On 10 February 2020, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, co-chaired the High-Level Segment of the 2nd ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development with H.E. Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, in Brussels, Belgium. The Dialogue was also attended by representatives from ASEAN and EU Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Commission, as well as other international financial institutions and international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB), and International Labour Organization (ILO).
In his opening remarks, the Foreign Minister underscored three key points on “how to” further enhance sustainable development cooperation between ASEAN and the EU, namely (1) promoting a people-centred development approach, particularly in the areas of human capital development and empowerment of women and young girls; (2) fostering partnership that aims towards a green and innovative path; and (3) promoting multi-stakeholder engagement through the Pubic-Private-People Partnership (PPPP) approach.
During the thematic discussions, co-chaired by Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and Mr. Koen Doens, Director-General of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, the participants of the Dialogue shared experiences on implementation of the SDGs and exchanged views on how to take forward sustainable development cooperation between ASEAN and the EU. The Dialogue recognised the crucial role that partnership plays in advancing sustainable development agenda and stressed the need for ASEAN and the EU to enhance their cooperation on green growth and climate change, including the promotion of circular economy and combating marine litter. Furthermore, the Dialogue also highlighted the importance of a multi-dimensional approach to fully empower women and young girls, who are the agents of change in the implementation of the SDGs. To this end, it was recommended that ASEAN and EU can utilise existing platforms and mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD) and other ASEAN Centres, to further cooperation on sustainable development. The Dialogue also agreed to convene the ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development on a regular basis.
At the Dialogue, the EU also announced two initiatives to promote cooperation with ASEAN on green economy, including (1) the EU’s contribution to the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) and (2) the cooperation project between the EU and the ACSDSD on sustainable consumption and production (SCP).