The United Nations-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meeting was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York today. ASEAN and the United Nations reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening their Comprehensive Partnership towards the fulfilment of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore and 2018 Chair of ASEAN, Vivian Balakrishnan, and was attended by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; the President of the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés; the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN; Secretary-General of ASEAN, Lim Jock Hoi; and senior officials of ASEAN and the United Nations.
The meeting took note of the joint report by the ASEAN and United Nations Secretariats on the ASEAN-United Nations Comprehensive Partnership for the period from September 2017 to August 2018, and welcomed the significant progress made across a broad range of activities under the first five-year Plan of Action (2016‑2020), which was adopted in September 2016. The meeting welcomed efforts by ASEAN sectoral bodies and the United Nations in developing concrete and specific action lines, and encouraged ASEAN and the United Nations to continue to facilitate the effective implementation of the Plan of Action following the institutionalization of the ASEAN-United Nations Secretariat-to-Secretariat mechanism in 2017.
The meeting noted the importance of ASEAN-UN cooperation, particularly in cross-sectoral areas, and reaffirmed its commitment to step up cooperation in areas contributing to the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in a complementary manner, in areas such as minimizing adverse impacts of climate change, alleviating poverty, tackling inequalities, narrowing the development gap and promoting equitable development and women’s empowerment, energy and infrastructure connectivity and technical solutions for energy efficiency, promoting and greening micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture, education, health, food and nutrition, enhancing social security and promoting decent work for all. In addition, the meeting confirmed the importance of ASEAN-United Nations technical cooperation to localize the Sustainable Development Goals at the subnational and local level.
The meeting recognized the importance of further enhancing cooperation in preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention, including in support of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. The United Nations appreciated the contribution of ASEAN member States in support of United Nations peace operations, and also welcomed the endorsement of the Action for Peacekeeping Agenda by all ASEAN member States. The meeting agreed on the importance of comprehensively combatting transnational organized crime. The meeting also noted the importance of collaboration between relevant ASEAN centres, including the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre and the ASEAN Research and Training Centre for Space Technology and Applications, and relevant United Nations technical agencies. The meeting noted the importance of innovation and technology to improve the lives of our peoples and welcomed the ASEAN Smart Cities Network initiative. The meeting noted the significance of the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III and Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025. The meeting also welcomed efforts to improve the coordination between the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management and the United Nations to enhance disaster risk-reduction and management.
The meeting acknowledged the continued importance of multilateralism and regionalism in meeting global challenges. The United Nations reaffirmed its continued support for ASEAN community‑building and ASEAN centrality amidst the evolving regional architecture. The meeting also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern in areas such as regional peace and security, counter-terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism, sustainable development, as well as disaster management, among others. In addition, the Meeting reaffirmed the importance of adherence to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The meeting also looked forward to the ASEAN leaders’ gathering to be held on 11 October in Bali, Indonesia.