Maritime Security: EAS members are linked by the region’s maritime spaces, which have enabled the region’s dynamic economic growth and facilitated greater connectivity. Maritime security is a priority issue for EAS countries that recognize that challenges including territorial and maritime disputes, piracy, trafficking in illicit materials and natural disasters can threaten regional peace, stability, and prosperity. President Obama reaffirmed U.S. national interests in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded lawful commerce, and freedom of navigation. President Obama encouraged the parties to make progress on a binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to provide a framework to prevent conflict, manage incidents when they occur, and help resolve disputes.
The United States has consistently worked with its partners in the Asia-Pacific region to build capacity and promote cooperation on maritime security issues.
• At the EAS, President Obama announced the U.S. intention to accede to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (RECAAP), the first government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia.
• President Obama affirmed that the Expanded ASEAN Seafarers Training (EAST) program, which he announced at the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting, will be open to participation by all EAS members.
• The United States welcomed the creation of the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum to provide a platform for coordination among EAS countries on a range of maritime issues including marine environment, resource management, piracy, and capacity building.
(Source: The White House)