Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) – The two-day Asem Summit ended in the Mongolian capital on Saturday with the adoption of Ulaanbaatar declaration in which leaders renewed resolve to work together on areas of common interest, including countering terrorism and violent extremism.
The leaders of member countries also renewed their political will and strong resolve to work together to revamp Asem and promote greater connectivity, mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation between Asia and Europe.
The declaration was adopted by the leaders of the Asem partners as well as heads of European Council and European Commission and Asean Secretariat at the Concluding Session of the Summit in Ulaanbaatar in the morning.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with other world Leaders attended the session.
In the declaration, the heads of state and government from Asem countries and other participating leaders expressed strong resolve to build an inclusive, sustainable and radiant future for 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’ 2006, re-emphasised 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 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, Asem will reinforce its role as a catalyst for effective multilateralism and a rule-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 their 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, it added.
To ensure the continuity of initiatives that evolve from informal dialogue to tangible outcomes that will benefit the peoples of Asia and Europe, ASEM will focus on areas of common interest. These include, inter alia, 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, security of and in the use of information and communication technologies.
The leaders of Asia and Europe termed enhancing connectivity across diverse domains as very important and it is a commonly shared objective saying connectivity will be mainstreamed into all Asem cooperation frameworks.
Given the growing interdependence between the two regions, Asia and Europe cannot be treated separately in any area of ASEM activities, they opined.
In the Summit, the leaders decided to designate an Asem Day ‘Asia meets Europe/Europe meets Asia Day’ and recommend celebrating it annually on March 1 or any other day during the first week of March as appropriate with a view to underlining Asem’s importance and raising its visibility.