ASEAN-ROK sign joint declaration to promote peace, security and stability in the region

June 2, 2009 1:28 pm 

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea, June 2 -– President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joined leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Korean President Lee Myung Bak in signing a joint declaration to strengthen relations between the regional bloc and the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the conclusion of the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit here this morning (Tuesday, June 2).

In signing the declaration, the 10-member ASEAN took note of ROK’s efforts to play a more active diplomatic and economic roles in the region through its New Asia Initiative.

Under the initiative, Korea plays a central role in representing the interest of Asian nations in the international arena as it pushes the signing of free trade agreements with all Asian countries and establish a green growth belt in the Asian-Pacific region.

The New Asia Initiative is expected to boost Korea’s good standing and vital role in the Southeast Asian and South Pacific region.

The declaration reinforced ASEAN and Korean political and security cooperation through greater dialogue to promote peace, security and stability in the region.

The joint declaration also called for an early resolution of the crisis brewing in the Korean Peninsula by asking North Korea to re-join the six-party talks process.

The six-party talks aim to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. It is composed of six participating states: the People's Republic of China; the Republic of Korea (South Korea); the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea); the United States of America; the Russian Federation; and Japan.

In the joint declaration, ASEAN and ROK also committed themselves to strengthen economic and development cooperation, with Korea pledging to increase Official Development Assistance for social development and poverty alleviation projects.

The declaration also reaffirmed ASEAN and and Korea’s committment to cooperate closely in addressing global issues, like the global financial crisis, global warming, and food and energy security.

ASEAN and Korea jointly agreed to establish an ASEAN plus 3 emergency rice reserve to ensure food security in the region. (PNA)

LAP/OPS/ssc

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