JAKARTA, 6 December 2013 – ASEAN and U.S. officials met today to launch new cooperation programmes and mark achievements over the course of 36 years of partnership. The event highlighted joint promotion of trade and investment, good governance, combatting transnational crimes such as trafficking in persons and wildlife trafficking, and promoting people-to-people ties through youth engagement activities.
Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Nyan Lynn welcomed continuing cooperation between ASEAN and the U.S. and encouraged both sides to look into other potential areas that would contribute to ASEAN Community building by 2015 and beyond. He also expressed, on behalf of Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh and the ASEAN Secretariat, appreciation for the valuable assistance and support rendered by the U.S. to ASEAN in the past years, including capacity building for the ASEAN Secretariat. He stressed that the ASEAN Secretariat would do its best to assist the U.S. and ASEAN Member States in the implementation of the two new cooperation programs launched today.
“I am deeply privileged to have been named as the first resident Ambassador to ASEAN of an ASEAN Dialogue Partner, and I am proud of the things we have achieved together for the benefit of citizens of Southeast Asia and the United States,” said David L. Carden, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN. “There is much more that we will continue to do together as we help support a stronger ASEAN Community,” he added.
The U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with other U.S. Government agencies, launched two new five-year flagship programs totaling $30 million based at the ASEAN Secretariat.
- ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment will support the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in the areas of customs integration, trade and investment facilitation, small and medium-sized enterprises, clean and efficient energy, and information and communication technologies.
- ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security will support intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-U.S. cooperation in good governance, public-private sector dialogue and cooperation, promotion of human rights, and, combatting transnational crimes and non-traditional security threats. It will also support ASEAN’s work in disaster management, human capital development, quality, science-based policy-making, and strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat.
“Ambassador Carden’s friendship, the work of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN, and our cooperative programs that work daily to advance the ASEAN Community are all strong evidence of ASEAN’s important ties with the United States,” said Min Lwin, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEAN. Myanmar serves as the coordinating country for the United States within ASEAN and will Chair ASEAN in 2014. “That is a good reason for us to gather and highlight our cooperation and achievements, past and future,” Ambassador Lwin noted.
In addition to the two new programs, the United States, through USAID, supports the ASEAN Youth Volunteers Program, an ASEAN-U.S. climate resilient cities program, the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network, raising awareness on trafficking in persons through the MTV-EXIT program, support to the ASEAN Regional Knowledge Network for Forestry and Climate Change, and co-funding with the International Organization of Migration to increase the mobility of skilled labor in ASEAN.