SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 176
(Senate - November 05, 2019)

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[Pages S6394-S6396]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

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 SENATE RESOLUTION 406--RECOGNIZING THAT FOR 50 YEARS, THE ASSOCIATION 
   OF SOUTH EAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) AND ITS TEN MEMBERS, BRUNEI, 
    CAMBODIA, INDONESIA, LAOS, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, THE PHILIPPINES, 
 SINGAPORE, THAILAND, AND VIETNAM, HAVE WORKED WITH THE UNITED STATES 
    TOWARD STABILITY, PROSPERITY, AND PEACE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, AND 
EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL CONTINUE 
  TO REMAIN A STRONG, RELIABLE, AND ACTIVE PARTNER IN THE ASEAN REGION

  Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Mr. Risch, Mr. Markey, and Mr. Gardner) 
submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee 
on Foreign Relations:

                              S. Res. 406

       Whereas the 10 members of the Association of South East 
     Asian Nations (ASEAN) represent a variety of different 
     cultures and beliefs as well as vibrant economies giving rise 
     to a flourishing middle class;
       Whereas an estimated 70,000,000 United States citizens 
     identify with an ethnicity represented in ASEAN, including 
     4,000,000 Filipinos and 1,900,000 Vietnamese;
       Whereas the United States and ASEAN have been cooperating 
     to advance our mutual interests for 40 years, having first 
     established dialogue relations on September 10, 1977, with 
     the issuing of the 1977 Joint Communique of the First ASEAN-
     United States

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     Dialogue and the United States acceding to the Treaty of 
     Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) at the ASEAN 
     Post Ministerial Conference Session with the United States in 
     Thailand on July 22, 2009;
       Whereas the United States was the first non-ASEAN country 
     to appoint an ambassador to ASEAN on April 29, 2008, and the 
     first non-member to establish a permanent mission to ASEAN in 
     2010;
       Whereas cooperation between the United States Government 
     and the governments and people of the ASEAN nations can help 
     realize their common goals of a peaceful, prosperous, and 
     open Indo-Pacific rooted in a rule-based order that promotes 
     security, opportunity, and dignity to all peoples;
       Whereas, in 2019, ASEAN's 10 members represent the sixth 
     largest economy in the world and constitute the United 
     States' fourth-largest export market, with total exports to 
     ASEAN countries reaching $116,200,000,000, representing the 
     number one destination for United States investment in the 
     Indo-Pacific with $329,000,000,000 in cumulative foreign 
     direct investment;
       Whereas ASEAN nations host critical global sea lanes 
     located at the heart of the world's most dynamic economic 
     regions, with $5,300,000,000,000 of global trade and more 
     than half of the world's total shipped tonnage transiting 
     through ASEAN waters each year;
       Whereas the ultimate goal of the ASEAN Economic Community 
     is to create one of the world's largest single market 
     economies and facilitate the free movement of goods, 
     services, and professionals;
       Whereas the United States-ASEAN Single Window custom 
     facilitation system expedites intra-ASEAN trade and enhances 
     the ability of United States businesses to operate in the 
     region;
       Whereas the United States-ASEAN Business Alliance for 
     Competitive, Small, and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) has 
     trained more than 4,600 small-to-medium size enterprises, 
     with nearly half of the participants being women 
     entrepreneurs;
       Whereas the Lower Mekong Initiative, established on July 
     23, 2009, promotes sustainable economic development in 
     mainland Southeast Asia and fosters regional cooperation, 
     integration, and capacity building;
       Whereas the United States remains committed to working with 
     ASEAN to improve the protection of human rights and 
     fundamental dignity of the people of ASEAN countries, a key 
     ingredient to maintaining stability, promoting economic 
     growth, and advancing good governance;
       Whereas the United States opposes all claims in the 
     maritime domain that infringe on the rights, freedoms, and 
     lawful use of the sea that belongs to all nations, and has a 
     national interest in freedom of navigation and overflight, 
     open access to Asia's maritime commons, and respect for 
     international law in the South China Sea;
       Whereas the United States does not take sides on the 
     competing territorial disputes, but nevertheless believes 
     claimants should pursue territorial claims without resort to 
     coercion, and through collaborative diplomacy, including 
     international arbitration, and in accordance with 
     international law and institutions;
       Whereas the United States supports the Philippines' 
     decision to use arbitration under the United Nations 
     Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), done at Montego 
     Bay December 10, 1982, to peacefully and lawfully address 
     competing territorial claims;
       Whereas the United States supports efforts by ASEAN and the 
     People's Republic of China to develop an effective Code of 
     Conduct (COC), opposes efforts by any nation to use the COC 
     as a vehicle to limit presence in or lawful use of the South 
     China Sea, encourages claimants not to undertake new or 
     unilateral attempts to change the status quo since the 
     signing of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct, including 
     reclamation activities or administrative measures or controls 
     in disputed areas in the South China Sea, and encourages 
     ASEAN countries to adopt a unified position in negotiating 
     the COC;
       Whereas the ASEAN-United States Maritime Exercise (AUXM), 
     which ran from September 2, 2019, until September 6, 2019, 
     built greater maritime security on the strength of ASEAN, the 
     strength of our navy-to-navy bonds, and the strength of our 
     shared belief in a free and open Indo-Pacific; and
       Whereas changes in climatic conditions in the ASEAN region 
     over the past four decades have resulted in major loss and 
     damage, with a disproportionate impact on developing 
     countries, and the United States will pursue initiatives that 
     are consistent with sustainable development, including the 
     achievement of food security and poverty alleviation, 
     improvement of conservation and sustainable management of 
     forests, fish stocks, and oceanic resources, resilience to 
     extreme weather events and climate-driven disasters, and 
     provision of sustainable livelihood for local communities 
     throughout the ASEAN region: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) supports and affirms the full implementation of 
     provisions of the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (Public Law 
     115-409) with regard to elevating the United States 
     relationship with ASEAN;
       (2) reaffirms the importance of United States-ASEAN 
     economic engagement, including the elimination of barriers to 
     cross-border commerce, and supports the ASEAN Economic 
     Community's goals, including strong, inclusive, and 
     sustainable growth and cooperation with the United States 
     that focuses on innovation and capacity building efforts in 
     technology, education, disaster management, food security, 
     human rights, and trade facilitation, including for ASEAN's 
     poorest countries;
       (3) urges ASEAN to continue its efforts to foster greater 
     integration and unity within the ASEAN community, as well as 
     to foster greater integration and unity with non-ASEAN 
     economic, political, and security partners, including Japan, 
     the Republic of Korea, Australia, the European Union, Taiwan, 
     and India;
       (4) recognizes the value of strategic economic initiatives 
     like the United States-ASEAN Connect, which demonstrates a 
     commitment to ASEAN and the AEC and builds upon economic 
     relationships in the region;
       (5) supports ASEAN nations in addressing maritime and 
     territorial disputes in a constructive manner and in pursuing 
     claims through peaceful, diplomatic, and legitimate regional 
     and international arbitration mechanisms, consistent with 
     international law, including through the adoption of a code 
     of conduct in the South China Sea to further promote peace 
     and stability in the region;
       (6) urges all parties to maritime and territorial disputes 
     in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Government of the 
     People's Republic of China--
       (A) to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities 
     that would undermine stability or complicate or escalate 
     disputes through the use of coercion, intimidation, or 
     military force;
       (B) to refrain from new efforts to militarize uninhabited 
     islands, reefs, shoals, and other features, including the 
     construction of new garrisons and facilities and the 
     relocation of additional military personnel, material, or 
     equipment;
       (C) to oppose actions by any county to prevent any other 
     country from exercising its sovereign rights to the resources 
     of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf by 
     seeking to enforce claims to those areas in the South China 
     Sea that have no support in international law; and
       (D) to oppose unilateral declarations of administrative and 
     military districts in contested areas in the South China Sea;
       (7) urges parties to refrain from unilateral actions that 
     cause permanent physical damage to the marine environment, 
     and supports the efforts of the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration and ASEAN to implement guidelines 
     to address the illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing 
     in the region;
       (8) supports efforts by United States partners and allies 
     in ASEAN--
       (A) to enhance maritime capability and maritime domain 
     awareness; and
       (B) to protect unhindered access to and use of 
     international waterways in the Asia-Pacific region that are 
     critical to ensuring the security and free flow of commerce;
       (C) to counter piracy;
       (D) to disrupt illicit maritime trafficking activates such 
     as the trafficking of persons; goods, and drugs; and
       (E) to enhance the maritime capabilities of countries or 
     regional organizations to respond to emerging threats to 
     maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region;
       (9) urges ASEAN member states to develop a common approach 
     to reaffirm the decision of the Permanent Court of 
     Arbitration in The Hague's ruling with respect to the case 
     between the Republic of the Philippines and the People's 
     Republic of China;
       (10) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to 
     continue joint efforts with ASEAN to halt human smuggling and 
     trafficking in persons, and urges ASEAN to make increased 
     efforts to create and strengthen regional mechanisms to 
     provide assistance and support to refugees and migrants;
       (11) supports the Lower Mekong Initiative, which has made 
     significant progress in promoting sustainable economic 
     development in mainland Southeast Asia and fostering 
     integrated sub-regional cooperation and capacity building;
       (12) urges ASEAN to build capacity for the promotion and 
     protection of human rights by ASEAN member states, and the 
     implementation of related priorities, programs, and 
     activities;
       (13) urges ASEAN governments to engage directly with 
     leaders of civil society and human rights, including 
     advocates of religious freedom, victims of human rights 
     abuses, and environmental groups, and to prioritize the 
     construction of forums that give these stakeholders a voice 
     to instruct public policy;
       (14) encourages the President of the United States to 
     communicate to ASEAN leaders the importance of protecting 
     human rights, including ending extrajudicial killings, 
     releasing political prisoners, ceasing politically motivated 
     prosecutions, strengthening civil society, safeguarding 
     freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the free flow 
     of information and ideas, and promoting the rule of law and 
     open and transparent government;
       (15) supports efforts by organizations in ASEAN addressing 
     corruption in the public and private sectors, enhancing anti-
     bribery compliance, enforcing bribery criminalization in the 
     private sector, and building beneficial ownership 
     transparency through the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project 
     partnered with the South East Asia Parties Against Corruption 
     (SEA-PAC);
       (16) supports the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative 
     program as an example of people-to-people partnership 
     building that

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     provides skills, networks, and leadership capabilities to a 
     new generation of people who will create and fill jobs, 
     foster cross-border cooperation and partnerships, and rise to 
     solve the regional and global challenges of the future; and
       (17) urges ASEAN governments to fully uphold and implement 
     all United Nations Security Council resolutions and 
     international agreements with respect to North Korea's 
     nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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