The relevance and unique role of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in advancing the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Process was well demonstrated and acknowledged during the 11th ASEM Summit (ASEM11) held on 15-16 July 2016 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
By invitation of the host country, the ASEF Executive Director, Ambassador ZHANG Yan, attended ASEM11 as well as the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEM SOM) held on 12-14 July 2016.
To meaningfully support and contribute to ASEM11 themed “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”, ASEF, together with its partners, organised a set of side events in Ulaanbaatar prior to the Summit, including the 7th Model ASEM, the 8th ASEF Editors’ Roundtable, the ASEF Photo Exhibition “On the Go”and the launch of the ASEF Outlook Report 2016/2017: “CONNECTIVITY: Facts and Perspectives” ASEF also had the opportunity to distribute copies of the special publication dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of ASEM “20 Years of Asia-Europe Relations” during the SOM.
The ASEM11 Chair’s Statement commended ASEF’s role in bringing together the peoples of Asia and Europe, forging closer links between the ASEM governments and civil societies. The Statement also acknowledged ASEF’s efforts in complementing the government-led ASEM Process with ASEF’s programmes and projects in various thematic areas, as well as specific activities in support of ASEM Summits and Ministerial Meetings. The ASEM Leaders expressed support for strengthening the role of ASEF in enhancing the visibility of ASEM and aligning its activities with the ASEM priorities. Furthermore, a list of selected ASEF projects and activities has been included as an annex to the ASEM11 Chair’s Statement, which is the first time since the inception of ASEF in 1997.
The other key outcome document of ASEM11, the Ulaanbaatar Declaration, also recognised ASEF’s contributions in creating opportunities for broader people-to-people connections.
Taking place in the year marking the 20th anniversary of the ASEM Process, ASEM11 was attended by the Heads of State and Government or their high-level government representatives from 51 Asian and European countries, as well as the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.