Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Attended the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar news3

Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Attended the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar

          On 20 November 2017, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended the 13th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, under the theme ‘Strengthening Partnership for Peace and Sustainable Development’ in Nay Pyi Taw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The meeting emphasised two areas including (1) Synergising peace and Sustainable Development, and (2) the 3rd Decade of ASEM: Making ASEM Partnership More Dynamic and Connected.
          H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, hosted and chaired the meeting, which was attended by foreign ministers and high-level representatives from 51 countries from Asia and Europe, High Representative of the EU / Vice President of the European Commission, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN. 
          The meeting discussed the role of ASEM in strengthening peace and sustainable development partnership amid emerging challenges such as the transition to the digital age, regional and global security, and the dynamics of the inter-connectedness of Asia and Europe in the three pillars of ASEM: political-security, economic, and socio-cultural.
          The meeting supported the agenda to strengthen cooperation in areas such as sustainable development under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the promotion of greater connectivity, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), trade and investment facilitation, education, disaster management, climate change, renewable energy, maritime cooperation, irregular migration, counter-terrorism, and cyber security. 
          The Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered a statement on peace and sustainable development, stressing that sustainable peace stems from sustainable development. Thailand attaches great importance to sustainable and inclusive development, focusing on resolving problems at the root cause of conflicts. Moreover, Thailand gives importance to human and social development and emphasises that peaceful and sustainable development needs to focus on the people. When people live decent lives, they thrive, and in turn nation prospers. 
          The Foreign Minister proposed that “sustainability” be applied to the three pillars of ASEM. On political-security cooperation, more dialogues should be focused on creating greater understanding. Under economic cooperation, more effort should be placed on encouraging connectivity and coordination on rules and regulations on trade and investment. On socio-cultural aspect, more balanced growth with environmental and social protection with people-centered approach should be promoted. The Foreign Minister also praised that the ASEAN – EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development held on 17 November 2017 in Bangkok was the right direction in creating cooperation toward the SDGs.
          In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs had bilateral meetings with heads of delegations from the EU and ASEM countries including Germany, Sweden, Hungary, China, Estonia, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, to strengthen relations and cooperation with ASEM and its member countries. The Foreign Minister also met with two Thai student participants in the 8th Model ASEM, an event organised annually by the Asia – Europe Foundation in conjunction with the ASEM Summit and ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and participated in by 51 member countries.
          ASEM is a platform for Asia and Europe to discuss issues of mutual interest in order to strengthen, enhance, and foster understanding in the three pillars, namely (1) political-security (2) economic and (3) social, cultural, educational, and other areas. ASEM comprises of meetings and activities at all levels including government, civil society, and the private sector. The EU will host the 12th ASEM Summit in Brussels in 2018, and Spain will host the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2019.