1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, met in Sydney, Australia, on 18 March 2018 for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the first time we have met together in Australia.
2. We acknowledge that the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit marks a new era in the increasingly close ASEAN-Australia relationship, elevated to a Strategic Partnership in 2014. This Summit reaffirms that we are partners with a vital stake in a dynamic region undergoing major changes. We commit to intensify our shared work to shape a secure and prosperous region for our people.
3. We reaffirm our commitment to ASEAN’s central role in the evolving rules-based regional architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive, and promotes stability and prosperity through ASEAN-led mechanisms. We recognize the critical role a strong, united, resilient and innovative ASEAN can play in fostering peace, stability and inclusive growth, and the contributions of ASEAN over the past 50 years towards regional peace and prosperity. We appreciate Australia’s contribution to ASEAN Community Building, including support for the implementation of ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.
4. We share a strong commitment to regional peace and security as well as peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, the exercise of self-restraint, without resorting to the threat or use of force in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, and the rules-based regional and international order. We recognize the vital role regional and multilateral institutions play in fostering cooperation, peace and prosperity.
5. We reaffirm our mutual respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality, non-interference and political independence of all nations as espoused in the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC). The principles of mutual benefit, shared responsibility to promote peace and security, prosperity and sustainable development are central to further strengthening our strategic partnership.
Further Dialogue and Cooperation
1. We commit to continue political dialogue at the Head of State/Government level, building on our extensive ministerial and senior officials-level dialogue, through future biennial ASEAN-Australia Leaders’ Summits; strengthening regional security architecture in support of the rules-based regional order, particularly the East Asia Summit as the region’s premier Leaders-led strategic forum; and to enhance collaboration in regional and international forums.
2. We will continue to cooperate on the full and effective implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership (2015-2019).
3. We welcome initiatives arising from this Summit covering the areas of counter-terrorism; counter trafficking in persons; cyber security and digital trade; defense; maritime; economic; urbanization and infrastructure; connectivity; education; health; and women, peace and security to further strengthen our strategic partnership. We look forward to further consultations in the implementation of these initiatives.