ASEAN, EU discuss
future direction of partnership
JAKARTA, July 4 (PNA/Bernama) -- Senior officials from the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) have gathered
in Brussels for their 23rd Senior Officials' Meeting to review the two
sides' enhanced partnership and discuss future direction, reports Vietnam
News Agency (VNA).
The July 2 meeting noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in ASEAN-EU
relations and shared willingness to work towards a strategic partnership
embracing all aspects of mutual interest, including those underpinned by
political and security cooperation.
In this connection, ASEAN welcomed the EU's interest in furthering
engagement with the region through all ASEAN-led processes.
The meeting agreed there should be mechanisms to intensify the follow-up
work towards an ASEAN-EU strategic partnership and welcomed Thailand's
offer, as incoming country coordinator for relations with the EU, to take
Particular emphasis was placed on topics of mutual interest for ASEAN and
the EU to work together, such as maritime security, cooperation on
trans-national crime and counter-terrorism, connectivity, business, trade
and investment, enhanced capacity on mediation and reconciliation, climate
change, environment and disaster management.
ASEAN and the EU also devoted special attention to the challenge of
irregular migration, trafficking in human beings and the need for
comprehensive regional responses, including those related to tackling the
root causes, and in providing assistance and protection to those in need.
The meeting shared positive views on increasingly close trade and investment
relations between ASEAN and the EU.
Both sides shared positive views on the industry's active role and
engagement in bilateral cooperation as a way to deliver the objectives of
smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Reaffirming the commitment by ASEAN and EU ministers at the 20th ASEAN-EU
Ministerial Meeting (AEMM), the Meeting underlined the prospects of closer
cooperation on environment and climate change, at a time when both sides
prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) to take place in Paris
in December and the forthcoming approval by the United Nations General
Assembly of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
The EU reiterated its support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional
architecture and expressed its appreciation for ASEAN's important
contribution to promoting dialogue and cooperation for peace, security,
stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. (PNA/BERNAMA)