The Tenth ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting Chairs' Statement
GödöllŁE- Hungary, 6-7 June 2011
"Working together on non-traditional security challenges"
- Hungary hosted the Tenth ASEM Foreign Minister's Meeting which was held in GödöllŁEbetween 6-7 June, 2011. Forty-eight ASEM partners attended the gathering which was opened by the Prime Minister of Hungary, H.E. Mr. Viktor Orbán and Co-Chaired by H.E. Catherine Ashton, High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission and H.E. János Martonyi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary.
- The over-arching theme for the Tenth ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting: "Working together on non-traditional security challenges" provided the opportunity for the Ministers to address relevant issues of common interest in this important field, which due to their transnational character have substantial implications for the prosperity, security and stability of both Europe and Asia, thus requiring a joint response through the multifaceted partnership of ASEM.
- Ministers held substantial discussions on regional and global issues with particular attention to the themes addressed at the ASEM 8 Summit in Brussels on 4-5 October, 2010. Preparing for the forthcoming ASEM Summit in Vientiane, Lao PDR in 2012 Ministers also had an overview of the ASEM cooperation in its three pillars: the political, economic and socio-cultural fields.
- Ministers emphasize that this year ASEM celebrates its 15th Anniversary. They acknowledged with satisfaction that over these years ASEM has established itself as a broad-based and effective forum for interregional cooperation. They reiterated that the ASEM initiative Enow involving partners that constitute over half of the global population, comprise over 60% of world trade and account for more than half of global GDP Ehas successfully provided an important opportunity for interregional co-operation on an equal and reciprocal basis for over one and a half decade. The ASEM process has a primary and progressive role in the cooperation and partnership between Asia and Europe as well as in a wider global perspective. The Ministers urged for strengthened efforts to promote the ASEM process with a view to building long term strategic interregional relations based on consistency and trust.
- Ministers shared the view that the regional interdependence is becoming more and more important in both regions, and that Asia and Europe are becoming more increasingly unified and active regional actors playing an increasingly important and pro-active role in global affairs. Deeper and wider inter-regional relations between Europe and Asia offer many opportunities to work together particularly in the framework of the ASEM partnership. ASEM provides an adequate forum and wide opportunities for a deeper cooperation between Asia and Europe.
I. GLOBAL ISSUES AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
Non-traditional security challenges and their implications
- Ministers agreed that the wide range of non-traditional security challenges faced by Europe and Asia can impact seriously on the stability, security and prosperity aspired to by both regions, posing grave challenges to regional as well as global economic growth and to people's livelihood. The social impact of scarce food-, energy- and water-resources, the activities of terrorists and transnational organised crime, cyber security and the impairment of human security, the adverse effects of climate change, the consequences of natural disasters, the efficiency of international cooperation on humanitarian aid and disaster preparedness as well as disaster relief and management, have serious implications on every country in both Europe and Asia.
- Environmental degradation, climate change, loss of biological diversity, over-exploitation of natural resources and other human pressures on the natural environment are underlying causes for many emerging security threats. Ministers have reaffirmed their commitment to pursue sustainable development in tandem with economic growth and social progress. They also highlighted the significance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to take place in Brazil in June 2012.
- The issue of commodities price volatility raises concerns and jeopardises the global economy, carrying the possibility of a serious direct effect on social peace. Both Europe and Asia realized that it will be important to develop better understanding about the functioning of global commodity, food and energy markets and consequently for food supply as well as what tools might help cope with, and reduce the adverse impacts of price volatility in these sectors and promote sustainable development. European and Asian partners expressed the understanding and support to non trade-distorting policy measures undertaken to stabilise the price of energy, agriculture products and other major commodities. Ministers took note of the need for coordination between various policy areas, including energy, agriculture, research, development and trade policies, and financial regulation, where they are inter-linked. Ministers supported the G20's approach on this issue.
- Ministers conveyed their deepest condolences for the large-scale loss of life and devastating damage in several ASEM partner-countries as a result of natural disasters earlier this year and expressed their solidarity with the people affected. They reiterated that the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami's impact on the supply chains was a reminder of global deepened economic integration.
- Ministers underscored that humanitarian action should be guided by the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence. They also considered the challenge of financing disaster relief and developing local capacity building and improved readiness in case of disasters in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and other relevant UN Resolutions. Ministers called for intensified cooperation within ASEM, in particular on risk assessment, risk reduction strategies with particular attention to gender-inclusive approaches, early warning mechanisms, risk management capacities, search and rescue capacities, infrastructure development associated with disaster prevention, relief and recovery and other response activities. Ministers highlighted the importance of utilization of the international experience as well as the potential of those countries that achieved significant practical results in elimination of consequences of natural disasters and humanitarian assistance. They welcomed capacity-building activities conducted so far and encouraged their continuation, especially for high-risk countries. Ministers supported strengthened cooperation between the ASEAN Secretariat as well as the ASEAN Co-Ordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) once it has been fully operationalised, and the European Commission's Directorate-General on Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO). They also welcomed the convening of the Special ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting in Jakarta, April 2011, to address disaster management in the region.
- Ministers commended Japan's posture to share all relevant information and its explanation of the course of events and the measures taken regarding the recent events in Japan. Ministers also expressed their appreciation for the immediate response of the ASEM partners to the events, extending a helping hand and offering humanitarian aid. Ministers emphasized that it is essential to draw the lessons from this experience, rigorously review and where necessary further strengthen the safety of nuclear power plants.
- Ministers reaffirmed that the safety of all nuclear power plants worldwide should be reviewed and strengthened on the basis of a comprehensive and transparent safety re-evaluation. Ministers recognized that the recent accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station in Japan further highlighted the importance of nuclear safety and the need for deepened global cooperation in this field, inter alia, in improvement of the international legal framework in this area. Ministers also stressed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should play a central role in further promotion of the highest levels of nuclear safety worldwide, and in this context welcomed the initiative of IAEA to conduct the High Level Meeting on Nuclear Safety with a view to conduct safety re-evaluation at all nuclear power plants. The highest levels of nuclear safety, in accordance with the IAEA, should be continuously promoted in all ASEM countries and internationally. Ministers shared the view that it is important for public policy responses to be based on solid scientific evidence, including in relation to goods and travel. In this regard, Ministers welcomed the convening of an ASEM Seminar on Nuclear Safety Issues in the first half of 2012.
- Ministers underlined that energy security plays an important role in achieving sustainable development and acknowledged the importance of ensuring sufficient, reliable and environmentally responsible supplies of energy with diversification of sources, routes and types of energy supplies at prices reflecting economic fundamentals as highlighted by the ASEM Ministerial Conference on Energy Security in Brussels in June 2009. The use of low carbon technologies and other options including renewable energy can play a role for energy security and for reaching the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. In addition, Ministers stressed that ASEM will contribute to the promotion of low-carbon green growth by facilitating the use of renewable and other non-fossil energy resource in the long-term.
- Ministers emphasized that energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy across all sectors of the economy will become increasingly important contribution in fostering security in energy supplies while at the same time addressing climate change challenges. They took note of the recent statement of Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and other organisations that substantial proportion of the world's energy supply could be met by renewable energy by mid-century if supported by public policies. In this context, initiatives aiming at strengthening international renewable energy and energy efficiency cooperation are valuable contributions to sustainable development, energy security and low carbon society. The global nature of these challenges and the growing interdependence between producing, consuming and transit countries require strengthened dialogue and partnership involving ASEM partners and other stakeholders.
UN Conference on environment and development
- Ministers expressed their commitment to sustainable development as a common denominator for achieving environmentally sustainable economic growth, social progress and environmental protection. They underscored the importance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) on 4-6 June 2012 and emphasized the transversal and central nature of the two themes of this conference, namely Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, and the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. In this context, the Ministers reiterated that Sustainable Development should achieve and maintain a balance between its three pillars: economic development, social development and protection of the environment, in line with the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Ministers reaffirmed the objective of the Rio+20 Conference.
- An issue of global significance and paramount importance for the entire international community, Ministers reaffirmed that climate change as a global challenge is not only environmental problem, but is likely to have a significant impact on social and economic development as well as on international security. Food, water, energy and climate security are interconnected and inseparable. These four elements underpin global security, prosperity and equity. Assessing and addressing the impacts of climate change, as well as reducing our impact on the climate, remains a priority for Europe and Asia, and necessitates joint action in this field on adaptation and mitigation based on the principle on common but differentiated responsibilities. Ministers acknowledged the importance of delivery of both fast start financing and long term finance to support concrete actions in developing countries. In light of the ongoing negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) European and Asian partners must concur on a concrete outcome of the 17th session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC at Durban. In this respect ASEM partners welcomed the positive and forward-looking outcomes of the Cancún Conference ("Cancún Agreements"), which pave the way for immediate and concrete actions on the ground, provide a solid basis for further development and implementation of the agreed institutional architecture in the course of 2011 and lay the foundation for an effective, global, equitable, balanced and comprehensive post-2012 framework. Ministers called on to fully operationalise all elements of the Cancún Agreements and urged to build on the positive momentum to see balanced progress and to achieve concrete and robust outcome at the Durban Climate Conference. Ministers expressed their aim to achieve a fair, effective and comprehensive legally binding outcome under the mandate of the Bali Road Map. Ministers highlighted the important role of existing market-based mechanisms designed to mitigate global climate change and the need to further enhance them as well as establish new sectoral or other scale-up market-based mechanism.
- Ministers underlined the importance of complementing the shared vision for long-term cooperative action as agreed in the Cancún Agreements. They underlined the objective of keeping the increase of global temperature below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, and stressed the need to increase the overall level of ambition. In the context of meaningful mitigation Ministers noted the basic principle that countries should contribute to the collective effort on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities. Low-emission development strategies are indispensable for sustainable development.
- Ministers reaffirmed the call of ASEM 8 for making full use of international cooperation, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UNFCCC, to exchange best practices between developed and developing ASEM partners and stimulate the development, transfer, deployment, dissemination and adaptation of advanced, affordable, safe and environmentally-sound energy technologies and know how, including aspects of policy and regulation.
- The agricultural sector is vulnerable to climate-induced changes especially in water resource availability but can also contribute to climate change mitigation. Best agricultural practices and forest governance should be further promoted. Forest sector should further promote sustainable management of forests, including cooperation to address illegal logging in order to enhance resilience against climate change
Food and water security
- Ministers emphasised that food markets are becoming more and more vulnerable worldwide due to supply shocks and increased global consumption. They stressed their concern over food price increases which have been observed in recent years, particularly their impact on the poorest countries. They recognised that in the light of worldwide demographic trends global demand for food will increase in the future. The increasingly unbalanced distribution situation of food production and consumption represents significant challenge to the global economy with the possibility of social unrest and political instability. Since the food issue is a worldwide problem Ministers emphasised that a global and comprehensive response is necessary. They underlined the importance of taking effective measures to improve the efficiency of agriculture and food production so as to ensure food security for all the ASEM countries, enhancing the international policy coordination and the transparency of food market and avoiding trade protectionism. Due to the extent and depth of the problem this requires multifaceted cooperation among the various policy areas such as agriculture, regulation of financial services and development cooperation. ASEM partners should play a leading role in tackling food security at a global level and support the approach the G20 has taken in this important matter, including call for long-term and responsible investment in the agricultural sector, raising agricultural production and productivity and for strengthened water management and rural development in developing countries. Ministers underlined the importance of good governance sharing technical expertise and best practices in relevant areas. Rural development and the sustainable development of the agricultural sector are crucial in supporting food security. These include sharing experiences in setting up agricultural systems, in research and development, in animal and plant breeding and adaptation methods.
- Water is a cross-cutting issue with economic, social and environmental aspects. Climate change with its effect on the natural hydrological cycle will further exacerbate water stress. Ministers noted in particular the enhanced role of sustainable water resources management in international development cooperation, in order to broaden the benefits of climate-resilient water management, particularly in flood and drought management. Ministers also noted the progress of establishing an ASEM Water Resource Research and Development Center which was approved at the ASEM 8 Summit. Access to safe water and sanitation is one of the MDG targets. Assistance in water management should be provided for less developed areas, including improved infrastructure, such as water purifying stations and wastewater treatment facilities as well as integrated water and land use planning. Moreover, Ministers considered that water supply for some countries may heavily depend on regional river basins. As the scarcity of available water resources increases, ultimate risks of water shortages and regional disputes remain foreseeable, if not tackled with in a co-operative approach. In this regard, Ministers welcomed the initiative of Mongolia to hold the 4th ASEM Environment Ministers' Meeting on Sustainable Management of Water and Forest on 10-11 October 2011 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
- Ministers supported agricultural policies and programs that ensure the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the framework of Voluntary Guidelines. They recognized the importance of the Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, of which the Committee on World Food Security within FAO is a central component, in supporting sustainable country-led food security policies and international coordination. They specifically encouraged infrastructure development, responsible investments as embodied in the initiative of Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI), and with respect to access as foreseen in the FAO voluntary guidelines on responsible governance of tenure of land and other natural resources which support local communities, work within them and respect existing rights and intensified scientific research with a view to increasing sustainable agricultural production and fostering rural development, recognized as essential in the fight against hunger and poverty and in which the role of women must be duly recognized. In the interest of ensuring sustainable forms of agricultural production, Ministers stressed the need for well-functioning global and domestic agricultural markets. In this connection, Ministers welcomed the ASEM High-Level Conference on Food Security held on 9-11 May 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand, in which ASEM partners and international organizations, such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shared opinions and recommended guidelines for enhanced cooperation aimed at ensuring food security in a sustainable manner, which include policy coordination, information-sharing and database development, exchanges of best practices and lessons learned from the 2007-2008 food price crisis, promotion of market transparency and Responsible Agricultural Investment, as well as enhanced R&D and technology cooperation and harmonization/equivalency of standards.
The global financial and economic crisis, reform of the international financial system
- Ministers shared the view that the global economy is recovering but in an uneven and unbalanced way among and within countries. They expressed deep concern that the recovery has not yet translated into sufficient employment and adequate growth rates for all economies. In some advanced economies unemployment is still high, and there remain fiscal and financial vulnerabilities such as slow progress in fiscal consolidation, sovereign debt crisis, and the incompletion of financial sector repair and reform. Some emerging economies face the risk of overheating, and excessive short-term capital flows and many confront the threat of food and fuel prices volatility, with high levels last seen in 2008. Ministers highlighted the urgent need of a more effective global cooperation and coordination on these key issues.
- ASEM supports the goals set by G20 to address and provide collective solutions to ongoing global economic challenges taking into account the interest of all nations. While the global economy has started to recover from the sharpest, deepest and most synchronised recession in 75 years, making progress toward a strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, it is fragile and downside risks remain. ASEM commits itself to continue supporting the work done and the initiatives taken by the G20, helping the global economy to be rendered strong and resistant to future crises.
- Noting that in 2010 the World Bank and the IMF agreed on wide-ranging governance reforms to strengthen their efficiency, effectiveness and accountability representing significant achievements in modernizing our key IFIs, to reflect the increasing importance of emerging markets and to ensure that other developing and transition countries enhance their voice, Ministers reaffirmed the G-20 consensus on the appointment of top management in these institutions through open, transparent and merit based selection process. They emphasised that both Asian and European governments are committed, beyond fostering closer bilateral economic relations, to reforming the international monetary system along with financial system as a whole and working out a more efficient international economic governance that aimed at averting any similar crisis of the 2008-2009 magnitude.
- Ministers underlined the importance of maintaining a functioning open, equitable, rules based international trading system. They acknowledged the instrumental role played by the WTO in mitigating protectionist pressures particularly at the time of the economic crisis. Its existing framework of rules and its consultative mechanisms have been critical in contributing to the beginnings of global economic recovery. Ministers stressed that in the current still fragile state of the world economy it is all the more important to refrain from introducing or raising barriers to trade and investment in order to keep markets open and sustain growth.
- Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to bring the Doha Development Agenda to a comprehensive, balanced and development oriented conclusion, built on the progress already made and consistent with its development mandate. They shared the view that the current state in the negotiations requires strong commitment from all WTO members to do their utmost to explore all negotiating options in order to find a path forward to resolve outstanding issues.
- Ministers recalled the various regional and bilateral agreements, initiatives and ongoing negotiations among them, to foster economic and regional integration through trade and investment liberalization. They stressed that such agreements, should be designed and implemented in full compatibility with the multilateral system and will provide substantial additional stimulus to the recovery of international trade and economic growth.
Economic cooperation between Asia and Europe
- Ministers shared the view that emerging Asia has undoubtedly been the fastest growing region of the world economy during the last years, thus supporting the recovery of world economy to mitigate the negative impacts of the crisis. Ministers encouraged European and Asian governments and business partners to continue working together to ensure and facilitate the more rapid exchange and greater flow of goods, investments and services between the two regions. Ministers emphasised the need to strengthen the mutually beneficial Asia-Europe economic partnership, and stressed the importance of promoting greater efforts aimed at enhancing trade liberalisation and economic cooperation between Asia and Europe.
- Ministers noted that this co-operation would be particularly important in the field of "sunrise" sectors, research and development-oriented, green technologies, as well technology intensive and financially sound businesses.
- In this respect Ministers welcomed the report on the recent informal meeting of the Senior Officials for Trade and Investment (SOMTI) in Brussels in February 2011. In this meeting Senior Officials expressed a common interest to further discuss possible new activities to enhance the trade and investment flows between the two continents for sustainable development. Ministers encouraged ASEM members to reconvene the ASEM Economic Minister's Meeting at an early date. For this purpose a formal SOMTI should be organised early next year (2012) to further discuss the intentions and plans of ASEM partners on the possible future work on sustainable Trade and Investment.
- Europe and Asia are seeking to preserve the positive features of complex economic and social models, while retaining the capacity to change in the face of rapidly evolving circumstances of globalisation. As both of our regions have been hit previously by serious economic, currency and banking crises, partners share the same ambition to better regulate the forces of economic and financial globalisation. Ministers acknowledged that our growing interdependence makes it essential to work together on these issues.
- Europe and Asia also face many common global issues and policy challenges whether they relate to economics, development, or social and human security. The agenda of ASEM in its three pillars, the political, economic and socio-cultural fields, allow Partners to address these issues and challenges with a common and thus more effective and productive approach. Shared solutions and a productive exchange of view is needed to restore sustainable growth by deepening regional integration as well as interregional and global co-operation, notably in the areas of trade, macroeconomic surveillance, balance of payments support and strengthening of financial sectors. These efforts are likely to have wide-ranging implications for the future of the international economic and financial system.
- The interdependence of Europe and Asia makes it essential to optimise our transport links. Currently, our air and sea links are well-developed, but diversifying, expanding and deepening these links could contribute to better and more extensive and at the same time more efficient and sustainable transport networks as well as closer ties between the two continents for greater inter-continental exchange. The improvement of land-based transportation and energy infrastructure could be realised by the enhancement of railway lines and inland shipping or the construction of highways or pipelines. To this effect, the facilitation of inter-land transport is essential to achieve the goal of closer connection of the two continents. Ministers therefore urged stakeholders in Europe and in Asia to intensify their co-operation in this area. In this context Ministers welcomed the initiative of China to organise the 2nd ASEM Transport Ministers Meeting in Chengdu, Sichuan on 24-25 October 2011.
- Ministers acknowledged that regional and sub-regional mechanisms and initiatives hold considerable potential for efficient, result-oriented cooperation on economic development and poverty reduction, holding strong potential for cooperation and investment activities between Asia and Europe.
- Ministers welcomed the UN-sponsored establishment of the International Think Tank for the Landlocked Developing Countries in Ulaanbaatar as one vibrant opportunity to foster a new sector of Asia-Europe cooperation through connectivity and knowledge sharing among our landlocked countries. In this regard, they noted that the European landlocked countries have enormous experience and knowledge to assist their developing counterparts in Asia in terms of trade and transport facilitation.
- The largest rivers like the Mekong or the Danube have common features due to their size, and from coming consequence, the international character. In the threatening shadow of global climate change cooperation is essential between countries on development and better utilization of water resources, flood control and flood risk mapping, water quantity and quality monitoring, wetland and water related habitat conservation, urban drinking and wastewater supply planning and managing, integrated river basin management planning, and other trans-boundary water issues. Within the context of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region Ministers took note of the progress achieved during the Hungarian Presidency on appropriate cooperation framework for its implementation. Similar regional co-operations in Asia and Europe such as the Mekong or the Danube initiatives might have useful experiences and best practises to share. To this end, Ministers noted the proposal to establish a Danube-Mekong cooperation initiative.
Inclusive growth and poverty reduction
- Asia and Europe have a common interest in the emergence of a stability-oriented, effective and more representative international economic and financial system that promote high and sustainable growth and enables governments to improve welfare and reduce poverty in their respective countries. The EU has adopted a new strategy of EU 2020, based on smart, inclusive and sustainable growth. Asia, as today's most dynamic region in the world economy, has already lifted millions out of poverty and has a major role to play in the recovery. Building on our experience, it is time to bring new dynamism in resolving long standing global issues including poverty eradication, income gap reduction, the promotion of decent work and the development challenge of the Millennium Development Goals along with promotion of social cohesion and through inclusive growth that benefit poor people, focusing particularly on the least-developed and fragile countries. ASEM partners have an important role in these efforts.
- Although development budgets are under increasing pressure as a result of the global financial crisis and its impact on public finances, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that aid levels, goals and objectives of development cooperation are attained and results are delivered so that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be met by 2015.
- Ministers reaffirmed their commitments to sustainable development and inclusive growth as a key to fighting against poverty and fulfilling the MDGs. They recognized that in spite of the recent global crisis much progress has been made, however development is uneven and cooperation among all stakeholders is vital for obtaining comprehensive results. They underscored the importance of following up on the 20-22 September 2010 UN High-Level Plenary Meeting on MDGs held in New York, especially meeting the ODA commitments on time and identifying truly effective methods and also stressed the significance of the recent Fourth UN Least Developed Countries Conference in Istanbul on 9-13 May 2011, the MDGs Follow-up Meeting in Tokyo on 2-3 June as well as the upcoming Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness scheduled to take place in Busan, Korea in November 2011. They also stressed the importance of successful implementation of the G20 Seoul Development Consensus and its Multi-Year Action Plan adopted at the G20 Seoul Summit last November, as it would contribute to the global efforts to achieve inclusive and equitable growth.
- The High Level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals held in New York last September concluded, that although much has been achieved since the 2000 Millennium Declaration, there are huge regional discrepancies at inter-regional, intra-regional and national level. There are also considerable differences in the realization of the specific targets. Although between 2000 and 2007, good progress was made in reducing poverty worldwide, improving access to primary education, gender equality in primary schools and improving access to water thanks to strong global growth, effects of the multiple global crisis of 2008/2009 and of climate change have jeopardized or even reversed some of the progress. Today still one billion people are victims of hunger and more than one quarter of children in developing regions are underweight. Much needs to be done to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. The international community has therefore underlined, that in order to fulfil the MDG aims by the target date of 2015, progress must be accelerated, meaning a re-doubling of efforts by all development partners. The improvement of aid effectiveness and better donor coordination are essential in this regard. Ministers remain committed to implement all those policies which can lift the countries most in need out of poverty in a sustainable way and give better standards of living for their people.
- Ministers stressed the importance of improving quality of life in order to ensure sustainable economic growth, reduce unemployment, in particular among young people, and eradicate poverty.
- Ministers concurred that specific attention should be given to labour migration, including developing the mutual benefits of legal migration among ASEM partners. Recognizing the link between development and migration, they called for the sharing of best practices and the exploration of comprehensive approaches with a view to maximising the positive effects of migration on development and decreasing the potential negative effects. The rights of legal migrants, irregular/illegal migration and coherent wide-ranging policies in sphere of migration were identified as matters of common interest.
- Ministers acknowledged the particular importance of dialogue and cooperation in the education and health sectors. Empowering individuals including through capacity development particularly at the community level can greatly contribute to the sustainable progress towards the MDGs. Given the tardy progress in the health and education sectors, Ministers highlighted the need to make further efforts in these fields. Education and health sectors can greatly contribute to achieving the MDGs. Much of the development assistance should be directed towards the education sector. Considerable contributions needed in strengthening healthcare capacities as well. They also underscored the importance of taking effective approaches with focus on the perspective of human security and equity.
- Ministers recognized the importance of social safety nets and social protection systems as an economic stabilizer in times of crisis and in this connection welcomed the ASEM Forum on Social Safety Nets: Enhanced Cooperation to Address Post-Crisis Challenges organized by Vietnam in coordination with Finland in Hanoi on 18 E19 April 2011. Ministers appreciated recommendations of this Forum on possible collaboration opportunities with ASEM partners. Ministers shared the view that special attention should be paid to social cohesion and inclusive growth. By reducing inequality and supporting the most disadvantaged people, social protection promotes human capital investments, enhances productivity, improves socio-political stability. An inclusive growth agenda focusing on sustainable development and social cohesion should be supported. Ministers reconfirmed the commitments made by the Ministers of Social Affairs and Employment in the Leiden Declaration, during the ASEM Ministerial Conference in Leiden, The Netherlands, and welcomed the 4th ASEM Labour and Employement Ministers' Conference to be organised in Vietnam in 2012.
Multilateralism, UN reform and human rights
- Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the multilateral approach and collective actions in addressing global issues and the maintenance of international peace and security. Recalling the ASEM Declaration on Multilateralism adopted by Foreign Ministers in Ireland in 2004, Ministers reaffirmed ASEM's commitment to strengthening the important role of multilateralism and a multilateral international system with the United Nations and its mechanisms at its heart in the settlement of international disputes, maintenance of international peace and security, promoting human rights, and cooperation among states based on the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
- Ministers shared the view that a comprehensive reform of the United Nations remains a priority in order for the organization to most effectively address today's global challenges and ensure effective support for its members, including in addressing the needs of developing countries. Importance of pursuing the current reform process in order to achieve a more representative, more efficient and more effective UN Security Council was also stressed, as well as that of a revitalized General Assembly, and ECOSOC, a well-managed Secretariat and effective, streamlined specialized agencies in the interest of system-wide coherence and increased sense of ownership on the part of the world community.
- Ministers expressed their appreciation of the dialogue carried out by ASEM partners through the informal ASEM Seminars on Human Rights, held annually since 1998 under the coordination of the Asia Europe Foundation. They reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in the promotion and protection of human rights, including equal treatment of women and men, in accordance with the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law and their adherence to democratic governance. They underlined their commitment to increase cooperation on issues related to the promotion and protection of human rights. They welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) as an important first regional step towards promotion as well as protection of Human Rights and supported the drafting of ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights. They also noted with satisfaction the study visit of AICHR to EU from 23 - 27 May 2011. They expressed their wish to extend cooperation in fora such as the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee. In this context Ministers emphasized inter alia the importance of the mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review, which provide a comprehensive picture of the human rights situation in all countries of the World, and reaffirmed their commitment to participate constructively in it.
- Ministers underscored the importance of efforts and commitments of the international community towards consolidating democratic values and strengthening democratic institutions through promoting democracy education, promoting and enabling civil society, strengthening regional cooperation and exchange of best practises and experiences on democratic development, such as the Community of Democracies and the Bali Democracy Forum. In this context, Ministers welcomed the efforts of the outgoing Lithuanian Chair and the upcoming Mongolian Chair for the period 2011-2013 to rejuvenate the Community of Democracies.
Dialogue of cultures and civilizations
- Ministers reaffirmed the need to maintain cultural diversity and to protect cultural heritage and advocated mutual understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among pluralistic societies, development paths, and cultures. Ministers underlined the importance of the ASEM Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogues in contributing to the creation and reinforcement of an environment conducive to building harmony understanding and cooperation within the international community. Ministers emphasized the importance of combining the multilateral framework with the national efforts to promote the understanding among faiths, cultures and peoples. In this context, they also noted the value of initiatives such as the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the UN Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, as well as the various UNESCO programmes in this area. Ministers expressed their belief, in line with the understanding at the 2010 ASEM Culture Ministers' Meeting held in Poznan, Poland, that the growing awareness and concern for common cultural heritage can enhance dialogue and cooperation among cultures and civilizations.
- Ministers noted the results of the III Forum held in Rio de Janeiro in May 2010 and the fact that the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has become a major international reference in intercultural dialogue and cooperation. Ministers also welcomed the initiative of Qatar to host the next meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations in December 2011.
- Ministers stressed the growing importance of dialogue on developing programs and activities of religious communities and civil society organisations aimed at the promotion of a culture of peace and tolerance, respect for diversity and inter-faith, intra-faith and intercultural dialogue among representatives of various cultures and civilizations when facing non-traditional security challenges. Interfaith dialogue should play a significant role in working out civil society programmes of intercultural dimension as stated in 2010 at the 6th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue in Madrid-Toledo, Spain.
- Ministers welcomed the results of the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development held in Manila in March 2010, the biggest intergovernmental gathering to celebrate 2010 as the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, and the adoption of the Manila Declaration and Program of Action on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development which highlights the importance of enhancing efforts to promote respect for the diversity of religions, beliefs, cultures and societies.
- Ministers welcomed the Philippine hosting of the 7th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue in Manila in October 2011 with the theme "Harnessing the benefits and addressing the challenges of migration through interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Ministers agreed that fostering harmony and mutual understanding through intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation between migrant communities and their host societies, as well as among migrant communities, enriches the social fabric of societies that host these migrant communities and vice-versa. Ministers committed to send their respective delegations to actively contribute to the objectives of the meeting.
Terrorism, piracy and transnational organized crime
- Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations continues to be one of the most serious challenges to international peace and security. They stressed their commitment to the fight against terrorism, which poses a threat to the international community, and underlined the need for a comprehensive approach to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Ministers underscored the importance of measures to support and assist victims of terrorism and welcomed Indonesia as the host of the next Counterterrorism Conference in 2011.
- Ministers confirmed the United Nations' leading role in the fight against terrorism and also reaffirmed their commitment to taking practical steps in the international fight against terrorism in line with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions while underlining the need to adhere to the major UN conventions and protocols dealing with terrorism in full respect for the UN Charter and international laws including human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law.
- Ministers took note of the status of the negotiations of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in New York this year and urged all UN Member States to move towards the early conclusion of the Convention. Terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active cooperation of all States, as well as international and regional organizations.
- Ministers reaffirmed ASEM's commitment to enhancing regional cooperation in counter-terrorism activities including of disseminating best practices, information sharing and capacity building such as transfer of skills, knowledge and technology to developing countries and in conformity with international commitments and national law, and individually and collectively responding in a timely and effective manner.
- One of the most complex emerging security challenges is cyber security including cyber crime which needs to be tackled globally, while underlining that the security of the internet should not be achieved at the expense of freedom of expression.
- Ministers expressed their concerns regarding the escalation of transnational organized crime, including illicit drug trafficking, arms smuggling, money laundering, trafficking persons and in human organs and corruption threatening peace, security and human rights.
- Ministers welcomed the decision of the Government of Mongolia to host the 10th ASEM Meeting of Directors-General of Immigration on Migratory Flows between Asia and Europe to be held on 5-7 September 2011 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
- Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and in the high-seas has become a major security threat to international maritime safety, in particular to seafarers and international trade as well as to the security and prosperity of the affected countries. Ministers agreed that it is essential to tackle piracy and related crimes in a coordinated and comprehensive manner by united international efforts preferably under the auspices of the UN, They reiterated that the effective arrest, prosecution and incarceration of pirates and armed robbers are important components in security freedom and safety of navigation on the high seas. For a lasting solution to the problem, the anti-piracy efforts should be supported and complemented by additional concrete policies and measures that will contribute to the establishment of law and order in Somalia as well as sustained economic development in the region including eliminating the root causes through building security and rule of law in the affected areas and creating a permissive environment for economic growth. International efforts are preferred to be united under the auspices of UN. Ministers stressed the importance of greater international cooperation for ensuring the safety and early release of the seafarers and others being held hostage by pirates. Emphasis should be laid on the development of a long-term approach and on support for regional cooperation frameworks, including in the area of capacity-building through concrete activities such as information-sharing, training of officials, and holding joint naval exercises as and when appropriate. Ministers deplored the increasing use of violence against seafarers during attacks and while in captivity. Ministers also welcomed the adoption of the recent UNSC 1976 (2011), as a step forward in the effort towards more effective prosecution of pirates consistent with human rights law.
Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament
- Ministers stressed that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. They recognized the importance of advancing the mutually reinforcing objectives of nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and reaffirmed their commitment to the objective of a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Ministers affirmed their determination to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and related technology and materials.
- Ministers emphasized on the need of further strengthening international and national efforts and to revitalize the work of multilateral disarmament bodies, in particular with respect to the issues on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament and advance multilateral disarmament negotiations to counter the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. They stressed the need to fully implement all relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
- Ministers urged the States Parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to implement the Action Plan adopted at the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty. They recalled paragraph 60 of the Chair's Statement of the Eight ASEM Summit. They also expressed their support for the international conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, planned for 2012.
- Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the New START Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States. Ministers expressed support for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which, inter-alia, should contribute in the process of disarmament warmly welcoming the renewed political momentum towards CTBT ratification within some remaining Annex 2 states. Ministers also called on all states participating in the Conference on Disarmament to start immediately within the context of its agreed, comprehensive and balanced programme of work negotiations on a Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT).
- Ministers recognized the important role of the IAEA and its safeguards system in upholding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and in verifying peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and called for full cooperation on all matters within its mandate. Ministers in particular supported movement towards the universal adherence and the earliest possible conclusion of the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement by the concerned States.
- Ministers underlined the importance of continuing to discuss further, in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner, voluntary multilateral mechanisms for assurance of nuclear fuel supply, as well as possible schemes dealing with the back-end of the fuel cycle, without affecting rights of States parties to the NPT to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with the Treaty.
II. REGIONAL ISSUES
- Ministers emphasized the importance of effective regional architectures of security and cooperation in Asia and Europe based on mutual respect and equal treatment, on consideration for the legitimate interests of all states and on partnership among various regional organizations and fora. Ministers shared the same views that regional cooperative mechanisms are a force for peace, stability, prosperity, social development and cohesion. They welcomed processes to shape new cooperation architecture in the region, such as the development of the East Asia Summit and establishment of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus). They also took note of the initiatives on enhanced security in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Ministers welcomed the support for the cooperation processes taking place in each other's region and also, in this spirit, the European Union's confirmed commitment to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC). To this effect, they pledged, to work for early entry into force of the Third Protocol amending the TAC.
- Ministers reaffirmed the recognition of the centrality of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture in East Asia. Ministers supported the strengthening of ASEAN's centrality, stressing the desirability of enhanced contacts and cooperation through the existing dialogue partnerships between ASEAN and its partners. They also recognized that such regional cooperation is mutually beneficial and reinforcing. They encouraged additional efforts to share experiences and lessons-learned. Ministers welcomed the significant efforts taken to accelerate ASEAN integration in realising a resilient, dynamic and sustained ASEAN Community by 2015 as well as to deepen ASEAN's relations with its partners. They also welcomed the many substantial developments and initiatives purporting inclusive regional dialogue and cooperation in the ASEAN-initiated regional cooperation processes.
- Ministers shared the view that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty marked a major step forward in reforming European integration and will strengthen the European Union as a reliable and efficient partner in developing relations and cooperation with others, including partners in Asia.
- Noting that the world has been facing severe challenges in the field of economic development, employment and social cohesion caused by the global economic and financial crisis, Ministers acknowledged the EU's current efforts to reinforce economic coordination, strengthen control over fiscal discipline and the Euro-zone in order to ensure that the Union is better equipped to prevent crises in the future. The effective implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy contributes to making economic growth sustainable and the recovery from the crisis irreversible. Ministers welcomed the emphasis on the Single Market and increased global trade, through opening markets and free trade agreements. An economically, socially, politically and institutionally stronger European Union will also contribute to the stability and growth of the international economy, Ministers thus welcomed the EU's commitment to create a "stronger Europe" through strengthening the common policies of the European Union.
- Ministers took note of the political developments in countries of North Africa and the Middle East. At the same time they expressed concerns over the multiple problems facing the region with particular attention to human suffering. Ministers also underlined respect for the courage of those people with desire for peace and stability who struggle for freedom, dignity and democracy aiming at improving conditions of human rights in their societies as well as better economic opportunities and political perspectives. Ministers stressed their support for the people of the countries in the region to find suitable political system and an appropriate way for development. Ministers encouraged the approaches on establishing a partnership for democracy and shared prosperity. Minister supported the EU's efforts to cooperate with the Union's Southern Neighbourhood on migration by establishing a partnership for democracy and shared prosperity.
- Ministers agreed that stability of the Western Balkans region is an indispensable element of European peace and security. They welcomed and encouraged further steps towards a lasting reconciliation between nations of the Western Balkans, stressing that enhanced regional co-operation and good-neighbourly relations are vital for the consolidation of regional stability. Referring to the start of the Belgrade Pristina dialogue, welcomed in the UN General Assembly Resolution 64/298 as a factor for peace, security and stability in the region, Ministers emphasized the importance of moving the process ahead.
- The EU Ministers underlined that a clear EU perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans serves as a strong incentive for their efforts to finalize democratic reform processes and consolidate the rule of law.
- Ministers confirmed the need for Iran to fully comply with its international obligations concerning its nuclear programme, under the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and IAEA Board of Governor's requirements and to cooperate fully with the IAEA. While recognizing Iran's legitimate rights to peaceful nuclear energy in accordance with the NPT, Ministers recalled that this right also comes with obligations that all States party to the NPT, including Iran, have to respect. Ministers reiterated their support for a comprehensive negotiated solution to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful character of the Iranian nuclear programme. They welcomed the continued commitment to resume talks with Iran demonstrated by the EU3+3 (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and the United States) supported by the European Union.
- Ministers shared the view that the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula is of utmost importance in Northeast Asia. They reaffirmed support for the diplomatic efforts made within the Six-Party Talks, aiming at comprehensively achieving the goals envisioned in the 2005 Joint Statement. Ministers expressed their concern about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear programs, particularly its claimed uranium enrichment program. In this context, Ministers emphasized the importance of full implementation of all relevant UNSC Resolutions, under which these nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs shall be abandoned in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Ministers underlined the essential significance of sincere and constructive inter-Korean dialogue and stressed the importance of concrete actions to create an environment conducive to the resumption of Six-Party Talks. They also emphasized the importance of addressing the humanitarian concerns of the international community.
- Ministers exchanged views on the historic developments unfolding in the Arab world. They were of the view that these fundamental changes reflect the will of the peoples concerned to live in societies where freedom and rule of law prevail. Leadership for these changes must come from within countries. The international community however have an important role to play in supporting those that want to put the building blocks for more free, open, prosperous and tolerant societies in place. The role of international community should be positive and constructive, and the uniqueness and national conditions should be fully considered.
- Ministers were increasingly concerned about the situation in Yemen and the crisis which has shaken the country for too long. They condemned the use of violence in response to peaceful protest throughout Yemen. They commended the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council and appreciated the constructive response from the opposition. They remained supportive of an inclusive process that should bring about political and social reform in Yemen and lead to a peaceful and orderly transition.
- Ministers expressed their concern at the development in Syria. Ministers called on the Syrian leadership to cease using force when facing non-violent civilian protests and to speed up the implementation of the declared economic and social reforms for the benefit of the Syrian people. They also affirm the necessity of national dialog with broad participation and active contribution to it as the only means to ensure better understanding among the authorities and the protestors in their search for a legal and democratic transition towards more free, open and prosperous society. In this regard Ministers took note of the Resolution of the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 25 April, 2011, with the understanding that this resolution is going to be implemented.
- With regard to the situation in Libya in application of UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, the implementation must be strictly observed as a priority for the international community. Ministers demanded the immediate establishment of a verifiable ceasefire of all parties and a complete end to violence and all attacks against and abuses of civilians in line with UNSCR 1973 in Libya. Ministers stress the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks on civilians. Ministers stressed that the international community must support the major role of the UN in its efforts to find a political settlement to the current crisis and noted the efforts of the International Criminal Court. Any settlement must reflect the will of the Libyan people. Libya's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be preserved and the democratic aspirations of the Libyan population should be fulfilled.
- Ministers are convinced that the Middle East Peace Process must not become a casualty of uncertainty in the context of dramatic changes in the region. Efforts must be redoubled to move the Peace Process forward and to continue to work for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and restoration of the legal rights of Palestinian people. Meaningful progress is needed towards a two state solution along 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, as the only way to meet the national aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians, leading to a safe and secure State of Israel and a sovereign, independent, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine living in peace and security alongside each other and with their other neighbours in the region. A way must be found to overcome the current stalemate and establish substantial negotiations between the parties. In this regard, Ministers expressed their strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by President Obama of the United States of America on May 19th, 2011. Ministers call on the Quartet to meaningfully contribute to the resumption and success of direct peace talks, to enable and assist Israeli and Palestinian parties to achieve a momentum on the road to a sustainable peace in the region. The Quartet should be reconvened as soon as possible to issue clear parameters covering borders, security, Jerusalem, and the refugee question, as the basis for resumed negotiations. Ministers welcomed the agreement signed in Cairo on 3 May 2011 on Palestinian Reconciliation and urged the authorities to uphold the principle of non-violence and remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement of the Israeli Palestinian conflict accepting previous agreements and obligations, including Israel's legitimate right to exist.
- Ministers welcomed the power sharing agreement and the formation of a government in Iraq which they hope will be able to take decisive steps towards national reconciliation and deal with challenges confronting the country. They stressed that the international community must continue to provide substantial support to Iraq in its transition to a democratic, secure and prosperous future.
- Ministers stressed the need for continued support of the international community to assist the Government of Afghanistan in ensuring lasting stability and security in the country, to strengthen governance, public administration structures at all levels, to improve human rights, in particular women's rights, and the rule of law as well as to encourage the Government of Afghanistan to fight corruption drug trafficking, terrorism and extremism.
- Ministers underlined the need to continue collective actions in addressing global issues and the maintenance of international peace and security. They emphasized the importance of an irreversible and successful transition to Afghan security lead under Afghan ownership as well as collective support for promoting national reconciliation and reintegration as part of an Afghan-led, inclusive and transparent political process that respects the red-lines agreed at the London and Kabul Conferences on Afghanistan, and the respect of human rights and Rule of Law principles. They welcomed the opportunity to address these issues and discuss long-term engagement of the international community in support of Afghanistan at the International Afghanistan Conference of Foreign Ministers to be held in Bonn on the 5th of December 2011.
- Ministers strongly condemned violent and terrorist activities by the Al-Qaida, the Taliban, other violent, extremist terrorist, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs. Bin Laden's death presents a strategic opportunity for the Taliban and other extremist groups to make a decisive break from the past; lay down their arms; and to participate in a peaceful political process. Ministers underlined the importance of improved co-operation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to achieve stability on both sides of the border.
- Ministers highlighted their support for strengthening Afghanistan's stability and reconstruction in order to assure sustainable and long-term development. Ministers also recognized that no development is possible without sustainable institution-building that guarantees its citizens at least a basic level of security, governance, a functioning administration, justice and essential public services. In line with the relevant international principles based on mutual accountability, such as the importance of aid effectiveness, they urged partners to work in close cooperation with all donors to help establish stability in Afghanistan based on human rights and the rule of law.
- Neighbouring countries expressed their determination to enhance their co-operation in regional challenges, in particular in the areas of combating terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal migration and to further strengthen their economic ties with Afghanistan.
- Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in Myanmar. Ministers underlined the potentially important role of the new Government and new institutional structures in Myanmar for peaceful democratic change, greater pluralism and economic progress. However they noted that the elections held on 7th November 2010 had raised a number of specific concerns. They expressed the hope that the new Government would take the necessary measures to create a constitutional, civilian system of Governance.
They supported the continuation of the good offices mission of the UNSG and called upon Myanmar to engage and cooperate more closely with the UN and International Community. They stressed the need for the Government of Myanmar to engage in dialogue with all parties concerned in an inclusive national reconciliation process. They also touched upon the issue of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The timely release of all those remaining under detention would contribute significantly to this process. They stated their readiness to remain constructively engaged in achieving the aims of national reconciliation and of improving the economic and social conditions of the people of Myanmar. Their reiterated their commitment to the sovereign and territorial integrity of Myanmar and their view that the future of Myanmar lies in the hands of its people.
III. ASEM COOPERATION
- Ministers expressed their appreciation that the success of the ASEM process is clearly seen from the fact of its popularity proven by the rapidly increasing number of its participants and the further interest expressed by other countries in joining ASEM. It must be assured that with the enlargement of ASEM the effectiveness and efficiency of the forum is increased and the bipolar (Europe-Asia) model of inter-regional cooperation is retained as it is set in AECF 2000.
- Ministers approved the report of the ASEM Senior Officials concerning the enlargement of ASEM attached herein, and tasked them accordingly as mandated by FMM 9.
- Ministers also adopted the non-paper of ASEM Working Methods attached herein, and asked Senior Officials to act accordingly.
- Ministers reaffirmed people-to-people contacts also constitute a very important part of Asia-Europe partnership. They stressed that they have to make further substantial efforts to bring ASEM closer to our citizens and civil society and to reach out to peoples of Asia and Europe by funding programs in this area. In this respect, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), as the only permanent institution of the ASEM process, plays a key role. ASEF is a crucial partner to involve and support people-to-people, intellectual and cultural dialogues but also might represent an opportunity to reflect civil society position on the other two pillars of the ASEM process, namely the political and the economical ones. Therefore, ensuring the financial sustainability of ASEF is more than ever a fundamental political obligation of ASEM partners. Ministers called on ASEM members to ensure, through the regularity of their contributions, that the long-term financial sustainability of ASEF's programs would be assured. They invited the new ASEM members to also make their contributions and encouraged their active participation in ASEF activities. Ministers welcomed the announcement by India at the Vilnius ASEF Board of Governors meeting in May 2011 that it is increasing its contribution to ASEF by 20% as well as the offer to host the next ASEF Board of Governors meeting in 2012. No efforts should be spared to enhance the visibility of partnership and the transparency of the ASEM process.
- Ministers emphasized the essential role of education and training in the capability of facing global and local non-traditional security challenges. They welcomed the expansion of higher education cooperation in the field of mobility, quality assurance, common standards and human resource development. They welcomed the results of the ASEM Technical and Vocational Education Symposium held on 11-12 January 2011 in Qingdao, China focusing on the improvement of attractiveness and employability of technical and vocational education training in the current global economic situation. They also applauded the Third ASEM Educational Ministerial meeting in May 2011 in Denmark with focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, mathematical literacy and natural sciences, where the discussions were focused on quality assurance and recognition, engaging business and industry in education, balanced mobility, and lifelong learning including vocational education and training. They strongly supported the ASEMUNDUS initiative, the ASEM DUO Fellowship Program and the work of the ASEM Education Secretariat as well as of the ASEM Education Hub.
- Ministers reaffirmed that joint science and technology initiatives play a central role in achieving tangible advances in the face of common challenges. They welcomed the planned EU - Southeast-Asia Year of Science 2012 with the objectives to promote S&T cooperation, to give more visibility to it and to underpin the political dialogue with R&D actions.
Preparations of the ASEM 9 in Laos in 2012
- Lao PDR briefed the meeting on its preparation of the ASEM 9 Summit to be held in Vientiane in November 2012. Ministers expressed appreciation and encouraged ASEM partners to support Lao PDR efforts for successful arrangements and hosting the ASEM 9.
Future of ASEM-Cooperation, New Initiatives and Future Meetings
- Ministers took note of the numerous ongoing ASEM-initiatives and cooperation reflecting the broad and dynamic Asia-Europe partnership and cooperation.
- Ministers welcomed India's offer to host the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in 2013.
Chairs' Statement with Annex (June 2011) (PDF)
- Annex I: ASEM Senior Officials' report to the FMM10 on the enlargement of ASEM
- Annex II: Non-paper on ASEM Working Methods
- Annex III: ASEM Initiatives 2011-2012
- Annex IV: Follow-up to ASEM 8 - ASEM Activities Matrix Work
- Annex V: Report of the informal ASEM Senior Officials' Meeting on Trade and Investment (SOMTI) Brussels, 15-16 February 2011
Back to Index