On July 22, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed the United States’ Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. At the same time, the ten ASEAN Foreign Ministers signed an Instrument of Extension of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, completing the United States’ accession to the Treaty. Among other things, parties to the Treaty pledge to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and to cooperate in economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.
During her visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta in February of this year, Secretary Clinton announced that the Administration would pursue accession to the Treaty because “we believe that the United States must have strong relationships and a strong and productive presence here in Southeast Asia.” Today’s signing ceremony successfully completes this Administration initiative.
The speed at which the United States worked together with ASEAN members to realize U.S. accession to the Treaty highlights our re-energized involvement in Southeast Asia, as well as the close mutual ties sought by ASEAN and the United States. U.S. accession is a symbol of the United States’ desire to engage more deeply and effectively with ASEAN on regional and global priorities.
The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed by the original members of ASEAN in 1976. All ASEAN members have since become parties to the Treaty. In 1987, ASEAN amended the Treaty to invite countries outside of Southeast Asia to accede to the Treaty in order to build confidence, promote peace and security, and facilitate economic cooperation in the region.