JOINT STATEMENT OF THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF ASEAN MEMBER STATES AND CHINA
ON THE FULL AND EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION
ON THE CONDUCT OF PARTIES IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA
We, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States and the People’s Republic of China met in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, on 25 July 2016.
RECOGNISING that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea region serves the fundamental interests of ASEAN Member States and China (“the Parties”) as well as the international community;
REAFFIRMING that the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) is a milestone document that embodies the collective commitment of the Parties to promote peace, stability, mutual trust and confidence in the region, in accordance with the UN Charter and universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
REAFFIRMING the importance and role of the DOC in maintaining peace and stability in the region;
COMMITTED to the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety and working substantively towards the early adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on consensus;
RECALLING the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC adopted in 2012;
HEREBY state the following:
1. The Parties reaffirm their respect for and commitment to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea as provided for by the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
2. The Parties concerned undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS;
3. The Parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.
4. The Parties may explore or undertake cooperative activities, in fields such as navigation safety, search and rescue, marine scientific research, environmental protection, and combating transnational crimes at sea.
5. The Parties encourage other countries to respect the principles contained in the DOC.
6. The Parties concerned reaffirm that the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea would further promote peace and stability in the region and agree to work, on the basis of consensus, towards the eventual attainment of this objective.
Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States
on the Maintenance of Peace, Security, and Stability in the Region
We, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States, reiterate ASEAN’s shared commitments to:
1. ensure that Southeast Asia and its surroundings remain a peaceful, stable and secure region;
2. promote mutually beneficial relations to maintain peace, security and stability, and prosperity with nations in the region and the global community of nations;
3. continue upholding the Charter of United Nations, ASEAN Charter, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia; as well as purposes and principles contained in the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Declaration and the Declaration of the East Asia Summit on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations; which shall serve as the basic norms governing friendly relations and cooperation among states;
4. reaffirm ASEAN’s common position in the Joint Communiqué of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting;
5. exercise self-restraint and refrain from activities that might raise tension in the region; and
6. enhance our unity, solidarity and centrality and call on other states to respect ASEAN’s norms and principles.
OF THE 49th ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING
VIENTIANE, 24 JULY 2016
“TURNING VISION INTO REALITY FOR A DYNAMIC ASEAN COMMUNITY”
We, the Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), met on 24 July 2016 at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in Vientiane, Lao PDR, under the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community”. His Excellency Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, chaired the Meeting.