I am overjoyed to share this happy occasion of the 26th ASEF Day with you.
On 15th February 1997, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) was established based on the Dublin Principles by the 26 founding members of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Singapore is home to ASEF. We are proud to take note that over 26 years, ASEF’s membership has more than doubled to 53 partners across the regions of Asia and Europe.
Since then, ASEF has worked hard to steadily build up a commendable portfolio of projects across various domain areas in order to carry out the organisation’s mandate to bring together the peoples of Asia and Europe to address common global challenges.
Over the course of last year, right after ASEF began to celebrate its Silver Jubilee, the geopolitical disruption broke out and it has been heavily impacting on us all in Asia and Europe, and beyond. We sincerely wish for the war to end as soon as possible, and our thoughts are always with the people affected by the war in the freezing winter.
Our thoughts are also with the people of Türkiye and Syria for the great losses they have suffered as a result of the devastating earthquakes. We hope that humanitarian relief and aid services can quickly go where needed to help the people on the ground.
As we emerge from the cocoon of isolation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the re-opening of borders is enabling us to enjoy once more meeting each other face-to-face, which lets us reconfirm the joy of meeting in person.
On the occasion of ASEF day, ASEF renews its commitment to the dialogue and the cooperation between Asians and Europeans in the post-pandemic era. We believe that ASEF has an even more important role to play as Asians and Europeans have a lot to do shoulder to shoulder together, in meeting the real global challenges of a world that continues to face many crises and geo-political disruptions.
Dear friends, may I invite you to join us and to work together in shaping the way forward for ASEF?
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