Press Release by the Chairman of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat)
Boracay, Philippines, 21 February 2017
I chaired the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat today in Boracay. The Retreat is the first gathering of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers under the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship in 2017 with the theme, “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”
During the Retreat, the Ministers discussed the way forward for ASEAN Community building, including the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, especially the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint, and strengthening of ASEAN’s external relations and maintaining ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture.
The Ministers discussed the six priorities of ASEAN for 2017, namely, (1) People-oriented and people-centred ASEAN, (2) peace and stability in the region, (3) maritime security and cooperation, (4) inclusive, innovation-led growth, (5) ASEAN’s resiliency, and (6) ASEAN: a model of regionalism, a global player.
The Ministers looked forward to the celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN this year, commemorating five decades of cooperation and Community-building in ASEAN and emphasised the importance of continuing to promote initiatives that directly benefit the people of ASEAN, including the need to redouble efforts to increase intra-regional trade and further strengthen mechanisms for extending consular assistance to ASEAN nationals consistent with ASEAN’s goal for deeper regional integration, and the usefulness of tapping ASEAN think tanks to assist in charting the future direction of ASEAN.
The Ministers exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern and discussed ways of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. These issues include non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, piracy and armed robbery at sea, cybersecurity, natural disasters, climate change, irregular migration, trafficking in persons and illicit drugs, maritime security and cooperation, and developments in various regions, including the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, among others, as well as sustainable development.