The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

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Press Release
Dialogue on global challenges at the centre of Asia-Europe Meeting in Kyoto

Date of release : 07-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers

On 6-7 May 2005, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and current President of the Council of the European Union, took part in an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers in Kyoto, Japan.

As part of the larger theme chosen for this 7th Ministerial Meeting – "Deepening the dialogue between Asia and Europe on global challenges" – Ministers discussed strengthening multilateralism, the reform of the United Nations, security threats (including terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international organised crime).

Ministers also addressed the situation in the Korean peninsula, Burma/Myanmar and the Middle East, as well as a number of economic and social issues, including sustainable development.

At the close of the meeting, Jean Asselborn made the following comments on the ASEM process:

“Our Asia-Europe Meeting in Kyoto was of a particular importance, as it was the first time that Foreign Ministers met after the Summit in Hanoi last year, which marked the enlargement of ASEM to 38 members.

The emphasis yesterday and today has been on reinforcing the Asia-Europe dialogue on global challenges, and on how to best address issues of common interests together.

Deepening and consolidation of the ASEM process were furthermore at the centre of our discussions.

Deepening - by defining areas of substantive cooperation and by improving the efficiency of ASEM institutional mechanism.

Consolidation - by underlining the open character of the ASEM process and by considering Asian regional integration and the EU enlargement.

The discussions that we had today were extremely important for the ASEM process. In Hanoi last year we received a mandate from our heads of states and government to provide suggestions for the next Summit on areas of substantive co-operation, the improvement of ASEM institutional mechanism, as well as the issue of future membership and enlargements.

The European Union firmly believes in the need to concentrate our work on a limited number of areas, where our forum can effectively provide added value. Likewise it is important that we give guidance to the Ministers of the Economy and Finance for re-launching the ASEM economic pillar and provide a follow up on the Hanoi Declaration on Closer ASEM Economic Partnership."

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Last update of this page on : 09-05-2005