Vice President Kamala Harris today joined leaders of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) member states and Timor-Leste, as well as the ASEAN Secretary General, for the annual U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. She reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to strengthening our partnership with ASEAN, upholding ASEAN centrality, and supporting robust implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The Vice President commended Indonesia’s successful chairmanship of ASEAN and expressed support for Laos as it prepares to assume the ASEAN chairmanship in 2024. She welcomed the presence of Timor-Leste in its capacity as ASEAN observer, and pledged U.S. support for Timor-Leste’s ASEAN accession process.
The Vice President reflected on the strength of the U.S.-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the historic outcomes of the 2022 U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, D.C. To ensure the United States’ elevated partnership with ASEAN reaches its full potential, the leaders announced their intent to establish, through a public private partnership, a U.S.-ASEAN Center in Washington, D.C. The Vice President also highlighted new initiatives that are strengthening the United States’ partnership with ASEAN on economics and trade, climate and energy, health, and maritime issues such as sustainable fishing, as well as education and cultural exchange.
The leaders discussed a range of regional and global issues, including the importance of upholding international law in the South China Sea, efforts to support the people of Burma in returning their country to the path of democratic transition, and Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine – including its negative effects in Southeast Asia.