Joint ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders’ Vision Statement On The 45th Anniversary Of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations



A Legacy of Partnership, A Future Together

1. We,
the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and New
Zealand, met via videoconference on 14 November 2020, under
Viet Nam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship, to commemorate the
45th Anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue

2. The ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders’
Commemorative Summit marks an important milestone in the
ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership, as both sides share
a strong legacy, and have achieved much over the past 45
years across a wide range of areas, including political,
security, trade and economic, people-to-people, and
development cooperation.

3. We reaffirm our mutual
respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial
integrity, equality, and independence, as espoused in the
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and
reiterate our determination to uphold the purposes and
principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respect
for international law.

4. We share deep concern over
the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the lives of
people as well as economies around the world. Our thoughts
are with all those who have lost loved ones or who are
suffering from the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
We recognise the heroic efforts of medical professionals,
healthcare workers, and other front-liners around the world,
and dedicate ourselves to close partnership in pursuit of

5. We acknowledge the progress achieved in
the full implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement
the Joint Statement for ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic
Partnership (2016–2020), and its two key strategies,
namely the “People Strategy” and the “Prosperity
Strategy”, which have enhanced cooperation and contributed
towards the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
and its Blueprints.

6. As we look to the future, we
underscore the importance of the ASEAN-New Zealand strategic
partnership, and the principle of genuine,
mutually-beneficial cooperation that has underpinned our
dialogue relations for the past 45 years. In this context,
we reaffirm our commitment to upholding a stable,
rules-based international order; maintaining an open and
inclusive region where people enjoy human rights and
fundamental freedoms; reinforcing the multilateral trading
system through deeper and more ambitious economic
integration; and building on the region’s sustainable
development agenda with an emphasis on environmental
resilience and collective action which addresses climate
change. To this end, we will redouble our collective efforts
to achieve the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 – a year which
will mark New Zealand’s fiftieth anniversary of dialogue
partnership with ASEAN.

7. Consequently, we welcome
efforts toward the realization of the Plan of Action to
Implement the ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership
(2021-2025), focusing cooperation under the four key themes
of “Peace, Prosperity, People, and Planet”, which are in
line with the three pillars of ASEAN Community, namely
Political-Security Community, Economic Community, and
Socio-Cultural Community, to reflect ASEAN and New
Zealand’s ambition to strengthen and deepen our Strategic


8. We reaffirm our shared
commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and
stability in the region, as well as to the peaceful
resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and
diplomatic processes. We further reaffirm our dedication to
an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional
architecture, which respects the sovereignty of all states
regardless of their size; which is based on key principles
such as adherence to international law and open markets; and
which is built on ASEAN-led mechanisms. We therefore
reiterate our determination to promote shared values and
norms including those enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, the
Charter of the United Nations, and the Treaty of Amity and
Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

9. In recognition of
the vital role of regional and multilateral institutions, we
therefore reiterate the importance of regular and
comprehensive ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue and cooperation, as
well as engagement in ASEAN-led frameworks such as the East
Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the
ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). We
reaffirm our interest in exploring possible cooperation in
line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and New
Zealand’s priorities for the Indo-Pacific, in order to
contribute to the maintenance of peace, freedom, and
prosperity in the region and beyond.

10. In light of
our shared goal of regional peace and stability, we will
continue to work together on confidence-building and
preventive diplomacy, including through the ASEAN Regional
Forum process, and to address regional security challenges,
including through cooperation to promote cybersecurity,
combat transnational organised crime and cybercrime,
strengthen border security, counter terrorism, and promote
social inclusiveness to prevent violent extremism. We
recognise New Zealand’s long-standing support to demining
activities in the region, including through regional
mechanisms. We also welcome opportunities to share expertise
and build capacity of defence officials.

11. We
reaffirm our mutual dedication to disarmament, arms control
and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and in light of
its fiftieth anniversary, we recognise the instrumental role
of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in supporting
international efforts to curtail the threats posed by
nuclear weapons and their proliferation. In this context, we
note the opportunities for cooperation between ASEAN and New
Zealand on the South East Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone
(SEANWFZ) and the South Pacific Nuclear Free

12. We reiterate the importance of
promoting maritime security and safety, freedom of
navigation and overflight, unimpeded commerce, mutual trust
and confidence, the exercise of self-restraint, the non-use
of force or of the threat to use force, and the resolution
of disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with
universally recognised principles of international law,
including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS), and compliance with the relevant Standards
and Recommended Practices of the International Civil
Aviation Organization and relevant instruments and
conventions of the International Maritime


13. We note the
strong trade and business links between ASEAN countries and
New Zealand, with two-way trade between ASEAN and New
Zealand growing by almost two-thirds in the past ten years.
These links will stand us in good stead in mitigating the
economic impact of the pandemic. We therefore affirm our
determination to work together to advance regional economic
integration, resist all forms of protectionism, and ensure
resilient supply chains that facilitate the unimpeded flow
of goods and services. As highly trade-oriented economies,
we rededicate ourselves to supporting the rules-based
multilateral trading system, which underpins our region’s
economic growth and sustainable development, and to ensuring
that the WTO is forward-looking, reformed, and
well-positioned to tackle 21st century trade

14. We therefore welcome the decision to
officially launch negotiations to upgrade the
ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in early
2021, to ensure it remains a visionary and precedent-setting
agreement, which delivers tangible benefits to our
businesses, consumers, and peoples, and which demonstrates
the genuine economic partnership between ASEAN and New
Zealand. We also look forward to the signing and
implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement, which will facilitate stronger trade
and business ties, and support regional economic integration

15. To this end, we will redouble our efforts
to deepen practical economic cooperation, improve business
linkages, and support human capital development in
preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, noting the
importance of science, technology and innovation for 21st
century economies. We therefore welcome New Zealand’s
interest in supporting ASEAN’s post-pandemic economic
recovery efforts, taking into account the ASEAN
Comprehensive Recovery Framework, including through
engagement to improve ease of doing business, enhance the
region’s digital transformation, and strengthen the
resilience of supply chains. In support of these efforts, we
encourage the early conclusion of a high-quality ASEAN-New
Zealand regional Air Services Agreement, to provide a more
open environment for air links and to facilitate greater
ease of movement of people and goods, and look forward to
the successor programme of the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation
Support Programme.


16. We welcome the
understanding and friendships that have developed between
the peoples of ASEAN and New Zealand, including as a result
of our People-to-People programmes. With a view to building
greater awareness of ASEAN-New Zealand relations, we
endeavour to strengthen further those links through two-way
exchanges, scholarships, and short-term specialist training
programmes such as English language training, and technical
vocational education and training, by promoting the diverse
and rich culture in ASEAN Member States and New Zealand, and
by exploring other opportunities for building capacity for
economic and social development, with a particular focus on
opportunities that build links between our youth, young
leaders, and entrepreneurs.

17. We reaffirm our
efforts to promote good governance at all levels, and to
realise vibrant and inclusive societies that promote high
quality of life and equitable access to opportunities for
all, whose members enjoy human rights, and which promote
social protection for vulnerable groups.

18. We
acknowledge the on-going threat of communicable and emerging
infectious diseases, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, and
reaffirm the value in strengthening cooperation and sharing
information to enable collective, coordinated and
comprehensive responses to such events, which require a
whole of government and whole of society approach. We
express our support for global initiatives that ensure the
fair and equitable global access to and distribution of
safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics,
therapeutics and vaccines, including but not limited to the
Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and the COVID-19
Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility and Advance Market
Commitment; and underscore the importance of strong,
resilient and sustainable supply chains, in order to
effectively facilitate trade and to ensure the unimpeded
flow of goods and services, including medical supplies,
medicines and vaccines, food, commodities and other
essential supplies and services in the region. We also
welcome New Zealand’s contribution to the COVID-19 ASEAN
Response Fund.


19. We acknowledge that
as political leaders we carry responsibility for the
sustainable management, effective conservation, and
responsible stewardship of our lands and forests, our
environment, and our people. We therefore recognise the
importance of working together to ensure a sustainable and
climate-resilient economic recovery, as well as exploring
support for initiatives which strengthen the region’s
capabilities on environmental protection, climate change and
sustainability issues, including the implementation of the
Paris Agreement; promote renewable energy, the sustainable
management of natural resources, and the conservation of
forests and biological diversity; combat marine plastic
debris; and address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated
(IUU) Fishing. In this regard, New Zealand highlighted the
Māori concept of kaitiakitanga, which emphasises the
importance of caring for and protecting peoples and places
for future generations.

20. We reiterate
the importance of continuing to work together on
disaster management to enhance disaster awareness and
strengthen respective capabilities in disaster risk
reduction, mitigation, prevention, preparedness and
response, and recovery, including under the ambit of
ASEAN-led mechanisms and initiatives.

21. To give
effect to this, we welcome New Zealand’s efforts to
promote climate-smart agriculture in ASEAN, with a focus on
improving food security while addressing efforts to mitigate
greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage officials working on
climate change to strengthen engagement. We also welcome New
Zealand’s interest in promoting sustainable water
management in the Mekong sub-region, including through its
contribution to the Mekong River


22. We
underscore the importance of enhancing cross-pillar
cooperation and the role that the seamless movement of
people, goods and services plays in bringing the peoples of
ASEAN and New Zealand closer together, as well as building
strong links throughout the region, including with Pacific
Island countries. In this regard, we will continue to work
together in support of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity
(MPAC) 2025, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work
Plan IV (2021-2025), and the ASEAN Smart Cities Network

23. We will also redouble our efforts toward
the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) in our region, including through the promotion of
complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
(Complementarities Initiative).

24. In support of all
our work, we will continue our efforts to embed the
principles of good governance, and to foster transparent,
accountable, participatory and effective governance,
throughout the region; including by strengthening the
capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat and appropriate ASEAN

As we adopt this Joint Vision Statement, we
reflect on the long history of genuine friendship between
ASEAN and New Zealand, including New Zealand’s contributions
to the region as one of ASEAN’s oldest dialogue partners. We
therefore task our relevant officials to bear this spirit of
partnership in mind as we implement and realise our vision
identified in this Joint Statement and the Plan of Action
2021-2025, as well as other existing ASEAN-New Zealand
frameworks for

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