In view of the 20th Anniversary of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in 2016, ASEF contributes to the deliberations over the future development of the ASEM Process.
An ASEF Delegation, headed by Ambassador ZHANG Yan, Executive Director of ASEF, participated in the ASEM Symposium on the Future Direction of ASEM and the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), which took place from 30 March to 1 April 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Symposium attracted nearly 300 representatives from various sectors of the 53 ASEM members. The discussions focused on the 3 Pillars of the ASEM Process – Political, Economic, Social, Cultural and Educational Pillars – in the changing global and regional contexts. The outcome document of the Symposium, Bangkok Initiatives on the Future Direction of ASEM, was presented at the SOM. The latter will then submit concrete recommendations on the topic to the 12th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM12) in November 2015 in Luxembourg, which in turn will report to the 11th ASEM Summit (ASEM11) to be held in 2016 in Mongolia.
On both occasions, a number of speakers highlighted ASEF’s valuable contributions to the 3rd Pillar and the visibility of ASEM, speaking highly of ASEF’s projects in the fields of culture, education, youth and sustainable development.
Ambassador ZHANG Yan joined the deliberations with his insights on ASEF’s unique role and potential in promoting ASEM’s development, as well as on closer synergies between ASEF’s activities and the ASEM Process. He also briefed the ASEM SOM participants on the 3 side events that ASEF plans to organise in support of ASEM FMM12.