President Obama, ASEAN leaders adopt Sunnylands Declaration as guiding principles
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Topics: Presidential Leadership
President Obama held a press conference at Sunnylands Center following the US-ASEAN leaders summit.
President Barack Obama of the United States and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations issued a joint statement at the conclusion of their two-day summit at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands on Feb. 16.
Known as the Sunnylands Declaration, the statement said the summit, a historic first gathering in the United States of ASEAN leaders, “marked a watershed year for both ASEAN and for the increasingly close U.S.-ASEAN strategic partnership.”
In a news conference televised to a live national audience from Sunnylands Center on Feb. 16, President Obama said:
“Here at Sunnylands, we agreed to a number of key principles, including the principle that ASEAN will continue to be central — in fact, indispensable — to peace, prosperity and progress in the Asia Pacific. When ASEAN speaks with a clear, unified voice, it can help advance security, opportunity and human dignity not only for the more than 600 million people across ASEAN, but for people across the Asia Pacific and around the world.”
ASEAN is comprised of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
President Obama meets with ASEAN leaders in the living room of the historic house.
Members of ASEAN and the United States affirmed the following key principles:
1. Mutual respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality and political independence of all nations by firmly upholding the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter and international law;
2. The importance of shared prosperity, sustainable, inclusive economic growth and development, and the nurturing of our young people to sustain continued peace, development, and stability for mutual benefit;
3. Mutual recognition of the importance of pursuing policies that lead to dynamic, open, and competitive economies that foster economic growth, job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship and connectivity, and that support SMEs and narrow the development gap;
4. Our commitment to ensure opportunities for all of our peoples, through strengthening democracy, enhancing good governance and adherence to the rule of law, promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, encouraging the promotion of tolerance and moderation, and protecting the environment;
5. Respect and support for ASEAN Centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture of the Asia-Pacific;
6. Firm adherence to a rules-based regional and international order that upholds and protects the rights and privileges of all states;
7. Shared commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
8. Shared commitment to maintain peace, security and stability in the region, ensuring maritime security and safety, including the rights of freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the seas, and unimpeded lawful maritime commerce as described in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities;
9. Shared commitment to promote cooperation to address common challenges in the maritime domain;
10. Strong resolve to lead on global issues such as terrorism and violent extremism, trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, as well as illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber;
11. Shared commitment to addressing climate change and developing a climate-resilient, environmentally sustainable ASEAN, as well as to implement individual countries’ nationally determined contributions made under the Paris Climate Agreement;
12. Shared commitment to promote security and stability in cyberspace consistent with norms of responsible state behavior;
13. Support for the advancement of a strong, stable, politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, people-oriented, people-centered and rules-based ASEAN Community;
14. Shared commitment to strengthen people-to-people connectivity through programs that engage ASEAN and American citizens, particularly young people, and that promote opportunities for all our peoples, particularly the most vulnerable, to fulfil the vision of the ASEAN Community;
15. Shared commitment to promote a global partnership for sustainable development through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, to ensure a sustainable, equitable and inclusive society where no one is left behind;
16. Shared commitment to enhance collaboration at international and regional fora, especially at existing ASEAN-led mechanisms; and
17. Shared commitment to continue political dialogue at the Head of State/Government level through our Leaders’ attendance at the annual U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit.
For more information, read the statement released by the White House
President Obama greeted the 10 ASEAN leaders to Sunnylands Center on the first day of the summit.