Minister Cannon Concludes Productive ASEAN Meetings in Vietnam

(No. 235 - July 23, 2010 - 12:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today successfully concluded Canada’s participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Post Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, where Canada acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and forged a five-year plan for strengthening ASEAN-Canada relations.

“Canada is very proud to be acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia,” said Minister Cannon. “Canada’s accession to the Treaty is a strong demonstration of Canada’s engagement in Southeast Asia and its commitment to peace, security and cooperation in the region. Accession to the Treaty will better position Canada to advance its commercial, security and human rights interests in Southeast Asia.”

While in Hanoi, Minister Cannon also joined ASEAN foreign ministers in unanimously adopting the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership (2010-2015).

“The ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action includes Canadian priorities in areas such as human rights, democracy, counterterrorism, security, trade and investment, and development,” said the Minister.

During the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting, Minister Cannon joined his colleagues from the Asia-Pacific region in adopting the Hanoi Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement. The ARF has provided a venue to discuss key regional security issues, such as non-proliferation, maritime security, disaster relief, and counterterrorism and transnational crime.

“Canada remains a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” said Minister Cannon. “During today’s ARF discussions, I reiterated our grave concern at the situation on the Korean Peninsula and strongly condemned North Korea for its attack on the naval vessel Cheonan. I also called on the Burmese regime to live up to its commitments to hold free and fair elections by unconditionally releasing all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, engaging in genuine dialogue with members of the democratic opposition and different ethnic groups within Burma, and enabling full democratic participation in the process.”

“As a Pacific nation, Canada’s close collaboration and increasing engagement with ASEAN demonstrate our enduring and growing ties to our neighbours in the region, which allow us to engage in frank discussion on a wide range of issues of mutual interest,” concluded the Minister.

Canada continues to increase its commercial and political presence in the ASEAN region, and in the entire Pacific neighbourhood. The ASEAN Network provides additional expertise in Canada’s missions in Southeast Asia in support of Canadian interests.

For more information, consult Minister Cannon participates in ASEAN meetings.

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