Asean leaders back sanctions vs North Korea

19 March, 2018, 16:31 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Vietnam's PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Malcolm Turnbull exchange papers

Southeast Asian countries and Australia said on Sunday they held "grave concerns" about escalating tension caused by North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes and urged "irreversible" denuclearisation.

"This is a security and stability question in Southeast Asia which will affect all Asean countries if it goes wrong", Lee said. The leaders expressed their support for "the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and look forward to an early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC)".

"We are fully committed to backing Asean as the strategic convener of our region", stated Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Part of the protests involved over one hundred Rohingya community members from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane protested Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has presided over an ethnic genocide of the Rohingya.

On territorial conflicts with China, which like Australia is not a member of ASEAN, the statement said, "We emphasize the importance of non-militarization and the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may complicate the situation".

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A spokeswoman for Bishop said on Monday the agreement was purely an ASEAN initiative and "not to counter China".

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, without the United States, now signed, Turnbull urged leaders to get behind a "high quality" Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told the summit on Saturday that refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh was no longer exclusively a domestic issue for Myanmar, as fleeing Rohingya could be prime targets for terrorist radicalization.

"This is a historic opportunity to establish the world's largest trade bloc", he told the leaders meeting on Sunday morning, adding that it would cover 45 percent of the world's population.

The Asean nations are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Asean and Australia will work together to develop and implement counter-terrorism legislation consistent with worldwide standards and best practices.

The MoU includes an agreement to try coordinate regional laws around gathering and using electronic evidence to pursue terrorists through a series of ASEAN-Australian workshops.

Australia's Malcolm Turnbull greets Najib Razak at the Asean special summit in Sydney today.

On board the flght President Jokowi was accompanied by First Lady Iriana, coordinating minister for security, political and legal affairs Wiranto, minister/state secretary Pratikno, foreign minister Retno Marsudi and head of Capital Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong.

Over the next five years, Australia will also help strengthen Asean's capacity in urban planning and development through education, training, technical assistance, and innovation.

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The ministers also announced the new Australia Awards ASEAN Scholarships, which will provide masters degrees to 50 students from ASEAN member states in 2019.


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