East Asia Summit

India is a founder member of East Asia Summit (EAS). EAS is a unique Leaders-led forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific (10 ASEAN + Japan, India, China, U.S, Russia, Australia, NewZealand and ROK),established in 2005 to further common objectives of peace, prosperity and stability in the region. It has evolved as a forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern and plays an important role in the regional architecture. It allows the principal players in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues of common interest and concern in an open and transparent manner.

As 18 EAS member countries account for 55% of the world's population and 55 % of global GDP (according to IMF purchasing power parity GDP figures).This forum can play a constructive role in promoting sustained economic growth at the regional and global levels.

The 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on East Asia Summit, the 2010 Ha Noi Declaration in Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the EAS, and the 2011 Declaration of the East Asia Summit on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations (Bali Principles), guide the principles, objectives and modalities of the EAS.

11thEast Asia Summit

The 11thEast Asia Summit was held at Vientianeon 8th September, 2016. Three Statements/Declarations were adopted by EAS on various issues, viz.:

  1. Vientiane Declaration on Promoting Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia
  2. EAS Statement on Nuclear Non-Proliferation
  3. EAS Declaration on Strengthening Responses to Migrants in crisis and Trafficking in Persons

The 7th EAS Foreign Ministers Meeting was held on 7th August, 2017 at Manila. It focused on Regional and Global issues of topical relevance.

India and EAS

India greatly values the EAS as a leaders-led forum to discuss both regional and global strategic, political and economic issues.India supported adoption of abovementioned three Declarations/Statements at the 11th EAS. India also supports ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture, be it the ASEAN+1, EAS, ADMM+, EAMF, ARF etc.

India itself is actively engaged in six priority areas under the EAS framework viz. Education, Environment, Disaster Management, Finance, Global Health and Pandemics and ASEAN Connectivity. A number of initiatives have been taken by India under the EAS rubric, as follows:

  1. India hosted an 'EAS-India Workshop 2012: Building Regional Framework for Earthquake Risk Management' in New Delhi on November 8-9, 2012 jointly organised by Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and Ministry of External Affairs.This workshop led to the Delhi Outcome on Earthquake Risk Reduction in EAS Member Countries. As a follow-up, India proposed setting up a network of 24×7 Points of Contacts among the National Disaster Response Agencies of the 18 EAS countries to facilitate coordinated and speedy response to natural disasters. India also initiated setting up a Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP) to share knowledge and best practices related to natural disaster risk assessment, mitigation and response. India hosted the first meeting of the 24x7 Points of Contacts of the National Disaster Response agencies of 18 EAS participating countries on the sidelines of EAS-ASEM Round table on December 4-5, 2014 in New Delhi. The event also saw inauguration of the VKP which has been re-christened as EAS Earthquake Risk Reduction Centre (EAS-ERR).
  2. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare hosted the “EAS Round Table on Trauma Care and Nursing” on October 15-16, 2015 in New Delhi, in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs and All India Institute of Medical Sciences in line with the announcement made by the Indian Prime Minister in the 8th EAS.
  3. India co-hosted the 4th EAS Workshop on Regional Security Architecture along with Cambodia in Phnom Penh on 20-21 July 2015.
  4. India hosted first and second EAS Conference on Maritime Security andCooperation on 9-10 November 2015 and 4-5 November, 2016 at New Delhi and Goa respectively.
  5. India established the Nalanda University as a premier institution of the EAS at Rajgir, Bihar.

Nalanda University (www.nalandauniv.edu.in/): The 4th East Asia Summit (Thailand October 24-25, 2009) issued a Joint Press Statement supporting the establishment of Nalanda University in India as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution with a continental focus, that will bring together the brightest and the most dedicated students from all the countries of Asia. Indian Ministry of External Affairs thereafter initiated steps to enact the Nalanda University Bill, 2010 in Parliament.

On November 15, 2011, the Government of China made a contribution of US$1 million. Thailand made a contribution of US$ 100,000, and Thailand's CP Group made a contribution of US $ 5,000. Lao PDR made a contribution of US $ 50,000. Australia will establish a Chair in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies with a contribution of Australian $ 1 million. Singapore has offered a contribution of US$ 5 million to design, build and deliver the University's library. Japan pledged support for renovation of the approach roads to the university, and offered use of the Peace Institute of Japan for promoting Peace Studies in Nalanda University. Countries like Sri Lanka outside the EAS have indicated their interest to be associated with the university. Bangladesh became the first non-EAS participating country to become a signatory on 20th September, 2014.

To reinforce the status of the university as an international institution, a Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Nalanda University was signed at the 8th EAS in Brunei Darussalam on October 10, 2013.

Teaching in the Schools of Historical Studies, and Ecology and Environment Studies commenced from September 1, 2014. It has been decided to open a third school i.efor Buddhist Studies and Comparative Religion w.e.f academic year 2016-17. Ministry of External Affairs has offered 6 scholarships to students from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to study at the University. External Affairs Minister of India formally inaugurated the University on September 19, 2014 in the presence of Chief Minister of Bihar and other dignitaries. Mr. Vijay P. Bhatkarhas been appointed as the Chancellor of Nalanda University in succession to Mr. George Yeo in 2017.

India is actively involved in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), on which negotiations are ongoing involving 16 of 18 EAS participating countries (except USA and Russia).

India is also highly appreciative of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and its work in providing in-depth, research-based policy recommendations in key areas of interest to EAS participating countries.

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