Russia, ASEAN sign partnership declaration

The leaders of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Association of South East Nations, or ASEAN, have signed a Declaration of Partnership in the Cause of Peace and Security, Prosperity and Development in the Asia Pacific Region.

The Declaration stresses the sides' intention to step up joint efforts to strengthen peace and security in the Asia Pacific Region. "The sides will go on promoting multilateral co-operation and raising the effectiveness of existing multilateral regional mechanisms," it reads, in part.

The document confirms the sides' adherence to the central role of the United Nations as the chief mechanism responsible for ensuring peace, security and international co-operation worldwide.

The Russian side points out to the efforts ASEAN makes to "prod the partners in the dialogue to join the Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in Southeast Asia and sign a Protocol on a Nuclear-Free Zone in Southeast Asia." On its part, ASEAN recognises Russia's effort to ensure peace and security in the framework of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation and elsewhere.

A large part of the document deals with measures to combat new challenges and threats. "The sides recognise the importance of issues that can have an impact on the situation in the sphere of regional security, namely terrorism, separatism, organised crime and all of its manifestations, including the trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances," reads the Declaration. According to the document, the only way to deal with these phenomena effectively is to "strengthen comprehensive bilateral, regional and international co-operation at all levels." The document also says that the sides "condemn all actions, methods and practices related to international terrorism, and declare readiness to activate co-operation in an effort to counteract this global evil." The struggle against international terrorism must by all means be based on principles of international law in general and the UN Charter in particular.

The heads of ASEAN and the Russian Foreign Ministry confirm their adherence to the global disarmament process and the effort to strengthen the regime of the non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons, mainly nuclear weapons and vehicles delivering them.

The document also stresses the sides' willingness to expand trade and economic co-operation. With that in mind, they pledge to take measures to step up political and economic interaction, and state their readiness to consider the possibility of setting up new mechanisms of co-operation, such as Russia-ASEAN summits. They also want to set up permanent and temporary expert and working groups when necessary, and declare readiness to develop information exchange between departments concerned.

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