The leaders of ASEM, a grouping of Asian and European nations, wrapped up their summit on Saturday with taking a vow to fight terrorism and violent extremism unitedly as well as ensure cyber security for the benefits of the people of two continents, reports bss.
“To ensure the continuity of initiatives that evolve from informal dialogue to tangible outcomes, ASEM will focus on areas of common interest like countering terrorism and violent extremism, maritime safety and security, fighting piracy and armed robbery at sea, as well as human and drug trafficking, cyber security and cyber-crime,” the leaders said in the declaration that was adopted on the concluding day of the summit.
The declaration was adopted by the leaders of the ASEM partner countries as well as heads of European Council and European Commission and ASEAN Secretariat at the Concluding Session of the summit in Ulaanbaatar this morning.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with other ASEM leaders attended the session.
In the declaration, the heads of state and government from ASEM partner countries renewed their political will and strong resolve to work together to energize ASEM to promote further connectivity, mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation between Asia and Europe.
They also pledged to focus on security of and in the use of information and communication technologies, upholding the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, the rule of law and enforcement of international law, human rights, anti-corruption, migration, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Besides, they said, the issues of climate change, environment, disaster risk reduction and management, food, water and energy security, terrestrial and maritime resources and issues including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, education, poverty eradication, blue economy, trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, science, technology and innovation, transportation, MSMEs cooperation, capacity-building across sectors, employment, social protection, women’s empowerment, youth and disabled persons will be given more importance in future.
The leaders said ASEM will also place emphasis on areas in which it can create added value, when appropriate, and give mutual benefit to both regions. “In this regard, we share the view that all cooperation initiatives and mechanisms should encourage people’s engagement, especially that of youth and businesses, in ASEM’s activities,” they said.
The declaration said initiatives and projects within each area of tangible cooperation, as well as coordination among various areas are vital to narrowing the development gaps in ASEM and provide capacity-building to its developing partners.
In the declaration, the ASEM leaders expressed strong resolve to build an inclusive, sustainable and radiant future for our people and to ensure a peaceful life and shared prosperity for present and succeeding generations.
On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of ASEM, the leaders recalling the “Helsinki Declaration on the Future of ASEM” of 2006, reemphasized the importance of promoting informality, networking and flexibility within ASEM with a view to bringing about deeper understanding and appreciation of each other’s history, culture, traditions and aspirations.
The declaration said the leaders are committed to taking the ASEM process forward in an open and evolutionary manner, building upon past experiences, promoting greater connectivity and more focused cooperation between Asia and Europe.
The leaders, in this connection, reaffirmed that the ASEM process should be promoted on the basis of equal partnership, mutual respect and mutual benefit in the spirit of consensus.
To lead ASEM successfully into its third decade, the leaders also committed to reinforcing partnership through informal political dialogue and cooperative initiatives in economic and socio-cultural fields as outlined in the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework (AECF) 2000 and other ASEM documents.
As shifting geopolitics lead to greater uncertainties and volatility in the world, they said, ASEM will reinforce its role as a catalyst for effective multilateralism and a rules-based international order, the declaration said.
Besides, ASEM will enhance in a balanced manner all three key pillars of its partnership in order to meet the aspirations of our peoples for peace and stability, economic prosperity, sustainable development and a better quality of life.
ASEM will strive to further strengthen Asia-Europe multi-dimensional and people-centered partnership, the declaration added.