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Freedom of Expression



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On the occasion of the first meeting of ASEM Foreign Ministers in Singapore in February 1997, Sweden and France had suggested that informal seminars on human rights be held within the ASEM framework. The aim of this initiative was to promote mutual understanding and co-operation between Europe and Asia in the area of political dialogue, particularly on human rights issues.

The Seminar series is co-organised by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (delegated by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and ASEF, which has acted as the Secretariat of the Seminar since 2000.

Supervision of the seminar is entrusted to a Steering Committee, composed of the Seminar’s three co-organisers as well as representatives of the ministries of Foreign Affairs of China and Indonesia, as well as the European Commission.

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