|ASEM 7||Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development|
|ASEM 7||Statement of the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting on the International Financial Situation|
|ASEM 6||Declaration on the Future of ASEM|
|ASEM 6||Declaration on Climate Change|
|ASEM 5||Declaration on Dialogue Among Cultures and Civilisations|
|ASEM 4||Declaration on Cooperation Against International Terrorism|
ASEM VII - Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting
Beijing, October 24-25 2008
1. We, Heads of State and Government from sixteen Asian countries, twenty-seven member states of the European Union, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of ASEAN, gathered in Beijing on 24 and 25 October 2008 for the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting.
2. Recognizing that challenges posed by increasing global population, environmental degradation, rapid resource depletion and weakening ecological carrying capacity have become more prominent in many countries and regions, and that it is a grave challenge as well as pressing task for humanity to achieve sustainable development. ASEM partners are willing to strengthen cooperation in a mutually beneficial manner and work towards win-win solution so as to make positive contribution to sustainable development;
3. Reiterating that sustainable development bears on the present and future of mankind, the very existence and development of all nations, world peace and prosperity; and that all nations should, whilst pursuing economic development, strive to maintain environment quality and take full account of the needs of future generations;
4. Realizing that economic development, social progress and environmental protection are three mutually reinforcing and interdependent pillars of sustainable development, and emphasizing that Internationally Agreed Development Goals and particularly the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), climate change and energy security, social cohesion are issues calling for special attention in achieving sustainable development;
5. Reaffirming the need for the full implementation of the objectives, principles and action plans identified in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 adopted at the UN Environment and Development Conference, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, Bali Road Map adopted at the 13th COP of the UNFCCC, as well as the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted at World Summit on Sustainable Development;
6. Recalling that ASEM 6 has identified sustainable development, in particular the MDGs, climate change, environment and energy as key policy areas of ASEM for action of the next decade.
Decide to issue the following declaration:
7. We reaffirm that the MDGs and the Johannesburg targets underpin international cooperation for sustainable development, welcome on-going efforts made by ASEM partners in achieving the MDGs and other IADGs thus far and recognize the grave challenges in achieving the MDGs as scheduled globally.
8. Noting with concern that rising food prices upset global poverty reduction efforts and impede eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, we call for fully coordinated response and comprehensive strategy to tackle this issue in an integrated manner from a short to medium and long term, and through practical cooperation to stabilize commodity markets. We call for increased development cooperation in support of agricultural production, trade facilitation, and technology transfer. We call on all partners to increase sustainable agricultural productivity and grain production, reduce market-distorting agricultural subsidies and to expand investment in agriculture and rural development, create more job opportunities for low-income earners and raise their income level so as to effectively reduce hunger and poverty and to ensure food security.
9. We recognize that there is still a long way to go in achieving IADGs, and in particular the MDGs. We welcome the substantive discussion and consensus at the United Nations High-Level Event on the MDGs in September, and urge all partners to demonstrate greater political will and take concrete actions to strictly fulfill their commitment so as to promote the achievement of the MDGs as scheduled globally.
10. We reaffirm the commitment to establishing a genuine global partnership for development cooperation and stress the leading role of the United Nations in coordinating international development cooperation and building the international consensus on sustainable development matters. We recognize that the timely achievement of IADGs, in particular the MDGs should involve extensively all sectors and encourage civil society and the business sector to play an active part in this endeavour. In this context, we stress the importance of a gender based approach towards development. We emphasize that it is the primary responsibility of each nation to achieve its own development, complemented by an enabling international environment for development. We call on developed countries to increase resources for development and fulfill the commitment of achieving the overall target of using 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) by 2015 for official development assistance and raise aid effectiveness. We stress ASEM serves as an important complement to efforts at the global level to enhance the global partnership for development, including through intergovernmental and multisectoral initiatives.
11. We emphasize that financing for development is an important element for achieving the MDGs and that the international community should implement the Monterrey Consensus expeditiously. We look forward to the substantive progress to be made for international cooperation on development financing at the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Doha, Qatar 2008.
12. We reaffirm that the issue of climate change should be dealt with within the framework of sustainable development. We reaffirm that in order to achieve sustainable development, it will be necessary to combat global climate change in accordance with the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We recognize the importance of the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in particular its fourth Assessment Report.
13. We emphasize that the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol are the main channels for international negotiations and cooperation in climate change, reaffirm the commitment to the objectives, purposes and principles of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, particularly the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We recognize that ASEM partners share a mutual commitment to finding a long-term multilateral solution to climate change under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol framework. We welcome the decisions of the Bali Action Plan, containing all the elements for an ambitious, effective and comprehensive agreed outcome for long term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012 for strengthening international cooperation on addressing climate change and are committed to the completion of negotiations by 2009.
14. Recognizing the importance of tackling climate change, we affirm that developed countries should continue to show strong leadership and take measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments, including quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives, including through sectoral approach, where appropriate, as a tool to implement them, and provide financial support and technology transfer to developing countries. Developing countries will take nationally appropriate mitigation actions in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner, with a view to achieving a deviation from business as usual emissions.
15. We highlight the need for a shared vision for long term cooperative action, including a long term global goal for emission reductions, to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention and to enable its full effective and sustained implementation, in accordance with the provisions and principles of the Convention, in particular, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and taking into account economic and social conditions and relevant other factors. We further stress that, for this shared vision to be credible, it requires all developed countries to take the lead by committing to ambitious and comparable legally binding emission reduction targets. We call upon the international community to consider most ambitious set of targets reflected in the 4th Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.
16. We recognize that actions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and to enhance carbon sinks through the promotion of afforestation and reforestation, sustainable forest management, sound land use and sustainable production and consumption patterns and appropriate measures against illegal logging and associated trade, can make an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gases emission and to preserving biological diversity. We also reaffirm our support of the decisions taken in Bali for achieving policy approaches and positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
17. Recognizing that adaptation to climate change is vital to address the effects of inevitable climate change and adverse impacts of climate change that affect all countries, especially developing countries, and in particular the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing countries, we emphasize that ASEM partners should work together in accordance with their UNFCCC commitments to strengthen the ability of developing countries to adapt to climate change, including vulnerability assessment, prioritization and implementation of adaptation actions, financial needs assessments, technical assistance, capacity-building, risk management and strategies, and mainstreaming adaptation into development policies and strategies.
18. We affirm the critical role of technology, the need for technological cooperation and technology transfer to developing countries. We will work together on technology cooperation in specific economic sectors, promote the exchange of mitigation information and analysis on sectoral efficiency, the identification of national technology needs and voluntary, action-oriented international cooperation, and consider the role of cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions, consistent with the Convention. We urge enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation, to accelerate development, deployment, diffusion, dissemination and transfer of affordable technologies for adaptation and mitigation. We welcome cooperation on research, development, demonstration and deployment of current, new and innovative clean technology, including win-win solutions. We stress that technology cooperation with and transfer to developing countries is a key enabling condition for them to tackle climate change.
19. Noting that addressing climate change requires greater mobilization of public and private financial resources, both domestically and internationally, we support efforts to scale up financial support to developing countries. We also support the creation of incentives for the developing countries to enhance implementation of national mitigation and adaptation strategies and action, and to promote public and private sector funding and investment.
20. Noting with serious concern that the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change have inflicted immense loss of life and property on ASEM members, we call on all partners to implement the decisions made at ASEM 6 by strengthening information exchange systems on natural disaster management and exploring the possibility of establishing early warning mechanisms.
21. We underline the need to act with resolve and urgency during the Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland, in 2008 and work towards an ambitious, effective and comprehensive agreed outcome for long term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012 at the Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of 2009.
22. We recognize that climate change is interrelated with energy and should be addressed in integrated manner, with full consideration of the issues of safeguarding energy security, improving energy mix and raising energy efficiency and saving. We support the further exploration of a safe and sustainable low-carbon development path and its integration into sustainable development policies.
23. We reaffirm that energy security is closely related to the stable growth of world economy and sustainable development of all nations, and emphasize that each nation has the right to promote its own development by fully utilizing energy and resources in a sustainable way, while taking into account the carrying capacity of ecosystems and the protection of regional environment. We encourage ASEM partners to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in development and utilization of energy and make contribution to safeguarding global energy security. We welcome the convening of the first ASEM Ministerial Meeting on Energy Security that will take place in Brussels in the first half of 2009. We also welcome the convening of the follow-up to the Jeddah Summit on Energy Security in London in December 2008.
24. We call for diversification, sustainability and security of sources of energy supply.
25. We call upon all members to improve energy savings and efficiency, optimize energy consumption structure, develop and utilize renewable and clean energy, including sustainable bio-fuels while not affecting food security or causing environmental damage and promote transfer, deployment and dissemination of advanced environmentally sound energy technology to developing partners.
26. We stress the need to combine energy cooperation with poverty reduction and environmental protection, to help developing countries, especially the LDCs strengthen infrastructure development, reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development by increasing their access to energy. We recognize the importance of strengthening the role of UNEP in environmental protection.
27. Sharing serious concerns over the evolution and current level of oil prices, we stress that joint efforts should be made by all partners to contribute to the stability, transparency and predictability of oil markets.
28. Recognizing that an equal and inclusive society must combine economic growth, social development and environmental concerns through integrated strategies and policies, we stress that sustainable development and social cohesion are mutually supportive, and it is through sustainable development that the wealth of society will be 6 increased, people's lives and human rights will be improved and respected, and social equity and justice will be guaranteed.
29. We stress that the ASEM partners share a common interest in strengthening social cohesion through coherent dialogue and cooperation, thus effectively contributing to a sustainable social dimension of globalization. We recognize the challenges facing ASEM partners in narrowing wealth gap, maintaining social harmony while taking into account the cultural diversity, job creation, health care and social security against the backdrop of globalization and agree to strengthen collaboration to ensure benefit for all in globalization, and to work together in promoting social cohesion. We welcome the results of the ASEM Labor and Employment Ministers' Conferences held in Germany and Indonesia and the outcomes of the 1st ASEM Social Partners Forum held in Brussels.
30. Recognizing the importance of social justice to social cohesion, we emphasize that universal access to education must be ensured. We emphasize that more efforts should be made by ASEM partners to invest in human capital and optimal utilization of human resources, provide basic education, extend the coverage and improve the quality of secondary and higher education, promote professional and vocational education and enhance lifelong learning for everyone.
31. We recognize that promotion of full and productive employment and decent work for all is crucial to safeguard and improve people's livelihood, realize effective social cohesion and achieve MDGs. We note that well designed employment and social policies, good governance as well as full respect and effective implementation of core labour standards set out in the 1998 ILO Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation are contributing positively to inclusive economic and more cohesive societies, providing everyone, including the vulnerable people, with opportunities to enjoy decent work, better living conditions, access to social and health services, universal access to basic social security system, as well as health and safety at work. We recognize the need for social protection systems, to provide social security and support labour-market participation. We emphasize that achieving a fair distribution of incomes is of great relevance to social cohesion.We welcome the strengthening of the ILO’s capacity to promote the Decent Work Agenda and ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. We underline the key role that good industrial relations and effective social dialogue based on mutual trust and shared objectives can play for sustainable development and management of change. We encourage ASEM partners to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in the labour, employment, and social fields. We welcome and support the activities and projects recommended in the Bali Declaration on More and Better Jobs-Strategic Cooperation and Partnership to promote decent work and global labour markets to our mutual benefit which was adopted at the 2nd ASEM Labor and Employment Ministerial Meeting held in Indonesia in October 2008.
32. We note that ensuring social cohesion and mitigating economic and social imbalances, within and among countries, sound, adequate and sustainable social protection, consumer safety and social security systems covering both formal and informal sectors within urban and rural areas are needed. We emphasize the importance of self-reliance and mutual cooperation of local communities.
33. We recognize that international migration provides shared benefits, can help solve demographic and labour market challenges faced by ASEM partners and achieve sustainable development, especially in developing countries. Noting that the integration of migrants is an important factor in realizing social cohesion, we call on ASEM partners to develop a comprehensive approach on migration, including the promotion of legal migration, effectively addressing irregular migration, as well as the link between migration and development. It should also explore possibilities to develop cooperation with one another on international migration through policy dialogue, development cooperation, and the pursuit of mobility partnerships. We stress the importance of the forthcoming Second Global Forum on Migration and Development to be held in Manila, the Philippines in October 2008 in support of the effective management of migration.
34. Recognizing population ageing has become a grave challenge facing both developed and developing countries, we stress that goals, objectives and commitments identified in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002 and the related regional strategies are to be met by ASEM partners.
35. Recognizing that harmony between man and nature is part of social harmony, ecological civilization is an important building block for social cohesion and that eco-cities represent the trend for environmentally-friendly and resource-conserving culture, we welcome the initiative of ASEM Eco-City Network proposed by China and encourage ASEM partners to take an active part in it.
36. We recognize that corporate social responsibility is related to, inter alia, environmental protection, labour and human rights, risk assessment, corporate governance and community development and therefore encourages all ASEM partners to promote corporate social responsibility at both national and international level. We encourage businesses to voluntarily undertake social responsibilities, complying with respective national conditions and international norms and laws and contribute to fostering a prosperous, harmonious and socially responsible business environment.
37. We reaffirm to be guided by the principles and objectives on sustainable development set by the United Nations and the consensus reached in this area within the framework of ASEM. We welcome existing ASEM initiatives on sustainable development and encourage ASEM partners to conduct more activities for implementation of this declaration.
ASEM VII - Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting
Beijing, October 24 2008
1. Leaders attending the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting had an in-depth discussion on the current international economic and financial situation and its trend of development. They expressed concern over the impact of the spreading international financial crisis on the global economy and in particular, the severe challenges it poses to financial stability and economic development of countries in Asia and Europe.
2. Leaders believed that authorities of all countries should demonstrate vision and resolution and take firm, decisive and effective measures in a responsible and timely manner to rise to the challenge of the financial crisis. Leaders expressed full confidence that the crisis could be overcome through such concerted efforts.
3. Leaders welcomed the measures adopted by countries and organizations to ensure the smooth running of the financial system and real economy. They called on the international community to continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation and take effective and available economic and financial measures in a comprehensive way to restore market confidence, stabilize global financial markets and promote global economic growth.
4. Leaders agreed that IMF should play a critical role in assisting countries seriously affected by the crisis, upon their request.
5. Leaders were of the view that to resolve the financial crisis it is imperative to handle properly the relationship between financial innovation and regulation and to maintain sound macroeconomic policy. They recognized the need to improve the supervision and regulation of all financial actors, in particular their accountability.
6. Leaders called on all countries to pursue responsible and sound monetary, fiscal and financial regulatory policies, enhance transparency, inclusiveness, strengthen oversight, and improve crisis management mechanisms so as to maintain their own economic development and the stability of the financial markets. They agreed that the necessary and timely measures should be taken to preserve the stability of the financial system.
7. Leaders pledged to undertake effective and comprehensive reform of the international monetary and financial systems. They agreed to take quickly appropriate initiatives in this respect, in consultation with all stakeholders and the relevant international financial institutions. The International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions should bring into play their mandated role in the international financial system, to help stabilize the international financial situation.
8. Leaders supported the convening of an international summit on 15 November in Washington D.C. to address the current crisis and principles of reform of the international financial system as well as long-term stability and development of the world economy.
9. Leaders agreed to make full use of ASEM and other cooperation mechanisms to enhance information sharing, policy exchange, and pragmatic cooperation on supervision and management in the financial sector and effectively monitor, prevent and respond to financial risks to ensure sustained, stable and sound economic growth.
ASEM VI - Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting
Helsinki, September 10-11 2006
We, Heads of State and Government from thirteen Asian and twenty-five European nations and the President of the European Commission, gathered in Helsinki on 10 and 11 September 2006 for the 6th Asia-Europe Meeting,
Commit to the following guiding principles in order to lead ASEM successfully into its second decade.
1. We emphasise ASEM’s continuing vital role as a framework for dialogue and cooperation, serving as a prime point of convergence between Europe and Asia. We reiterate our commitment, in accordance with the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework (AECF) 2000, to maintaining and enhancing peace and stability as well as to promoting conditions conducive to sustainable economic and social development through ASEM.
2. We reconfirm ASEM’s mission as a partnership between equals committed to multilateralism and a fair, just and rule-based international order with a strong UN at the core. With a view to achieving optimal results it is important that ASEM reflects the combined weight of Asia and Europe in order to promote effective multilateralism, and that it focuses on issues in which the ASEM framework can add value to ongoing processes in other multilateral frameworks. ASEM offers the partners a unique chance to continue to build common ground with a view to strengthening multilateral cooperation. ASEM enables Asia and Europe to reap the benefits of globalisation, tackle the challenges posed by growing global interdependence, and contribute to the wellbeing of present and future generations. In this respect we acknowledge the importance of the implementation of the decisions taken at the UN Summit in 2005 including the realisation of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
3. We reassert ASEM’s role as a catalyst in the broader context of EU-Asia relations, as a means to implement action-oriented initiatives which synchronise with other relevant cooperation at the regional, sub-regional and bilateral levels. As cooperation and regional integration represent a major contribution to peace, security and welfare, we emphasise ASEM’s potential for reinforcing regional identities and processes of community-building.
4. We underline that ASEM will build on its strengths and accomplishments, in particular the multidimensional dialogue and cooperation on political, economic, as well as social, cultural and educational issues. ASEM will commence its second decade by focussing on key policy areas such as strengthening multilateralism and addressing global threats of common concern; globalisation, competitiveness and structural changes in the global economy, including labour issues, education and human resource development; health; science and technology including Information and Communication Technology (ICT); sustainable development with special focus on the MDGs, climate change, environment, and energy; and intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue as a means to promote mutual understanding. In addition we reaffirm our commitment to deepening the economic and financial cooperation between the two regions through constructive policy dialogues and action-oriented programmes.
5. We emphasise that ASEM will address such policy areas while remaining faithful to its character of informality, networking and flexibility. ASEM will continue to offer the opportunity for informal dialogue on topical priority issues at the level of Heads of State and Government, following but also shaping the international policy agenda, in order to define joint responses to global challenges. We underline that ASEM will further promote focussed cooperative initiatives linked to this policy dialogue, which maintain the momentum from one summit to the next. These initiatives may involve other relevant stakeholders, including the social partners and civil society.
6. While reaffirming the validity of the principles of the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework, we recognise the need to strengthen ASEM’s instruments for dialogue and cooperative initiatives to accompany the deepening and widening of the process and to enhance efforts to achieve results through action-oriented initiatives. The ASEM Virtual Secretariat will be a key tool to that end, as it will ensure more interaction among partners and expand stocktaking and sharing of information.
7. We endorse the appended recommendations for improved working methods and institutional mechanisms in order to steer the process into its second decade. These proposals build on the course of action, initiated at the Hanoi summit and carried forward by the Seventh Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Kyoto, aiming to substantiate the ASEM process. In addition the Evaluation Report on Ten Years of ASEM commissioned by the Finnish and Japanese Governments, and the Overview Report on ASEM Initiatives prepared by the Republic of Korea provided valuable contributions.
8. We welcome the decision on ASEM enlargement taken at the Helsinki Summit, which underlines the inclusive character of the process and highlights the key role that ASEM plays in the international framework. We emphasise that ASEM’s expansion provides greater dynamism, enhances dialogue and cooperation, and makes the Asia-Europe partnership better equipped to tackle present and future global challenges.
The tenth anniversary of the Asia-Europe Meeting is an excellent opportunity to take stock of past achievements, take the process forward and enhance its internal working methods. Taking into account ASEM’s ten-year legacy and building on the AECF 2000 as well as previous recommendations for ASEM’s working methods and future course made by the ASEM5 summit in Hanoi (2004) and by the Foreign Ministers’ Meetings in Madrid (2002), Kildare (2004) and Kyoto (2005), the following guidelines are designed to implement the principles agreed upon by the Heads of State and Government and the President of the European Commission, and ensure a smoother overall management, increase the continuity of the process, and enhance the efficient and effective administration of initiatives.
I. Areas of Asia-Europe cooperation
1. Addressing clustered issues and initiatives, and providing political guidance
While maintaining its three-pillar structure, ASEM should seek to address cross-dimensional linkages between political, economic, and social/cultural issues in order to tackle effectively the challenges posed by globalisation and growing global interdependence. These clusters of related issues and projects should support the overall priorities in the core areas of substantive cooperation, as defined by the Heads of State and Government on the occasion of ASEM Summits, and as reflected in two-year work programmes. Political guidance is vital in order to identify the key priority clusters based on the three pillars of cooperation for the next summit. The ASEM Summits and Foreign Ministers’ Meetings should determine, review and update the orientations for the relevance of the clusters according to the changes in the international arena.
2. Recognising issue-based leadership
Taking into account that ASEM is a forum of equal partners and that decision-making is by consensus, leadership should be issue-based.
Without prejudice to the role of Coordinators, countries can take the lead in sectors and on issues in which they have a particular interest and expertise. Building on existing cooperation patterns, a mechanism revolving around a number of cosponsoring countries willing to drive projects and initiatives in a certain policy area can produce tangible benefits for all. The ASEM Virtual Secretariat, email networks and preparatory meetings in the margins of the SOM can function as tools for coordination. The SOM will review the progress achieved, and provide guidance if and when necessary.
The implementation of initiatives with a clear direction and a mid to long-term vision relevant to ASEM’s evolving priorities, as well as their systematic and efficient monitoring based on issue-specific leadership, is important in order to maintain the momentum from one summit to the next. This goal can be advanced by the development of Sectoral and Thematic Dialogue Facilities following the call by the 7th Finance Ministers’ Meeting to explore possibilities for the creation of a new instrument pertaining in particular to policy dialogue and capacity building through ASEM channels. Such Dialogue Facilities could provide expertise and support to drive the dialogue and carry out tasks relating to monitoring, reviewing and reporting to ensure the necessary continuity and follow-up. The establishment of the ASEM Contingency Dialogue Mechanism for Emergent Economic and Financial Events, already agreed upon by the Finance Ministers’ Meeting and part of the Tianjin Initiative on Closer ASEM Economic and Financial Cooperation, is another example of a concrete initiative which aims to strengthen ASEM’s capacity-building.
II. Steering and coordination of the process
While issue-based leadership is encouraged as a prime instrument to drive the process, the need for smooth overall steering, coordination, and management mechanisms remains.
1. Overall coordination
The summits play a pivotal role as platforms to provide political guidance and as benchmarks for progress achieved in the ASEM process, whereas Foreign Ministers are responsible for the steering and ASEM SOM for the overall coordination of the process. The partners should recognise the importance of Ministerial Meetings to the ASEM process and continually strive to increase their effectiveness and efficiency.
In the area of trade and investment promotion between the two regions the SOMTI already functions as an ASEM cornerstone and a well-established coordinating mechanism. In the area of financial cooperation, Finance Deputies perform a similar function. Given the new cooperative initiatives in areas such as culture, environment, energy, health, science and technology, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and labour and employment, the establishment of additional sectoral SOM related to these fields can be taken into consideration as and when needed.
2. Role of the ASEM Coordinators and the hosts of next summits and FMM
Current coordination mechanisms comprise the ASEM Coordinators appointed by their respective regions. The European Commission and the EU Presidency are the European Coordinators, while on the Asian side the Coordinators alternate every two years and are composed of one ASEAN and one non-ASEAN partner. Supported by the ASEM Contact Points, the Coordinators facilitate the overall coordination of the process, and act as communication channels in their respective regions.
In order to deepen regional coordination, the role of Coordinators should be strengthened by establishing a regular meeting schedule, and by standardising the holding of meetings ahead of Ministerials to complement the role of the SOM. Also ministerial-level Coordinators’ meetings could be considered, when necessary, to enhance the development of policy orientations.
Taking into account the deepening and widening of the process, the central role of the hosts of the next summit and Foreign Ministers’ Meeting should be recognised, while ensuring that the geographic balance of the Coordinators’ group is maintained. Enhancing the function of the next host(s) can add continuity to the coordination, and facilitate and complement the leading role of the Coordinators’ group.
3. The ASEM Virtual Secretariat (AVS)
The ASEM Virtual Secretariat will function as ASEM’s coordination and information-sharing device, offering technical assistance to the Coordinators. It will facilitate the management of the agenda and working programme (for example, the circulation of updated versions, collections/reminders of ASEM-initiatives and the dissemination of their results) and enhance its institutional memory. The AVS supports the roles of the ASEM Coordinators, operates as a closed intranet system and combines mailing, document and notification posting, a bulletin board system (BBS) for exchange-of-opinions, and archival functions.
4. Regular contacts between ASEM embassies
In order to reinforce the coordination between ASEM partners, regular contacts between embassies/permanent representations, for example in Brussels, the EU headquarters, and Jakarta, the location of the ASEAN secretariat, or Beijing, the host of the next Summit, can enhance the channelling and sharing of information on the ground, facilitating the tasks and duties of the Coordinators.
III. Visibility, public awareness, and links with stakeholders
In order to achieve greater visibility and promote general awareness of the ASEM process, a public communication strategy to disseminate the results of ASEM summits, other meetings and initiatives, should be developed and implemented as a matter of priority.
Foreign Ministries of ASEM partners are invited to create an ASEM page on their website, including links to ASEF, the ASEM Infoboard, and other relevant sites, in order to ensure easy access to ASEM-related information.
The role of the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) is important in shaping the agenda and improving interaction with the business sector through consultation. A closer involvement of parliaments, academia and civil society in the broad sense will furthermore greatly contribute to a stronger feeling of ownership and enhance the visibility and awareness of ASEM among the wider public. The Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP), the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF), and the different stakeholders of civil society can play an important part in developing the outreach.
The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) continues to play a key role in further developing the inter-linkages between the Asia-Europe cooperation and the different civil society actors. While continuing to align ASEF with the ASEM process, the partners are encouraged to consider the recommendations resulting from seminars co-organised by ASEF. Furthermore, with a view to sustaining and increasing public interest and support for the ASEM process, ASEF should persist in exploring new ways to effectively attract public attention to ASEM initiatives and ensure media attention.
ASEM VI - Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting
Helsinki, September 10-11 2006
We, Heads of State and Government from thirteen Asian nations, twenty－five European nations and the President of the European Commission, gathered in Helsinki on 10 and 11 September 2006 for the 6th Asia-Europe Meeting,
Decide to issue the following declaration:
1. We are committed to act with resolve and urgency to meet interrelated multiple goals of addressing climate change, reducing air pollution and improving the global environment while contributing to sustainable development and synergies with energy policy goals.
2. Acknowledging that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation and participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with the principles of the Convention, we are determined to respond to climate change through international cooperation, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, with a view to achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention. We pledge to work together to improve access to sustainable energy services in order to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
3. Noting that ASEM countries are Parties to the Convention and its Protocol, we are determined to implement our commitments under the Convention and its Protocol. We acknowledge the actions that are being implemented and planned by Annex I ASEM Parties in order to meet their UNFCCC and Kyoto commitments. We appreciate the important policies, programmes and measures implemented voluntarily in Non－Annex I ASEM Parties to achieve sustainable development, which have contributed to mitigating climate change. We will cooperate to further implement the Convention and its Protocol including through strengthening the capacity of and providing financial and technical assistance to ASEM developing countries in accordance with relevant provisions of the Convention and its Protocol.
4. We reaffirm that the Convention and its Protocol provide the appropriate international framework to develop further actions against climate change. We welcome the outcome of the Montreal climate conferences and are determined to work for success in Nairobi and at other forthcoming UNFCCC conferences. We are committed to cooperating further to advance the Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change under the Convention, as this provides important opportunities to enhance the implementation of the Convention and to exchange experiences and analyse strategic approaches to address climate change. We are committed to ensuring a successful outcome of our discussions on further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol while securing that there is no gap between the first and the second commitment periods. We also look forward to a successful outcome of the review of the Protocol to be initiated at the Nairobi climate conference.
5. We recognise that climate change and security of energy supply are interrelated. We foresee that very significant resources, an estimated USD 6.3 trillionWorld Energy Outlook, International Energy Agency (IEA),will be invested in the energy sector in ASEM countries by 2030 and see this as a challenge but also as an opportunity. We will cooperate to promote development, transfer and deployment of low carbon technology and access by developing ASEM countries to cleaner and climate friendly technologies, without overlooking any relevant option, be it existing or new. We are committed to enhancing energy efficiency and scaling up the use of new and renewable energy, adapted to local circumstances. We also emphasise that in the longer term technological breakthroughs will be required, welcoming that further possibilities are being explored. We value existing bilateral, regional, and global partnerships and look forward to further enhancement of broad international collaboration in research, development, transfer, and deployment of climate-friendly technologies.
6. Encouraged by existing win-win opportunities of environmentally sound investments, we underscore the need to integrate climate concerns into national sustainable development policies, strategies and programmes. We will work with international financing and development cooperation institutions to encourage innovative financing options to stimulate investment in clean energy and development.
7. We stress that market-based mechanisms have a great potential to help transfer, deployment and diffusion of climate-friendly solutions and technology, the Clean Development Mechanism as well as emissions trading and Joint Implementation being examples of such mechanisms. We share the common recognition that the implementation of the Kyoto mechanisms should be enhanced with a view to making full use of their potential to contribute to achieving the goals of the Climate Convention, and that future use of the Kyoto mechanisms should build on this experience and be reformed in the light of the architecture of the future framework.
8. Bearing in mind that all countries are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, we underline the importance of adaptation. We welcome increased international attention to this vulnerability and to the need for adaptation to climate change for developing countries, particularly in the least developed countries. We call upon incorporating climate risks and adaptation strategies into national development strategies and policies, and we will foster international cooperation that can help assess impacts and vulnerabilities, build adaptive capacities, and support adaptation actions.
9. We commit ourselves to strengthening cooperation among ASEM partners to exchange information and early warnings on natural disasters, including those that arise from climate change.
10. We stress the need to complement climate change policies with actions to combat deforestation and note the Chairman’s Statements on illegal logging at earlier ASEM meetings. We also emphasise the need for the sustainable management of forests and oceans as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. In this context, we take note of the Manila Vision and Action Plan, adopted at the meeting of the ASEM Oceans Initiative.
11. We confirm the commitment to intensify our cooperation to combat climate change, recognising ASEM’s capacity and valuable role in enhancing international cooperation through dialogue in the context of different multilateral fora, and we encourage the further strengthening of ASEM’s role in this respect. We will continue to engage in international dialogue with a view to reaching an understanding on further global action to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations, based on common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
12. We underline the importance of the wide range of ASEM initiatives in pursuing sustainable development, and support the development of possible cooperation and activities among ASEM partners in support of the implementation of this declaration. We invite the ASEM Ministers dealing with climate change related policies to carry on the dialogue on climate change in support of implementing the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, including through discussions at ASEM Environment Ministers’ Meetings.
ASEM V - Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting
Hanoi, October 8-9, 2004
1. At the Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 5) held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 8 and 9 October 2004, the heads of State and Government of 13 Asian and 25 European nations and the President of the European Commission exchanged views under agenda item "Cultural Diversity and National Cultures in the Age of Information Technology and Globalization" and agreed the following:
2. Developments in the international situation since the Copenhagen Summit (September 2002) have demonstrated the persistence of the major challenges facing the international community. Against the backdrop of the stepping up of trade liberalisation movements and growing globalisation, we are witnessing a process whereby the world is becoming more open, more inter-linked and more integrated with the development of new information and communication technologies and the emergence of globalised mass culture. At the same time, international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the spread of racism as well as racial and religious intolerance, the widening gap between the rich and the poor constitute urgent threats to the international community, challenging our capacity to build a peaceful and harmonious world.
3. In the face of these challenges, the international community needs more than ever before to define responses together. This calls for dialogue among cultures and civilizations on the basis of equality and mutual respect, which not only contributes to the prevention of potential conflicts, the promotion of common development, and the humanisation of globalisation so that it can benefit all, but also is fundamentally important for safeguarding the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and promoting universal human rights as defined notably in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
4. The Heads of State and Government of ASEM reaffirmed that cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity and a source of innovation, inspiration and an important driving force for economic progress and social development of human society. It provides a tremendous opportunity to build a more stable and peaceful world, because it calls not for exclusion, but for inclusion, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation.
5. The Heads of State and Government recognized ASEM encompasses cultures and civilisations of both the East and the West, among which geographic convenience and long-standing interaction have laid a favourable foundation for enhanced dialogue and cultural exchange. They recognized that the ASEM process should also seek to foster a sense of partnership among the peoples of the two regions. They noted with satisfaction the progress made in the dialogue among cultures and civilisations organised by ASEM, which has helped to promote mutual understanding and respect of cultural diversities and thereby enhancing a culture of peace, tolerance and harmony among societies which provide the foundation for sound and stable relations between the two regions. In this context, they underlined the important role of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in building a bridge between civil societies by means of its programmes to promote intellectual, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
6. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the results of the ASEM Conference on Cultures and Civilisations held in Beijing on 3 and 4 December 2003 and the recommendations adopted by the Ministers. They underlined the importance of relevant international instruments and the need for implementing the commitments they have made, in particular the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity adopted by consensus by the 31st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO. They called, in particular, on the ASEM States to become parties to the conventions on culture adopted at UNESCO.
7. In view of the above, the Heads of State and Government affirmed the importance of concerted actions for dialogue among cultures and civilizations and decided to continue the co-operation started in ASEM, making priorities of the following areas:
7.1. Education, higher education and training:
- Stepping up educational exchanges, in particular by means of programmes developed by ASEM, e.g. ongoing ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme Phase I and II, Asia-Europe Institute(AEI), taking note of the Erasmus Mundus programmes set up by the European Commission, and the substantial financial contribution foreseen for Asia-Europe fellowships and exchanges;
- Enhancing and intensifying youth exchanges between Asia and Europe through youth-friendly programmes such as ASEM Youth Games and ASEM Young Political Leaders Forum;
- Giving a greater place in education to improving knowledge of other cultures and civilizations in order to promote tolerance towards ethnic, social, cultural, religious, linguistic groups and nations, creating conditions for the eradication of ethnic prejudices and religious intolerance;
- Facilitating exchanges of experience in education and training, including the continuation of the ASEM Life-Long-Learning initiative.
7.2.Cultural exchanges and cooperation:
- Recognising the right of States to develop public cultural policies (audiovisual, publishing, translation, etc);
- Facilitating exchanges of experts in the field of arts and culture including performing arts, visual arts and literary works, as well as exchanges of information and experience relating to this field among ASEM countries;
- Encouraging exchanges of films, broadcasting programs, publications, exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances among ASEM countries;
- Supporting participation in international festivals, fairs, fora, exhibitions, conferences, seminars and other cultural events organized by ASEM countries;
- Promoting cooperation in other cultural activities to enhance understanding of other cultures and civilisations, and to strengthen friendly relations among ASEM countries.
7.3.Exchange of ideas and knowledge, and promotion of creativity:
- Sharing the new information and communication technologies to facilitate the flow of ideas between Europe and Asia;
- Developing co-operation between Asia and Europe to protect intellectual property and copyright;
- Promoting exchange of experiences in the field of creativity;
- Developing policies favourable to creativity and artistic innovation.
7.4. Promotion of sustainable and responsible cultural tourism:
- Promoting preservation and rational utilization of natural and cultural heritage;
- Exchanging experiences in developing sustainable and responsible cultural tourism;
- Promoting and supporting cooperation in human resource development and other areas to expand sustainable and responsible cultural tourism as a means to bring about poverty alleviation.
7.5. Protection and promotion of cultural resources:
- Preserving and developing both traditional and contemporary forms of arts and culture;
- Exchanging experiences and conducting cooperation in the protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
- Promoting experiences exchange and cooperation on creative industry;
- Supporting cooperation and exchange among museums in Asia and Europe, e.g. ASEMUS.
7.6. Strengthening the capacity of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF):
- Encouraging civil societies in Asia and Europe to actively participate in cultural exchange activities within ASEM framework;
- Supporting initiatives taken within the framework of ASEF, giving priority to the ongoing ASEF Cultures and Civilisations Dialogue Programmes.
8. The Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their support for the work undertaken within the framework of the United Nations to promote the dialogue among cultures and civilisations. They looked forward to actively participating in relevant follow-up activities when UN celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2005.
9. The Heads of State and Government welcomed, in particular, the launch at UNESCO of negotiations for an international convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions as an important potential contribution to the promotion of consolidation of cultural diversity and enhancement of intercultural exchanges at the national, regional and international levels. In this context, the specific nature of cultural goods and services should be recognized. The right for each State to define and implement the policies required to protect and develop cultural and linguistic diversity should be recognized; the current negotiations, without prejudice to their result, should also allow a proper articulation between the provisions of the convention and other international agreements. International solidarity and the development of capabilities in this area should be encouraged.
10.The Heads of State and Government expressed their appreciation for the continued dialogue among cultures and civilisations within ASEM at political level. They welcomed with satisfaction the announcement of the next Culture Ministers' Meeting in Paris in 2005, and requested the ministers to develop a long-term plan on promoting dialogue among civilizations and stepping up cultural exchange between Asia and Europe.
ASEM IV - Fourth Asia Europe Meeting Summit
Copenhagen, September 22-24, 2002
At the fourth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 4), held in Copenhagen on 23-24 September 2002, Leaders, recalling in particular the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11 2001, had in-depth discussions on various new security challenges, especially international terrorism and its possible links with transnational organized crime. Leaders agreed to issue the following declaration:
1. We, the ASEM Leaders gathered in Copenhagen on 23 and 24 September 2002 for the fourth Asia-Europe Meeting, declare that acts of international terrorism constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and a challenge to all states and to all of humanity. Terrorism not only endangers the lives of innocents, but also threatens the very foundations upon which our societies are built. We condemn all acts of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, irrespective of their motivation, forms and manifestations. International cooperation in anti-terrorism activities, including regional cooperation such as that of the EU and ASEAN, as well as bilateral cooperation, has greatly progressed. It is essential that the international community steadily continue efforts in this regard.
2. We pledge to work together to combat this threat to global peace and security, sustainable economic development and political stability, and emphasize that the fight against terrorism must be based on the principles of the UN Charter and basic norms of international law. The fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach by the international community comprising political, economic, diplomatic, military and legal means in accordance with our respective domestic laws, duly taking into account root causes of terrorism without acknowledging these as justifications for terrorist and/or criminal activities.
3. We emphasize the importance of sustaining the momentum of international cooperation against terrorism and the leading role of the United Nations. We welcome and fully support UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1377 (2001) and reiterate our commitment to implement these resolutions. We attach great importance to the work of the Counter Terrorism Committee and recognize the need for providing technical assistance to third countries in order to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). We will work towards the accession to and implementation of the existing international counter-terrorism conventions. We stress the importance of bringing the ongoing negotiations on the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism to a successful conclusion.
4. We acknowledge that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups is a serious threat to global peace and security. In this regard, we reaffirm our commitment to General Assembly Resolution 56/24/T on multilateral cooperation in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation and global efforts against terrorism.
5. We acknowledge that terrorism, including its possible links with transnational organized crime such as money laundering, trafficking in human beings and arms as well as the production of and trafficking in illicit drugs, forms part of a complex set of new security challenges. This calls for a multi-facetted approach to the problems we are facing.
6. We are determined to strengthen consultation, cooperation and coordination on new security challenges by expanding ASEM initiatives directed against the scourge of terrorism and transnational organized crime.
7. Our cooperation will build upon the unique ASEM dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. We reject any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion, race or nationality, and also reject any notion that we can be divided along these lines.
8. We have adopted an ASEM Copenhagen Cooperation Programme on Fighting International Terrorism in order to ensure the implementation of the above-mentioned objectives.
9. Activities to be undertaken in the short- to medium term include the establishment of an informal ad hoc consultative mechanism among ASEM Coordinators and Senior Officials as well as regular contacts between relevant regional and national agencies of ASEM partners to facilitate cooperation in the common fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. Long-term activities focus on the elimination of cultural misconceptions, as well as on the identification and elimination of the root causes of terrorism without acknowledging these as justifications for terrorist and/or criminal activities.Copenhagen, 23 September 2002