Following is the text
of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement at the Plenary
Session of 7th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia today:
“I thank Prime Minister Hun Sen for his very warm hospitality and the
excellent arrangements for the 7th East Asia Summit.
I would like to begin by complimenting ASEAN members, not only for their
progress in creating an integrated ASEAN community, but for their
leadership in launching wider regional initiatives such as the ARF, EAS
and the ADMM+. For India, ASEAN has been the bridge to the East. It is
also central to the evolution of a regional architecture and its
different cooperative frameworks.
Excellencies, India’s security and prosperityare vitallylinked to the
Asia Pacific region. Our vision for this region is rooted in cooperation
and integration. Forums such as the East Asia Summit can help create a
large economic community in this region that will accelerate development
and enhance prosperity, besides reinforcing mutual understanding and
confidence in the region.
This Summit is witness to important events and changes taking place in
the Asia Pacific region. Concerted effort and collective action on the
part of the countries gathered in this room can strengthen mutual
understanding and help us address shared challenges. For this, it would
be necessary to develop a common set of principles, establish
cooperative mechanisms and deepen regional economic integration. We,
therefore, welcome the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership negotiations today. We also support the Phnom Penh
Declaration on East Asia Summit Development Initiative.
Connectivity is vital for increased commerce, contact and cooperation
between our countries. We must quickly implement the EAS Declaration on
ASEAN Connectivity, adopted at our last Summit. Early identification of
specific projects and the evolution of innovative financing mechanisms
for their implementation would also help move forward this important
aspect of our cooperation.
Excellencies, India has been happy to carry forward several EAS-related
initiatives. Following the EAS Declaration on Malaria Control, we have
proposed a programme on capacity building and vector control management
systems to our ASEAN partners earlier this year and look forward to
cooperating with other EAS members. Earlier this month, we held the EAS-India
Workshop on Building a Regional Framework for Earthquake Risk Management
in New Delhi. This will augur well for our cooperation in responding to
natural disasters. Finally, the Nalanda University project, in which
your support has been invaluable, is gaining momentum and we expect the
first two schools to commence teaching in the academic year 2014-15.
Excellencies, though EAS is still new, we have built an impressive
agenda for economic cooperation and for addressing some of our common
challenges. We should try and bring to bear the same spirit in
addressing our differences. I have no doubt that, together, we can
create an open, balanced, inclusive and rule-based architecture in the
region for our collective security, stability and prosperity.”