18th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting Co-Chair’s Statement


40. The Min­is­ters reviewed EU-ASEAN co-oper­a­tion pro­grammes and activ­i­ties aimed at enhanc­ing over­all Dia­logue Rela­tions and sup­port­ing the ASEAN inte­gra­tion and com­mu­ni­ty build­ing process by 2015. ASEAN great­ly appre­ci­at­ed the EU’s assis­tance and sup­port for the peri­od 2007–2013, around €70 mil­lion for ASEAN and €1.3 bil­lion for devel­op­ment and pover­ty-reduc­tion to indi­vid­ual ASEAN Mem­ber States, thus help­ing to bridge the devel­op­ment gap in the region. Not­ing that EU inte­gra­tion was much fur­ther advanced, the Min­is­ters encour­aged EU to share expe­ri­ences with ASEAN on region­al inte­gra­tion. In this regard, they wel­comed the study vis­it of the ASEAN Com­mit­tee of Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to Brus­sels and Berlin now planned for the lat­er half of 2010.

41. The Min­is­ters also under­lined the impor­tance of strength­ened region to region coop­er­a­tion in the trade area (out­side the frame­work of the FTA nego­ti­a­tions) on issues such as nego­ti­at­ing capac­i­ty of ASEAN, exchange of expe­ri­ence on region­al inte­gra­tion and capac­i­ty build­ing on tech­ni­cal trade issues for the ASEAN Sec­re­tari­at and ASEAN Mem­ber States.

42. In addi­tion, the Min­is­ters not­ed the progress made in the imple­men­ta­tion of the Region­al EU-ASEAN Dia­logue Instru­ment (READI) which pro­vides oppor­tu­ni­ties for both sides to strength­en co-oper­a­tion in non-trade areas. They not­ed, in par­tic­u­lar, the grow­ing num­ber of dia­logues, includ­ing infor­ma­tion soci­ety, cli­mate change, ener­gy, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy and the recent­ly launched dia­logue on dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness. The Min­is­ters encour­aged rel­e­vant senior offi­cials to inten­si­fy and expand dia­logue in dif­fer­ent sec­tors. They looked for­ward to the launch of the new READI facil­i­ty in 2010 that will pro­vide addi­tion­al resources to under­pin such dialogues.

43. The Min­is­ters assessed expe­ri­ence so far and agreed that the suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tion of co-oper­a­tion pro­grammes depends, inter alia, on two fac­tors: a) the absorp­tion capac­i­ty of the ASEAN Sec­re­tari­at and b) an effec­tive ASEAN-led donor co-ordi­na­tion process to make sure that con­tri­bu­tions from all part­ners are used opti­mal­ly. The Min­is­ters tasked rel­e­vant offi­cials to fol­low-up speed­i­ly on these issues. 

Polit­i­cal and Secu­ri­ty Co-operation

44. The Min­is­ters not­ed the ini­tia­tive of the EU to estab­lish a region­al Chem­i­cal, Bio­log­i­cal, Radi­o­log­i­cal and Nuclear (CBRN) Cen­tre of Excel­lence in South East Asia, to pro­mote a region­al approach in the field of CBRN risk mit­i­ga­tion, facil­i­tate the exchange of exper­tise and best prac­tices, and enhance the CBRN safe­ty and secu­ri­ty culture.

45. The Min­is­ters com­mit­ted to pro­mote greater col­lab­o­ra­tion in address­ing non­tra­di­tion­al secu­ri­ty issues. In this con­text, ASEAN not­ed with appre­ci­a­tion EU sup­port through the EU-ASEAN Migra­tion and Bor­der Man­age­ment Pro­gramme which aims to devel­op a more effi­cient bor­der man­age­ment sys­tem in ASEAN Mem­ber States as well as com­bat traf­fick­ing of per­sons and ille­gal migra­tion con­trol. The Min­is­ters also reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to pro­mote co-oper­a­tion in com­bat­ing oth­er forms of transna­tion­al crime such as illic­it drug traf­fick­ing, ter­ror­ism, arms smug­gling, inter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic crime and cyber crime, mon­ey laun­der­ing, acts of pira­cy and rob­bery against ships.

Eco­nom­ic Co-operation

46. The Min­is­ters agreed to enhance co-oper­a­tion on food and ener­gy secu­ri­ty between ASEAN and the EU. Glob­al demand for food is expect­ed to sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase by 2050, much of this extra demand com­ing from devel­op­ing coun­tries, where pop­u­la­tion growth is fastest. But more unpre­dictable rain­fall and sea lev­el rise in some regions due to cli­mate change could strong­ly chal­lenge our abil­i­ty to meet this increased demand. Devel­op­ing coun­tries are amongst the most vul­ner­a­ble in terms of long-term food secu­ri­ty giv­en low incomes, often poor nutri­tion­al sta­tus (espe­cial­ly of women and chil­dren) and the impact of price volatil­i­ty on afford­abil­i­ty. Thus, the Min­is­ters agreed to pro­mote open trade in sta­ples and oth­er food prod­ucts; to put greater empha­sis on improv­ing nutri­tion; and to sup­port greater coop­er­a­tion explor­ing alter­na­tives to con­ven­tion­al ener­gy resources through, among oth­er things, the devel­op­ment of renew­able ener­gy sources, while tak­ing into account the poten­tial impact on agri­cul­tur­al land for food crops. In this con­text, the Min­is­ters expressed sup­port for the real­i­sa­tion of com­mit­ments of the G8 Sum­mit in L’Aquila 2009 and the Dec­la­ra­tion of World Food Secu­ri­ty 2009 as well as the ASEAN Inte­grat­ed Food Secu­ri­ty Framework.

47. On devel­op­ing alter­na­tive and renew­able ener­gy resources, the Min­is­ters encour­aged greater efforts to cre­ate a favourable invest­ment cli­mate, co-oper­a­tion in R&D tech­nol­o­gy trans­fer and capac­i­ty build­ing. They recog­nised the urgent need to pur­sue low-car­bon tech­nolo­gies and green econ­o­my solu­tions to mit­i­gate the impact of cli­mate change. They wel­comed the ASEAN-EC Ener­gy Work Plan which was adopt­ed at the 2nd ASEAN Senior Offi­cials’ Meet­ing on Ener­gy – EU Dia­logue on 14 May 2009 in Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land as the imple­men­ta­tion frame­work for the ASEAN-EC Ener­gy Dia­logue. They also stressed bio­fu­el sus­tain­abil­i­ty, ener­gy effi­cien­cy and ener­gy secu­ri­ty as two key issues in the ASEAN-EU ener­gy relationship. 

48. The Min­is­ters not­ed sim­i­lar­i­ties between the devel­op­ment of the sin­gle EU avi­a­tion mar­ket and the planned sin­gle ASEAN avi­a­tion mar­ket by 2015 and expressed their inter­est in exchang­ing expe­ri­ences in this field to the mutu­al ben­e­fit. Min­is­ters agreed there­fore to enhance EU-ASEAN tech­ni­cal and reg­u­la­to­ry co-oper­a­tion in the air trans­port sec­tor in areas such as air traf­fic man­age­ment, avi­a­tion secu­ri­ty, avi­a­tion safe­ty, envi­ron­ment and eco­nom­ic reg­u­la­tion. They expressed inter­est in explor­ing scope for more com­pre­hen­sive co-oper­a­tion in the area of civ­il avi­a­tion between the EU and ASEAN.

49. The Min­is­ters stressed the impor­tance of increas­ing avail­abil­i­ty and improv­ing the qual­i­ty of sta­tis­ti­cal data as an essen­tial eco­nom­ic man­age­ment tool. They there­fore wel­comed on-going co-oper­a­tion efforts in this direc­tion between ASEAN and the EU in the area of eco­nom­ic statistics.

50. The Min­is­ters wel­comed the rein­force­ment of the bi-region­al pol­i­cy dia­logue in the field of research between the ASEAN Com­mit­tee of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy (COST) and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. This dia­logue pro­vides a sol­id frame­work for co-oper­a­tion in many areas such as food, agri­cul­ture and biotech­nolo­gies, health, infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies, marine sci­ences, renew­able ener­gy and cli­mate change. In that respect, Min­is­ters not­ed with sat­is­fac­tion the results of the 1st ASEAN-EC Dia­logue Meet­ing on Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy which took place in Vien­tiane, Laos, on 20–21 May 2010.

51. The Min­is­ters wel­comed the set­ting-up of a co-oper­a­tion frame­work in the field of civil­ian use of satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, and expressed their will­ing­ness to pro­mote the involve­ment of their rel­e­vant insti­tu­tions and organ­i­sa­tions. They encour­aged in par­tic­u­lar the estab­lish­ment of a per­ma­nent EU-ASEAN col­lab­o­ra­tion cen­tre on civil­ian use of satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion systems. 

Socio-cul­tur­al Co-operation

52. The Min­is­ters wel­comed the entry into force of the ASEAN Agree­ment on Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment and Emer­gency Response (AADMER) and the estab­lish­ment of the ASEAN Coor­di­nat­ing Cen­tre for Human­i­tar­i­an Assis­tance on Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment (AHA cen­tre). The Min­is­ters also wel­comed the launch­ing of the AADMER Work Pro­gram. The Min­is­ters not­ed that a stronger dia­logue and co-oper­a­tion has been ini­ti­at­ed between the ASEAN Sec­re­tari­at and EC’s Direc­torate-Gen­er­al on Human­i­tar­i­an Aid & Civ­il Pro­tec­tion Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Human­i­tar­i­an Office (ECHO) in order to fur­ther enhance ASEAN’s dis­as­ter man­age­ment and human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance capa­bil­i­ties. This co-oper­a­tion will be fur­ther facil­i­tat­ed and strength­ened by the Region­al READI facility. 

53. The Min­is­ters wel­comed inten­si­fied co-oper­a­tion between the EU and ASEAN on dis­as­ter risk assess­ment, ear­ly warn­ing, risk reduc­tion and dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness, pre­ven­tion and mit­i­ga­tion, espe­cial­ly in light of the Cli­mate Change chal­lenges in the ASEAN region. This co-oper­a­tion will fur­ther inten­si­fy with EU’s sup­port for the imple­men­ta­tion of the AADMER Work Pro­gramme 2010 — 2015, includ­ing the estab­lish­ment of the AHA Cen­tre as part of the ASEAN Socio-Cul­tur­al Com­mu­ni­ty Blueprint.

54. The Min­is­ters agreed on the need to remain vig­i­lant and proac­tive vis-à-vis emerg­ing infec­tious threats, in par­tic­u­lar high­ly-path­o­gen­ic avian influen­za (HPAI) and pan­demics. They not­ed the out­come of the Inter­na­tion­al Min­is­te­r­i­al Con­fer­ence on Ani­mal and Pan­dem­ic Influen­za, held in Hanoi, Viet­nam, from 19 to 21 April 2010, which com­mend­ed the ongo­ing efforts of coun­tries in tack­ling HPAI and pan­demics and at the same time not­ed the con­tin­ued threat of HPAI. The unprece­dent­ed glob­al mobi­liza­tion against HPAI had helped strength­en the capac­i­ty of ASEAN Mem­ber States to pre­vent and respond to health risks emerg­ing at the inter­face between ani­mals, humans and envi­ron­ment. More­over, the invest­ments made since 2005 in pan­dem­ic pre­pared­ness had con­sid­er­ably facil­i­tat­ed a smooth response to the A/H1N1 (2009) pandemic. 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Council 

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