THE 14TH ASEAN SUMMIT
 
SHORT OFFICIAL PRESENTATION OF MAIN SUBJECTS BASED ON THE CHAIRMAN’s STATEMENT.
The Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States gathered in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, for the first time under a new Charter, for the 14th ASEAN Summit on 28 February – 1 March 2009. 
 
The summit took place under the theme of “ASEAN Charter for ASEAN Peoples”.
 
1. The ASEAN Charter entered into force on 15 December 2008. The Charter provides the legal and institutional framework for ASEAN to be a more rules-based, effective and people-centered organization paving the way for realizing an ASEAN Community by 2015.
 
This ASEAN goal is made even more urgent by the global financial crisis. ASEAN needs to respond effectively to this financial crisis in order to retain its central position in the regional architecture. In this connection, the Heads of State/Government mandated all ASEAN organs to be guided by and to fully implement the ASEAN Charter.
 
The meeting between the Foreign Ministers and Members of the High Level
Legal Experts’ Group on Follow-up to the ASEAN Charter made recommendations particularly on the issues of the legal personality of ASEAN, the establishment of dispute settlement mechanisms and other legal issues under the ASEAN Charter.
 
The heads of State/Government welcomed the progress made in the establishment of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPRs) in Jakarta. Once operationalised, the CPRs will be instrumental in strengthening cooperation among ASEAN Member States, improving coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat and enhancing relations with ASEAN external partners.
 
They also welcomed the progress made by the High Level Panel on an ASEAN Human Rights Body, which has already submitted the first draft of the Terms of Reference of an ASEAN human rights body (TOR of AHRB) to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 27 February 2009.
The establishment of the AHRB to promote and protect human rights of ASEAN’s peoples would be one of the most important undertakings to make ASEAN a genuinely people-oriented community. We therefore agreed that this body should be inaugurated and operationalised by the 15th ASEAN Summit at the end of 2009.2.The heads of State/Government discussed extensively the global economic and financial crisis and its adverse impact on our region. They were concerned that global economic prospects continue to deteriorate as the major economies plunge deeper into recession. They stressed the importance of deepening ASEAN integration to maintain its resilience while remaining open to global and regional trade.
 
 In light of their discussions, they issued a Press Statement on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis stressing the importance of macroeconomic policy coordination, standing firm against protectionism, implementing the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, and intensifying efforts for a strong Doha Development Agenda outcome. They also commended the ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers on the outcome of their special meeting on 22 February 2009 in Phuket regarding the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM).
They also called for a bold and urgent reform of the international financial system that would take into account the interests and voices of the emerging and developing countries.
3. The heads of State/Government recognized the importance of addressing the challenge of climate change and the need for ASEAN to work closely together and with other Partners for a successful Copenhagen Conference of States Parties.
4. They recognised the need to address the inter-related issues of food and energy security in a comprehensive manner. To ensure food security in time of crisis, they welcomed the on-going effort to establish an ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) as a permanent mechanism in the region.
The energy cooperation is needed to ensure greater security and sustainability of energy through diversification, development and conservation of resources, the efficient use of energy as well as the wider application of environmentally-sound technologies.
The signing of the ASEAN Petroleum Security Agreement (APSA) will help contribute to energy security.
 
5. They agreed to entrust the ASEAN Secretary-General to serve as ASEAN’s humanitarian assistance coordinator which can be activated any time at the request of the affected ASEAN Member State in the event of a major disaster whether it be a natural disaster or a pandemic.
6. The heads of State/Government signed the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community (2009-2015), comprising 3 pillars, namely, Political-Security Community(the Blueprint was adopted), Economic Community(the Blueprint was adopted at the 13th ASEAN Summit) and Socio-Cultural Community(the Blueprint was adopted), all of which are closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing for the purpose of ensuring durable peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region.
  
7. The heads of State/Government had open discussions on Myanmar,
 the issue of illegal migrants in the Indian Ocean and situation in the Gaza.
 
8. They welcomed the appointments of non-ASEAN Ambassadors to ASEAN who will be instrumental in closer relations and cooperation between ASEAN and its external partners.
9. They welcomed the upcoming ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to be held on 1-2 June 2009, on Jeju Island, the ROK, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Partnership.
10. They welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-China Trade in Goods Agreement, ASEAN-China Trade in Services Agreement, ASEAN-ROK Trade in Goods Agreement, and ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. They also noted with pleasure the conclusion of the ASEAN-China Investment Agreement, which is targeted to be signed during the upcoming Related Summits with Dialogue Partners in April 2009.
They congratulated the signing of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). The Leaders urged both sides to explore ways to resolve remaining technical issues under the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement.
 11. The heads of State/Government supported Thailand’s proposal to convene the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three and East Asia Summits in Thailand during 10-12 April 2009. In this connection, they urged their relevant Dialogue Partners to work towards finalizing the dates for the above Related Summits. They also considered the broadening of participation in these Summits so as to mobilize the resources of the Asian community, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the United Nations system to tackle the global economic and financial crisis.  
 
12. They renewed their commitment to build a people-centered ASEAN through greater peoples participation in their community-building process. In this connection, they were pleased with the outcomes of their Informal Meetings with representatives from various groups, namely the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN Youth and ASEAN civil society. They also appreciated the useful insights provided by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Leaders during  Working Lunch.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMENTS ON RESULTS OF THE 4TH ASEAN SUMMIT
 
-         The 14th ASEAN Summit underlines new era of ASEAN with people at the heart of cooperation.
-         
-        From a human rights perspective, ASEAN has moved to a higher ground by signing the ASEAN Charter on Nov. 20,
-        2007. The charter includes a provision on the establishment of the ASEAN human rights body (AHRB).While welcoming this positive development, there are some factors to be considered in order to guarantee the new body will be useful and have a positive impact on the ASEAN Economic Community, to be formed by 2015. It goes without saying the issue of human rights is universally important, yet it must be acknowledged that around the world it has been implemented in different, sometimes controversial, ways. To minimize unnecessary complications, there is much to be considered before forming the body. The ASEAN community must establish the body based on its own common and shared principles and values.
 
-        Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said the results of the Asean defence ministers' meeting in Pattaya last week, which reinforced ASEAN ability to deal with non-traditional security challenges such as disaster with more cooperation with civil society organizations, would help strengthen political and security ties within ASEAN.
His predecessor, Ong Keng Yong, said the summit's adoption of the political and security blueprint was a milestone for ASEAN success.
"This will create a good atmosphere as all member countries are pledging and preparing to extend more cooperation in the political and security areas. However, more confidence will be acquired through a step-by-step process," said Mr Ong, now ambassador at large to the foreign ministry of Singapore.
"We can't achieve economic agenda if we don't have political and security cooperation."
He conceded that the commitment to drawing up a blueprint would not solve bilateral disputes within the region but said it would "set the ball rolling".
 
-        Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, said ASEAN leaders did not discuss the drafting process for the establishment of the Asean Human Rights Body.
He said the body to be set up at the next Asean summit in October was not a "magic pill" to end human right violations in the region.
-        "The establishment of the body to promote and protect human rights of ASEAN people would be one of the most important undertakings to make Asean a genuinely people-oriented community," he said.
-         
-        Border disputes, human trafficking and illegal logging will pose great challenges to ASEAN member states as they gear up to live under one security community umbrella by 2015.
 
-        As member states clinched their commitment under the ASEAN Charter and adopted the blueprint for security community during the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand last weekend, relations among members in the 41-year-old bloc have remained testy, with the thorny issue of border security threatening to jeopardize the idea of a security pillar.
-        Analysts have warned the vague concept of a security community amid the lack of commonality in standards of maintaining border security and settling disputes among member states might render the charter a toothless document.
-         
-         The idea of using the ASEAN forum to settle disputes might strengthen the region's leverage on the global stage.
-         
-        There is no shortage of problems in the region. Member countries often quarrel over the issues of illegal fishing, illegal logging, human trafficking, migrant workers, haze, pollution control and border disputes
-        Despite the many disagreements over how ASEAN should handle border disputes or disputes triggered by a lack of security, ASEAN governments have committed to cooperating with each other in the bloc, home to more than half a billion people.
.
-        ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said all members should improve the way they sorted through their disputes and engaged themselves more on the regional stage for a better new community order disputes.
 
-        Southeast Asian leaders vowed Sunday to stand firm against protectionism and knit the diverse region into a European Union-style community by 2015 despite the global economic downturn.
.
-        The summit delegates grappled with the region's economic woes in the face of the global crisis but also aimed to highlight ASEAN's championship of human rights. Instead, the issue suffered a setback when military-ruled Myanmar and Cambodia refused to talk to two prodemocracy activists.
-         
-        ASEAN's goal of forming a single market mainly involves lifting trade barriers but not, at this point, adopting a common currency.
.
-        The power of the ASEAN human rights body has been watered down to a "consultative level" forum for the bloc's members, who have different political systems, after negotiators agreed to take into account each member's legal readiness.
-          
-        Civil communities had expected the rights body would have the power to investigate and prosecute by piling pressure on iron-fisted governments, especially the military junta in Myanmar.
-         
-        ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said the scope of power of the human rights body could always evolve, adding the "members should not be too ambitious" for the time being. "The draft body has been deliberating the issues on how to promote and how to protect human rights. Would it mean the right to investigate, the right to issue judgments or ask orders for judicial review or to correct the wrong or to give advice? I think the point now is we have to begin somewhere. We can't be too ambitious. Let it evolve," Surin said in Cha-am.
-         
-        On Burma, the Asean leaders did not mention the name of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. The chairman's statement only said the release of political detainees and the inclusion of all parties in the process leading to the general elections in 2010 would contribute to national reconciliation
 
For details and all documents signed during the Summit, please access www.14thaseansummit.org