Brunei Darussalam
25 April 2013

The ASEAN leaders emphasized the role of the people in ASEAN’s community building efforts and the future of the region beyond 2015.

In a press conference by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah after the Retreat Session, he said that during their meetings, the leaders reviewed the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Community Roadmap and exchanged views on ASEAN’s future direction. They discussed matters concerning regional peace and stability, economic cooperation, and people-to-people ties. The importance of realizing a truly people-centered ASEAN as an essential element of a post-2015 vision of the association was also noted. With this year’s summit theme, “Our People, Our Future Together,” they acknowledged the involvement of the youth in ensuring the development and sustainability of the region.

Moreover, the ASEAN Heads of State and Government recognized the need to enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness on economic matters including trade and investment facilitation. They welcomed the progress made towards realizing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

On the disputes about the West Philippine Sea, the Sultan said that they had good discussions among leaders and reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability and maritime security in the region. They gave emphasis to the significance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea issue.

* * *