Aquino, ASEAN leaders reaffirm commitment to preserve Southeast Asia as a nuclear weapon-free region
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei—President Benigno S. Aquino III and other Southeast Asian heads of states reaffirm their commitment to keep the region free from nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.
In a statement released at the end of the 22nd Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit here, Chairman Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah said they look forward to the signing of the protocol to the Treaty on Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) and its related documents without reservations as early as possible.
“We also looked forward to the extension of the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of the Treaty on the SEANWFZ for another five years (2013-2017), the Chairman’s Statement added.
At the same time, the ASEAN leaders looked forward to the full and effective operationalization of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) in Jakarta, Indonesia as early as possible which would promote research activities on peace, conflict management, and conflict resolution in the region.
“We acknowledged that the presence of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in the soil poses constant threats to the safety of the people and hinders national socio-economic development and aggravates humanitarian problems in many countries in the region.
In this regard, [we] encouraged our Ministers to conclude the terms of reference on the modalities of an ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) in order to enable its early establishment.
We acknowledged that the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) is a milestone in ASEAN’s efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights in the region and encouraged the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights to enhance its activities, including the implementation of the AHRD, in close coordination with the various ASEAN sectoral bodies,” the Chairman’s Statement further read.