Washington, DC - Secretary Kerry met with the foreign ministers of the ten ASEAN Member States for the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting to discuss shared priorities in the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. This partnership commits all parties to strengthening democracy and enhancing good governance to build up a politically cohesive, economically integrated, and people-centered ASEAN Community.

The United States and ASEAN are working together to uphold a rules-based regional order that protects our peace and prosperity.

The foreign ministers discussed U.S.-ASEAN Connect, an initiative that will deepen the United States’ growing economic cooperation with ASEAN through a new unifying framework focused on areas of strategic mutual interest, including innovation, energy, business engagement and policy support. They called for specific actions to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and they pledged their commitment to strengthen cooperation against terrorism and violent extremism. Secretary Kerry commended ASEAN’s achievement in endorsing the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and wholly agreed with ASEAN foreign ministers that more must be done to combat all forms of trafficking, including wildlife and timber trafficking.

Ministers affirmed ASEAN’s full respect for diplomatic and legal processes to peacefully resolve disputes. Several stressed that both parties in the Philippines-China arbitration abide by the decision and uphold international law. Secretary Kerry and his ASEAN counterparts agreed on the importance of full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2270 to curb North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.