enhance ASEAN's competitiveness and strengthen cooperation within ASEAN and between ASEAN and the rest of the world. We shared the view that in order to effectively meet these challenges, the ASEAN Member Countries must continue to be stable, united, integrated and outward-looking. We reaffirmed the fundamental principles of ASEAN and the importance of working together to meet the challenges and further enhance mutual trust and confidence. In line with these we also reaffirmed our commitment to accelerate the implementation of the Hanoi Plan of Action (HPA) with a view to realizing the ASEAN Vision 2020.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INITIATIVE FOR ASEAN INTEGRATION (IAI)
5. We were gratified to see good progress in the follow-up to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) which ASEAN Leaders put forth at the 4th ASEAN Informal Summit in Singapore last November. We commended the IAI Task Force and the ASEAN Standing Committee for taking the lead in the coordination and implementation of the IAI. On our part we adopted at this 34th AMM the Ha Noi Declaration on Narrowing Development Gap for closer ASEAN Integration, which reiterates the common commitment in ASEAN to integrate Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam into ASEAN economic mainstream and prescribes concrete measures for this crucial and long-term process focusing on three priority areas. namely infrastructure. information and communication technology and human resource development. In this connection, We expressed our appreciation for all the assistance that ASEAN's friends and partners have extended to the IAI endeavor and expressed our strong belief that progress in the IAI would continue to contribute significantly to peace, prosperity and progress in the region.
6. To complement existing bilateral assistance extended to CLMV and facilitate request for funding support from interested Dialogue Partners and other sources, we agreed that the Member Countries of ASEAN should jointly initiate " ASEAN IAI Projects" based on the priority areas identified by the IAI Task Force.
ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS' RETREATS
7. We stressed the importance of engaging in frank and open discussion as well as enhancing mutual trust and confidence with a view to further strengthening cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries in order to seek avenues to address the above-mentioned challenges. In this connection, we agreed to meet more often in a less formal atmosphere. Following the United Nations Millennium Summit., we held an ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in informal retreat style in New York on l8 September 2000 to coordinate ASEAN position at the UN .
8. We held, for the first time, a Retreat separate from the regular ASEAN Ministerial Meetings, in Yangon, Myanmar, on 30 April 200l. We had frank discussions on regional and international developments, and renewed ASEAN's commitment to further deepen cooperation and play a more important role in enhancing regional security.
9. We also held a Retreat in Ha Noi on 23 July 2001, during the 34th ASEAN Minister Meeting; We discussed the future direction of ASEAN and measures to enhance the Association's contribution and active role in cooperation with its Dialogue Partners and other parties.
10. We noted, with appreciation. Thailand's offer to host the next ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in the first quarter of 2002.
POLITICAL AND SECURITY COOPERATION
11. We reiterated the importance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (T AC), which serves as a framework governing relations within ASEAN and between ASEAN and countries in other parts of the world. We welcomed the entry into force of the Second Protocol to the TAC following the ratification of the Protocol by Papua New Guinea (PNG). We adopted the Rules of Procedure of the High Council of the TAC and renewed our call for extra-regional states, particularly the major powers, to accede to the TAC.
12. We welcomed the progress in the implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty, stressed the importance of direct consultation between ASEAN, and the Five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and considered this a significant progress towards encouraging the accession of the Nuclear Weapon States to the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty. In this connection, we welcomed the first direct consultation between ASEAN and the NWS in Ha Noi on 19 May 2001, reaffirmed our support to this process and called for continued consultations with the NWS. We also welcomed the participation for the first time of the Philippines as a full member of the SEANWFZ Commission, having recently deposited its instrument of ratification.
13. We noted positive developments in the ARF process through various activities at both Track I and Track II level. We were encouraged that 8th ARF would be adopting three Papers, namely the Paper on Concepts and Principles of Preventive Diplomacy, the Terms of Reference for the ARF Experts/Eminent Persons Register and the Paper on the Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair. This would mark a significant achievement for the ARF process. We also noted with satisfaction the progress in the implementation of the overlapping measures between Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and Preventive Diplomacy (PD). Over the past year numerous discussions and talks have been held to enhance mutual understanding among nations and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region. In this regard, we appreciated activities undertaken by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as the ARF Chair through formal and informal contacts with ARF participants as well as regional and international organizations, particularly the United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Non-Aligned Movement.. We commended the activities of the ARF. Intercessional Support Group (ISG) on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), and the convening of the ARF Experts Group Meeting (EGM) on Transnational Crimes, particularity in examining transnational crimes of concern to the region.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
14. We held in-depth and wide-ranging discussions on recent regional and international political and security developments, particularly situations that affect regional security environment and noted that the overall security environment remained relatively stable and was marked by a number of positive developments including greater interactions and exchanges between and among countries. We agreed that the stability of relationship among the major powers, particularly the US and China, is important to the region. We reiterated the important role played by the major powers and called upon them to continue to make their contribution to strengthening peace, security, cooperation and development in the region and throughout the world.
15. We welcomed positive developments in the Asia-Pacific region including the establishment of the Boao Asia Forum. We also noted with satisfaction the Inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) held in March 2001 in Santiago, Chile. The Meeting was instrumental in setting out the directions for future East Asia-Latin America cooperation.
16. We exchanged views on new developments in East Timor and welcomed the progress towards the restoration of stability in East Timor and acknowledged the role of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in the transitional period and reiterated the need for the support of the international community in playing an active role in the nation-building efforts of East Timor. We welcomed the registration process of East Timorese refugees which had been undertaken successfully without incident. We supported the on-going efforts of the Government of Indonesia in cooperating with relevant international humanitarian organizations in facilitating the return and resettlement of the refugees. We also welcomed the successful completion of the UNSECOORD mission which is essential in facilitating the role of the U.N. in resolving the problem of the East Timorese refugees.
17. We noted encouraging developments in the Union of Myanmar and appreciated the efforts of the Government of Myanmar towards these developments and reiterated our support to the on-going process of national reconciliation in this country
18. We welcomed the political transition and election of President Megawati Soekamoputri in Indonesia. We expressed our hope that this orderly and peaceful transition would lead to political stability and speedy economic recovery in Indonesia. We reiterated our support for the territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia. We believed that the stability and prosperity of Indonesia would contribute positively to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region.
19. We reaffirmed our commitment to our "one China" policy and expressed our hope for further positive developments in the Cross-Straits relations.
20. We reviewed developments in the South China Sea and welcomed the progress in the consultations between ASEAN and China towards the adoption of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We encouraged the continued exercise of self-restraint by all the parties concerned and the promotion of confidence building measures in this area and welcomed their commitment to resolving disputes in the South China Sea by peaceful means in conformity with recognized principles of international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (UNCLOS) as well as to ensuring the freedom of navigation in the area.
21. We recalled the historic inter-Korean Summit in June 2000 and follow-up steps taken to implement the North-South/South-North Joint Declaration and welcomed continued efforts for positive developments in the Korean Peninsula. We expressed our hope that their momentum would be sustained by all the parties concerned, particularly the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) with a view to achieving peaceful national reunification and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
22. We reiterated our support to the Middle East Peace Process and expressed our concern over the escalating tension and continuing violence in Gaza and the West Bank. We called for immediate measures to prevent the situation from further deteriorating and called on the parties involved to refrain from resorting to violence and work towards achieving a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Middle East problem.
23. We reaffirmed our support for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and stressed the importance of enhancing the movement's capacity to be a unifying forum for cooperation among developing countries, effectively representing aspirations and interests of the developing world. We expressed ,our hope that recent NAM initiatives to strengthen the South-South cooperation would be implemented successfully.
24. We welcomed the successful outcome of the United Nations Millennium Summit held in New York on 6-8 September 2000. We were of the view that the Summit was a success since it reaffirmed the UN Member Countries' commitment to the UN process. and to the implementation of the Millennium Declaration adopted by the Summit in which the world leaders pledged to make the right to development a reality for all. We agreed that ASEAN should work with the rest of the world community to implement the Millennium Declaration.
25. We exchanged views on the reform of the United Nations and reiterated that the reform of the UN and the UN Security Council should be undertaken in conformity with the principles of strengthening representative ness, effectiveness, transparency and accountability with a view to enhancing the role of the UN in the service of all nations, particularly developing ones.
26. We stressed the importance of achieving universal adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and called on the Nuclear Weapon States to make further efforts towards the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
27. We noted the progress that has been made in negotiating a Protocol on the verification of the Biological Weapon Convention (BWC) and looked forward to the 5th Review of the BWC in November 2001.
28. We also noted the outcome of the UN Conference on Small and Light Weapons in all its aspects held in New York on 9-20 July 2001 and expressed our hope that the Program of Action adopted by this conference would be implemented effectively.
29. We noted the recent dialogues among the major powers and concerned states on the NMD and expressed our hope that such dialogues would narrow down the differences and bring new constructive approaches to address the issues related to the NMD in the interest of maintaining world security and stability.
30. We recalled the decision made by the 26th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held in Singapore on 13-14 July 1993 to consider the establishment of an appropriate regional mechanism on human rights and noted the consultations between the ASEAN Senior Officials and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. We acknowledged the efforts of the Working Group in realizing this objective, including the convening of a Workshop for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism in Jakarta, Indonesia on 5-6 July 2001. In this connection, we agreed that ASEAN-ISIS should also be involved in the discussions especially in the broader context of a People's ASEAN.
31. We should endeavour to find a common position in the regional and international form. On the WTO, we recognized the need for a balanced and broad-based agenda for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations, taking into account the interests of developing countries. The agenda should include capacity building for developing countries to better cope with the challenges of liberalization and carry out the various commitments under WTO. We refined our conviction that cooperation in a rule-based multilateral trading system plays a vital role in alleviating poverty of ASEAN. Furthermore, we reiterated ASEAN's wish to see the WTO speed up the process for the accession of Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam to the organization. We were likewise of the view that the early accession of China to the WTO would be a significant contribution to the multilateral trading system.
32. We expressed our concern over the decline of commodity prices in the international market. Recalling the importance of the commodity sector to the economies of Member Countries, we expressed our support for efforts by ASEAN to continue to formulate a common stand and course of action to effectively address trade distorting practices of developed countries, such as export subsidies and domestic support measures, that continue to plague international trade in commodities.
33. We reiterated ASEAN's call for support for the participation of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar in APEC's Working Groups pending their eventual admission into APEC. We welcomed China's APEC chairmanship for the year 2001 and expressed our full support for the realization of the theme "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation".
34. We noted the successful conclusion of 3rd Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers' Meeting (ASEM FMM) in Beijing, China, on 14-25 May 2001, and reaffirmed our commitment to ASEM process. We reiterated our support for the early admission of Cambodia. Laos and Myanmar into ASEM. We agreed to work towards a more interactive and informal dialogue at future ASEM meetings in order to reinvigorate the comprehensive Asia-Europe Partnership in the post crisis era. In this context, we looked toward to the 4th ASEM FMM in Spain in June 2002 and the ASEM IV Summit in Copenhagen in September 2002.
35. We attached high importance to the Greater Mekong Sub-regional Cooperation program (GMS), which aims to increase intra-regional. cross border trade through better physical linkages to create more positive investment climate; and to strengthen labor force and markets through human resource development. initiatives. In this regard, we noted that there is a natural complementarily between the aims of the GMS programs and the ASEAN's interest and activities in the Mekong sub-region including through the ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC). which underlines the need for closer cooperation and coordination between the two bodies.
36. Welcoming the success of the First Ministerial Meeting on Mekong-Ganga Cooperation in Vientiane on 11-13 November 2000, we considered this cooperation as complementary efforts to exploit the potential of the region and expressed the hope that this cooperation, which in the initial stage would focus on tourism promotion and development,. would bring about tangible results, contributing to the efforts to integrate the Mekong sub-region to the region. We looked forward to the success of the 2nd Ministerial Meeting on Mekong-Ganga cooperation, in Hanoi, on 18 July 2001.
37. We were encouraged by the continued economic recovery in ASEAN, but also recognized the urgent need to continue with structural refines in view of the slowdown in the global economy. We emphasized the importance of continuing regional economic integration as a measure to reduce costs and attract investment.
38. We welcomed the efforts to expedite the accomplishment of AFTA and emphasized the important milestone it represents for regional economic integration. We lauded the important move by the original signatories in accelerating the implementation of the CEPT scheme. We expressed support for efforts to publicize AFTA and welcomed the CEPT Outreach Program conducted from 2l March 2001 to 6 April 2001 in five ASEAN capitals to disseminate information on the benefits of AFTA to the business community.
39. We were encouraged by significant progress in the implementation of AICO. We stressed the importance of ASEAN's trade facilitation initiatives. particularly in terms of customs and standards for intra-ASEAN trade. We recalled that the Sixth ASEAN Summit in December 1998 had called for a second round of negotiations in services. We strongly urged the relevant ASEAN bodies to ensure that substantive otters in air transport, business services, construction, finance, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism be made before the end of this year. We urged an early implementation of the Framework Agreement on the ASEAN Investment Area (AlA).
40. We noted the significant progress made in the implementation of the regional financing arrangements particularly the enlargement of the ASEAN Swap Arrangement and its expansion to include all 10 ASEAN Member Countries, and the conclusion of several substantial agreements on bilateral swap arrangements among ASEAN Member Countries, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea under the Chiang Mai Initiative.
41. We lauded the decision taken by the ASEAN Economic Ministers to establish an ASEAN-GSP Scheme to accord preferential treatment to export goods from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam on a bilateral basis, and expressed our belief that this would bring immediate trade benefits to these newer Member Countries.
42. We were pleased with the progress in the implementation of e-ASEAN Framework Agreement signed by ASEAN Leaders at the 4th ASEAN Informal Summit in Singapore last November, particularly the development of a reference framework for e-commerce legal infrastructure. We welcomed the holding of the e-ASEAN Business leaders Forum in April 2001 to validate the Framework Agreement's attractiveness to leading ICT multinational corporations and invite their active participation. We were pleased with the successful outcome of the First ASEAN Telecommunication Ministers' Meeting (TELMIN) in Kuala Lumpur on 13 - 14 July 2001 including its decision to participate actively in the realization of e-ASEAN and other ICT related activities in ASEAN.
43. We stressed the importance of the tourism industry to the economies of Member Countries and reiterated our support for the Visit ASEAN Campaign (V AC) launched in Brunei Darussalam and expressed our hope that the VAC would give ASEAN a stronger brand name as a single tourism destination.
44. We recognized the importance of those sub-regional groupings/growth areas such as BIMP-EAGA. IMT-GT, IMS-GT, the AMBDC and the West-East Corridor in hastening regional integration and believed that a well-balanced development in sub-regional groupings/growth areas could serve as a solid foundation for ASEAN Economic Integration. In this regard, we lauded the convening of a seminar in Brunei Darussalam aimed at developing a common strategy for revitalizing these sub-regional groupings/growth areas. We appreciated the support and assistance being given to newer Member Countries including those through development projects/programs in the AMBDC. We reiterated our call to gather support and assistance from ASEAN Member Countries and from the rest of the international community for the development of ASEAN sub-regional co-operation.
45. We noted that the ASEAN-Australia Safety Nets Project commenced implementation in May 2001 and expressed appreciation to Australia for its support for ASEAN's endeavour. We considered this an important step forward in improving the region's capacity to design social safety nets and to assess the social impact of economic and other setbacks. We also noted that two activities under the Framework ASEAN Plan of Action on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication were being implemented with support from the UNDP.
46. We welcomed the measures taken by the ASEAN Health Ministers to improve the competitiveness of health service and health-related products in ASEAN, and to provide the peoples or ASEAN with a better access to cheaper drugs.
47. We noted with satisfaction the progress in the preparation for the special session on HIV/AIDS on the occasion of 7th ASEAN Summit in November 2001 in Brunei Darussalam. including the active participation of UNAIDS and other parties in the formulation of the ASEAN Work Program on HIV/AIDS II (2001-2004). We also noted that the ASEAN regional response to HIV/AIDS was in line with the Declaration of commitments on HIV/AIDS adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS on 25-27 June 2001 in New York.
48. We welcomed the Yangon 2000 Declaration on Preparing ASEAN Youth For the Challenges of Globalization, announced at the 3rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY), held in Yangon in November 2000, which provided guidance for preparing and empowering the region's youth to make use of the opportunities and meet challenges created by globalization.
49. We noted the importance of the on-going efforts to combat forest fires and haze problems in the region. These include the implementation of the Regional Haze Action Plan and Iimmediate Action Plan; monitoring of forest fifes and haze; and negotiations on the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, which was expected to be concluded by the end of this year. We emphasized the importance of strong commitments among the Member Countries, increased public and community awareness and participation, and continued support from donors to ensure success and sustainability of activities. In this regard, we expressed our appreciation for the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), some international organizations and Dialogue Countries.
50. We were pleased with the activities of the 36th ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) in developing a regional identity and a sense of community among ASEAN's people. In this connection we lauded the efforts of COCI in promoting regional understanding and interaction among the youth, artists, experts and representatives of the mass media. We also acknowledged the importance of the ASEAN Kindness Movement as a new initiative to further promote the awareness of ASEAN and its standing in the international community.
51. Recalling the recommendations of the ASEAN Eminent Persons Group to develop more and broader linkages among educational institutions at all levels and to raise the standards of education in the whole of ASEAN, we reaffirmed the importance of student and academic exchanges among the universities of the ASEAN Member Countries. In this connection, we recognized the important role of the ASEAN University Network (AUN) as a pillar of the human resource development in the region. and requested the AUN to explore the acceleration of credit transfer among its member universities. We also requested relevant ASEAN bodies to continue to explore the establishment of common professional and technical standards in ASEAN and the setting up of benchmarks in the field of education.
52. We expressed support for efforts of the Committee on Science and Technology (COST) to develop cooperation with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea within the ASEAN+3 framework.
53. We noted the progress being made towards the adoption of work program to implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime. We also welcomed the efforts to intensify ASEAN cooperation against transnational crimes through convening of workshops on specific issues among law enforcement officers, thus creating closer networking and better understanding among them.
54. We were pleased to note that the ASEAN Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs had endorsed the Institutional Framework and Plan of Action which institutionalize cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries on Immigration matters. We also noted the progress in the use of smart card to facilitate travel within ASEAN and the harmonization of ASEAN immigration regulations.
55. We welcomed the endorsement of the ASEAN and China Cooperative Operations in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD) Plan of Action by the International Congress in Pursuit of a Drug-Free ASEAN 2015, which was jointly organized by Thailand, ASEAN and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention on 11-13 October 2000 in Bangkok, Thailand. We we're gratified by the agreement to strengthen coordination in proactively advocating awareness of the danger of drugs and response building consensus and sharing best practices on demand reduction, strengthening the rule of law through improved law enforcement cooperation and legislative review, and eliminating the supply of illicit drugs by boosting alternative development program and community participation in the eradication of illicit crops. Mindful that illegal drugs and narcotics trafficking is not only of concern to each ASEAN Member Country and ASEAN as a whole, but also to the entire international community, we agreed to designate 2002.2003 as "ASEAN Drugs Awareness Years" in order to help raise the awareness of the peoples of ASEAN on the danger of illicit drugs and narcotics trafficking and mobilize their support for further strengthening the region's efforts in the fight against narcotic drugs. In this regard, we agreed to request the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD) to consider how to implement such measures. including the possibility of establishing an appropriate ASEAN mechanism to combat illegal drugs and narcotics trafficking.
56. We expressed our satisfaction with the progress of cooperation within the framework of ASEAN+3 with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea in all fields, particularly trade, investment and finance. Considering that the enhancement of these cooperative activities was of great significance in restoring economic dynamism in East Asia in general and South East Asia in particular, we encouraged further cooperative efforts with priority to be given to infrastructure, ICT and human resource development. In this connection. we welcomed the establishment of the East Asia Study Group (EASG) and initiatives to boost this cooperation. We also encouraged the participation of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea and other Dialogue Partners in the implementation of ASEAN initiatives such as the IAI and measures highlighted in the Hanoi Declaration on Narrowing Development Gap for Closer ASEAN Integration.
57. We reaffirmed that ASEAN's relations with its Dialogue Partners are the most significant aspect of ASEAN's external relations and expressed appreciation for their support for the implementation of the HPA and other ASEAN plans of action. We called upon the Dialogue Partners to continue the assistance especially after the review of the HPA by the ASEAN Summit in November 2001 in Brunei Darussalam, which would identify priority areas that ASEAN should focus on.
58. In the context of ASEAN overall development cooperation with Dialogue partners, we reiterated that the principle of non-discrimination should be upheld and respected in the Dialogue Partners relations with ASEAN and agreed that development cooperation activities in the dialogue process should involve ASEAN as one regional entity.
59. We recalled the successful convening of the l3th ASEAN-European Union Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) on 11-12 December 2000 in Vientiane. We expressed ASEAN's desire to further strengthen its relations and to promote dialogue with the EU in all sectors of mutual interest. We looked forward to the next AEMM in Europe.
60. We stressed ASEAN's continued interest in enhancing closer cooperation with the United Nations, inter-governmental and regional organizations and welcomed the ASEAN Secretariat's efforts to coordinate closer cooperation with these organizations.
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