We, the Heads of State/Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Russian Federation;
Recognising the significant progress in the development and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as one of the key drivers in governance, economy, commerce and trade, social well-being and all other aspects;
Reaffirming the importance of previous resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security;
Recalling the Sochi Declaration of the ASEAN – Russian Federation Commemorative Summit to Mark the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN – Russian Federation Dialogue Partnership “Moving Towards a Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit” in 2016, the Comprehensive Plan of Action to Promote Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Russian Federation (2016–2020), East Asia Leaders’ Statement on Issues Related to Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies in 2015, ASEAN Regional Forum Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs on Cooperation in Ensuring Cyber Security in 2012, ASEAN Regional Forum Work Plan on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in 2015, as well as the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Security of and in the Use ofICTs in 2017, and the establishment of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus Experts’ Working Group on Cyber Security in 2016;
Recalling the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection adopted in 2016and the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy adopted in 2017;
Welcoming the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration to Prevent and Combat Cybercrime in 2017 and the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation in 2018;
Declare as follows:
1. We recognise that the use of ICTs can directly affect the political, economic, social, cultural and other components of national and international security and stability.
2. We acknowledge that the use and development of ICTs, includingthe protection of personal data,should be based onuniversally recognised principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), namely State sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity, sovereign equality of States, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are of paramount importance for the development of a peaceful, safe, open, and collaborative regional and international ICT environment.
3. We express our concern that these technologies and means can potentially be used to threaten regional and international peace, security and stability and adversely affect the integrity of States’ critical infrastructure.
4. We further acknowledge the importance of working towards elaborating and adopting internationally agreed voluntary and non-binding rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of States in the use of ICTs to strengthen common understanding for the stability and security in the global ICT environment, with due regard to the recommendations set out in the relevant Reports of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, as well as the development of a peaceful, secure, and resilient rules-based ICT environment that will contribute to continued economic progress, enhanced regional connectivity within and improved living standard of both ASEAN Member States and Russia.
5. We note that it is necessary to prevent the use of information resources or technologies for criminal or terrorist purposes.
6. We advocate the prevention and peaceful settlement of inter-State conflicts that may be caused by the malicious and unlawful use of ICTs in order to protect our national and international interests. While acknowledging the key role of States in ensuring stability and security in the use of ICTs, we emphasise that the UN should play a leading role in promoting dialogue on the security of ICTs in their use by States and stress the importance of adopting rules, norms and principles of responsible behavior of States in the use of ICTs.
7. We emphasise the need to increase transparency and enhance trust to facilitate a deeper mutual understanding in theuse of ICTs in order to reduce the risk of misperception, misjudgement, and growing tension that lead to conflicts.
8. We stress that it is necessary to preserve ICTs, particularly the Internet, as an instrument of peace and development and to prevent its use as a weapon or as a means of committing crime.
9. We acknowledge that cooperation and coordination among States at bilateral, regional, and international levels are imperative for timely and effective responses to threats and challenges arising from the use of ICTs, given the cross-border nature of ICTs.
10. We recognise that States are at different levels of development and have different ICT capacities, and highlight the importance of greater efforts of ASEAN Member States and Russia to narrow the digital divide.
11. We emphasise the practical value of capacity building, education and training programmes on various aspects of security of and in the use of ICTs.
12. We acknowledge the importance of strengthening practical cooperation on security of and in the use of ICTs in areas such as combating the use of ICTs for terrorist purposes and other criminal activities.
13. We agree to strengthen and optimise existing regional mechanisms on security of and in the use of ICTs.
14. ASEAN will consider the initiative of the Russian Federation on an “ASEAN-Russia Dialogue on ICT security-related issues”.