Press Release : 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) news3

Press Release : 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

          On 2 August 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, chaired the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) during the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) held in Bangkok.

          The Meeting recalled that the first ARF took place in Bangkok 25 years ago, and has become a primary and most inclusive regional dialogue to build trust and confidence. The Meeting acknowledged the need for the ARF to adapt itself to increase its efficiency in addressing regional and international challenges, including by updating the ARF Vision.

          The ARF Ministers discussed ways to promote sustainable security, human security and maritime security, based on the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. They exchanged views on regional and international issues, trade tensions, the situation in the Rakhine State, the South China Sea, and the Korean Peninsula. They also addressed the need to cooperate to counter terrorism, counter violent extremism and transnational crimes, cyber security, and promote the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

          The Meeting adopted the ARF Statement on Aviation Partnership: Soaring ahead Together, the Joint Statement on Promoting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda at the ARF, the ARF Statement on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conductive to Terrorism, and the ARF Work Plan for Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2019 – 2021.

          The ARF was established in 1994 as a ministerial meeting comprising participants which include ten ASEAN Member States, ten ASEAN Dialogue Partners, one Special Observer and six other countries in the region.[1] ARF aims to strengthen regional peace and stability in three phases, namely, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Preventive Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution. The ongoing cooperation in the phase of CBMs includes disaster relief, counter-terrorism, maritime security, disarmament and security of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).

[1] 27 members: 10 ASEAN Member States (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), 10 ASEAN Dialogue Partners (Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States), 6 other countries in the region (Bangladesh, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste), and one ASEAN observer (Papua New Guinea).