Germany and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are committed to the principle of multilateralism, regional cooperation, dialogue and peaceful settlement of conflicts, exemplified by the signing of an amity and cooperation.
Germany would formally accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on Saturday, the German Embassy in Hanoi said in a press release on Friday.
For Germany this is an important step in strengthening its relations with ASEAN, an increasingly important community with growing regional and universal significance.
“The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation embodies our common belief in multilateralism and regional cooperation, in dialogue and peaceful settlement of conflicts on the basis of common rules,” the embassy said in the press release.
“ASEAN is committed to these principles. So is Germany.”
As the multilateral and rules-based international order is under pressure, it is important that the champions of these fundamental principles join hands and double their efforts against unilateralism, populism and a short-sighted focus on excessive national egoism, according to the press release.
Germany has initiated an alliance for multilateralism – a network of countries committed to preserving and further developing a rules-based order, strengthening cooperation and bolstering the values of the UN.
Germany, as the biggest member state of the European Union, welcomes the invitation by ASEAN to join the growing number of parties to the important treaty.
“We recognize the resolve to open ASEAN’s regional cooperation to interested and like-minded players from outside the region,” the embassy said.
“Germany’s accession to the TAC complements the ratification by the European Union which took place back in 2012.
“We will strive to create synergies and complement each other in our support and cooperation with our partners in Southeast Asia.”
Germany entertains traditional and close ties to all member states of ASEAN.
To most of the countries, Germany is a major partner in trade and investment.
There are numerous partnerships of academic and research institutions demonstrating a German commitment to share progress in innovation and technology.
“Our development cooperation is designed to actively support sustainable growth in the region,” according to the press release.
“Germany became, in 2016, the first ‘development partner’ of ASEAN.
“We are actively engaged in supporting regional ASEAN initiatives in the field of sustainability, regional integration and capacity building.
“We also see ASEAN as a security partner of growing importance.
“Since the beginning of 2019 we’ve worked closely with Indonesia as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“We are looking forward to the same cooperation with Vietnam who will be joining the UNSC at the beginning of 2020.
“We recognize the important contribution of many ASEAN countries in UN peacekeeping operations around the globe.”
In many crisis-driven countries, soldiers from Germany and ASEAN countries work hand in hand.
Berlin has just been elected to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, where it will cooperate closely with Indonesia and the Philippines.
As one of the top trading powers in the world, Germany is naturally focused on regional stability, including rights and freedoms under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“We would like to intensify our dialogue with the region, particularly as ASEAN has taken important leadership in designing an architecture for a peaceful, connected and growing Indo-Pacific,” the embassy said.
“Acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation we pledge to be an active, reliant and supportive partner for ASEAN in its quest to maintain and develop a peaceful and prosperous regional environment.
“We are ready to share our expertise and experience in a broad range of areas: from security and crisis management to technology and connectivity.
“Through our role in the European Union we pledge to do our part to bring the two regions closer to each other.”
Germany is supporting the efforts to reopen region-to-region negotiations on a free trade agreement, which would complement the existing bilateral FTAs.
With a view to Germany’s EU presidency in 2020, Berlin will do everything to formalize the upgrading of the EU-ASEAN relations to the level of a strategic partnership.