From the Department of Foreign Affairs
Senior officials from ASEAN Member States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) met on June 19 in Busan, Korea for the 18th ASEAN-ROK Dialogue.
Senior officials discussed preparations for the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to be held in Busan in December 2014 to celebrate 25 years of ASEAN-ROK dialogue relations.
They also reviewed the progress of ASEAN-ROK cooperation in the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural fields, and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Policy Evan P. Garcia was lead speaker on climate change, disaster and water management. Undersecretary Garcia said that, “One of our first realizations as a result of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is that short-term solutions will not suffice in responding to such mega-disasters.” He called on ASEAN and Korea to enhance their cooperation in disaster risk reduction and management by working closely to strengthen the resilience of each country and addressing climate change.
Undersecretary Garcia also briefed the meeting of the Philippine proposal to impose a moratorium on destabilizing activities in the South China Sea (SCS) to uphold the rule of law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. He underscored the urgency of the matter in light of China’s assertive actions, including large-scale reclamation of disputed features in the West Philippine Sea. He noted that this interim tension-reduction measure is immediately needed to manage rising tensions, even as China and ASEAN continue discussions on a Code of Conduct in the SCS and before the Arbitral Tribunal issues its ruling that will clarify maritime entitlements in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which would benefit all claimants, the region and the international community.
Both sides agreed that ASEAN and ROK play an important role, not only in the regional context, but also in the larger, global perspective as long-term partners for peace and prosperity.
Officials said they look forward to the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in December as a milestone to further enhance their strategic partnership.