Delhi Declaration of the 25th ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit

Why is it in news?

  • The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit came out with a comprehensive statement targeting terrorism and agreed to uphold freedom in the maritime domain.
  • It was the first time that India and the 10 members of ASEAN issued a declaration seeking close cooperation to tackle the issue of cross border terrorism.

Details and outcomes

  • Counter-terrorism, identity security, military cooperation, and bilateral financial support were discussed in official level talks with leaders from ASEAN countries held on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of sectoral dialogue between two sides.
  • Focusing on the presence of the Islamic State and other forms of radicalism in the region, a joint statement, titled Delhi Declaration, issued after the plenary session, supported a common approach to counter terrorism and sought a “comprehensive approach to combat terrorism through close cooperation by disrupting and countering terrorists, terrorist groups and networks, including by countering cross border movement of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters and misuse of Internet including social media by terror entities.”
  • A Joint Working Group meeting is likely to be held between the two countries to finalise details of counter-terror cooperation between Delhi and Manila.
  • Defence and maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region was discussed which involves manufacturing of offshore vessels which has been contracted to Larsen and Toubro.
  • The issue of security identity cards for the citizens, on the line of the Aadhaar card of India also came up during the bilateral discussion with Philippines.
  • The security scenario in the Rakhine province was also discussed. India would build a housing project to rehabilitate the Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.


  • The Association of Southeast AsianNations is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian countries which promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration amongst its members and other Asian countries.

Conclusion and way forward

  • This declaration is an indication of the willingness and commitment of the ASEAN nations to work closely with India.
  • It also signals the increasing willingness of the ASEAN nations to increase collaboration with India on a variety of subjects in the near future.
  • It also signifies the success of India’s outreach to the South East and East Asia via its Look east and act east policies.
  • However, there was not much of a discussion with respect to India’s concerns and difficulties with the RCEP.
  • Also, India’s concerns regarding China’s OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative didn’t find much support among the ASEAN nations.
  • This shows that while India has made significant progress in its look east and act east policy, there is still a lot left to be done.
  • India must ramp up its efforts in order to obtain strong, sustainable and mutually beneficial outcomes from this relationship.  


PIB, The Hindu, Indian Express

Posted by Jawwad Kazi on 26th Jan 2018