On July 11, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the U.S.-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This marked Secretary Clinton's fourth U.S.-ASEAN post-ministerial conference.
Secretary Clinton said, "The United States has an enduring commitment to the Asia Pacific and the Obama Administration has elevated our engagement across Asia as a strategic priority of our foreign policy. A central pillar of that strategy is to work more closely with ASEAN, to deepen our economic, strategic, and people-to-people engagement. As Secretary of State, I've been a strong supporter of ASEAN and I understand that ASEAN faces a variety of challenges and even growing pains as it adapts and takes on new responsibilities. But I believe ASEAN plays an indispensible role in holding this region's institutional architecture together and in advancing the common interests of all stakeholders in the Asia Pacific. The work that we are doing here today and over the next two days is a testament to that, and the United States has a stake in ASEAN's success. The positions that ASEAN takes, the decisions it makes, and how it makes them will have a great bearing on the future effectiveness of ASEAN.
"When I'm asked in my country why I put so much emphasis on ASEAN, I tell people that we work with ASEAN on the issues that are of central importance to the United States, from maritime security to nonproliferation to economic growth. We have more investment in ASEAN than we have in China. That is a surprising fact to many people in our country. And we are working cooperatively and collaboratively on opportunities and challenges in the Asia Pacific region, because we believe, like all of you, that so much of the future will be determined in this region."
Secretary Clinton continued, "We are focused on six pillars: regional security cooperation, economic integration and trade, engagement in the Lower Mekong region, transnational threats, democratic development, and war legacies. We're working not only on a bilateral basis but also regionally in order to get the best possible results. This adds up to a robust, systematic assistance package that will secure sustained levels of American support for the things we all care most about."
In closing, the Secretary said, "The United States is committed to our partnership, and we welcome the contributions of other ASEAN dialogue partners, and we are invested in the future peace, stability, and prosperity of this region. We look forward to many more collaborative activities with our partners in ASEAN for years to come. "Related Content: Photos of Secretary Clinton in Cambodia and Fact Sheet on United States-ASEAN Cooperation 2012