Kuala Lumpur

22 November 2015

Remarks at the ASEAN East Asia Summit

Ban Ki-moon

It is a great honor to participate in this important EAS Summit.

Thank you for the opportunity to address this East Asia Summit. I thank ASEAN for making this event possible.

At the outset, I would like to most sincerely congratulate the establishment of ASEAN Community. This is a historic occasion to witness the full integration of 10 ASEAN countries. The UN Charter under its Chapter 8 envisages importance of cooperation with regional organization.

I have deep personal ties to East Asia and great faith in its potential.

This Summit offers a chance for dialogue to deepen cooperation across the region, across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and across the global agenda.

Climate change, violent extremism, grinding poverty and the plight of migrants are cross-border issues that can only be tackled through international approaches and collaboration.

Regional and global issues are more connected than ever.

Asia’s economic power and global engagement are on the rise.

At the same time, we must squarely confront all challenges.

The devastating effects of climate change are clear across the region.

In many places, we see communal tensions and oppressive governance.

Competing territorial or maritime claims carry grave risks.

Nuclear weapons cast a shadow.

And despite great advances, millions of people still live in extreme poverty.

We can meet these threats, and seize the wondrous opportunities of our era, through dialogue, burden-sharing and adherence to the values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

I welcome the recent Trilateral Summit that brought together leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. I hope that this resumption will reinforce collaboration among these countries – and foster stronger cooperation across Northeast Asia, including on the Korean Peninsula.

I strongly believe that inter-Korean dialogue must lead efforts to enhance peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to pave the way for peaceful reunification. In this regard, I welcome the recent family reunions and hope both sides will expand their engagements through sincere dialogue. As the Secretary-General, I will not spare any effort to support inter-Korean reconciliation and dialogue.

I support on-going initiatives to build mutual confidence for peace and security in Northeast Asia, a missing link in regional cooperation, under Chapter VIII [“eight”] of the United Nations Charter. I sincerely hope these efforts will bear fruits toward realizing Asia’s great promise.

I also applaud the progress in Myanmar as part of a momentum toward greater democracy and openness that can unleash the true potential of Asia.

Taken together, your nations represent more than half the world’s population and possess remarkable technological capacities and economic dynamism.

Progress in Asia is all the more critical now as the world copes with grave threats.

The upheaval in Syria and the Middle East, the massive global refugee crisis and atrocious terrorist attacks challenge our common humanity. Let us work together to overcome division, achieve the inspiring new vision enshrined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and point the way toward lives of dignity for all.

The United Nations will fully support you as we work for sustainable peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.

Thank you.