Forty-two young parliamentarians from 14 ASEM countries and the European Parliament gathered to exchange views and perspectives on the meeting’s theme, “Promoting Mutual Grown And Development In Asia And Europe Through Srengthened Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue.” The event took stock of the current state of relations between Asia and Europe within three pillars of co-operation: political and security dialogue, economic co-operation, and the dialogue on cultures and civilisations.
The international fight against terrorism was a central theme in the discussion on political and security dialogue, as a debate ensued over the effectiveness of current anti-terrorism measures and the necessity of having a multilateral framework when coming up with suitable approaches. It was noted that countries should develop short and long-term strategies targeting not only terrorist acts, but also the causes of such acts. Caution would also need to be practised to balance the fight against terrorism with the protection of civil liberties.
Although it was noted that globalisation is both a neutral force and an irreversible trend, the challenges arising from economic globalisation remained a source of concern during the dialogue on enhancing economic co-operation. It was, however, mentioned that increased regional co-operation could minimise the risks posed by economic globalisation. Policy makers at the local level could play a major role in coming up with policies to jointly address the challenges of globalisation, as well as move towards increased institutionalisation.
During the dialogue on cultures and civilisations, it was noted that culture is becoming increasingly prominent in international relations. The “globalisation of culture” and the theory of a clash of civilisations were widely discussed at the meeting. The assertion that different civilisations were destined to clash was rejected. Instead, there was a broad agreement that culture had never been a negative force in international relations and that cultural diversity is an asset that must be respected and preserved.
A common point of the discussions was the importance of dialogue at all levels. Parliamentarians emphasised frequent interaction and exchange between the peoples of Asia and Europe as major contributing factors toward the strengthening of relations between the two regions.
The Lijiang Declaration, bearing testament to the importance of strengthening the relationship between Asia and Europe through increased co-operation, dialogue, and exchanges, was unanimously adopted at the conclusion of the meeting. Parliamentarians stated their concerns with world peace and stability and the promotion of economic, social development, and world prosperity. They also committed themselves to actively participate in and push forward the ASEM process for even greater progress.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
The National People’s Congress
The Guilin People’s Congress
Guilin Municipal Government
the People’s Congress of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region