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16th East Asia Summit

16th East Asia Summit:

The Prime Minister attended the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS).

  • The 16th EAS discussed important regional and international issues including Indo-Pacific, South China Sea, UNCLOS, terrorism, and situation in Korean Peninsula and Myanmar.
  • Indo-Pacific:
    • Reaffirmed India’s focus on a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and the principle of “ASEAN Centrality” in the region.
    • Highlighted the synergies between ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI).
  • Resilient Global Value Chain:
    • Emphasised the importance of a resilient global value chain and reiterated India’s commitment to providing Quad-sponsored vaccines to Indo-Pacific countries.
    • Quad countries (India, Japan, Australia and US) are on track to help produce at least 1 billion vaccine doses in India to boost the global supply by the end of 2022.
    • Recalled India’s support of USD1 million to the ASEAN Covid-19 Recovery Fund.
  • Multilateralism:
    • India remained committed to strengthening respect for shared values of multilateralism, rules-based international order, international law and sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.
  • Cyber Security:
    • The idea of developing global standards on cyber security has also been raised.
  • The EAS leaders adopted three statements on mental health, economic recovery through tourism, and sustainable recovery, which have been co-sponsored by India.

East Asia Summit:

  • Established in 2005, it is a forum of 18 regional leaders for strategic dialogue and cooperation on the key political, security, and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The concept of an East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad.
  • There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS.
  • These are – Environment and Energy, Education, Finance, Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases, Natural Disaster Management, and ASEAN Connectivity.
  • It comprises the ten member states of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) which are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, along with 8 other countries namely Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the USA.
  • It is an ASEAN-centred forum so it can only be chaired by an ASEAN member.
  • Brunei Darussalam is the chair for 2021.