Press Conference by ASEAN Secretary General, 18 November 2012

The ASEAN leaders raised concerns over the slow economic performance in the Eurozone and its impact on the region; the crisis in the Middle East, and other emerging regional issues.

Economic issues were the focus of discussion. The leaders agreed to officially launch the ASEAN regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) with six dialogue partners of ASEAN; adopted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, and formally started discussion on drafting the code of conduct over the South China Sea.

Internal conflicts in the member state of ASEAN need to be addressed in order to move the ASEAN community building forward. The peace negotiation process in the Philippines and the violence in Myanmar were discussed.

Relating to ASEAN-China economic relations, he urged China to increase more investment in ASEAN in order to balance with the trade relations. Brunei is ready to chair ASEAN next year. Brunei has a lot of initiatives and actively working behind the curtain to consult with ASEAN colleagues.

Regarding the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the leaders agreed to add one more paragraph to emphasize on the implementation to meet the highest standard in accordance with the universal human rights declaration of the United Nations.

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