Bangkok, 17 November 2017 – Thailand, as the Country-Coordinator on ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations and ASEAN Coordinator on Sustainable Development Cooperation, successfully hosted the inaugural “ASEAN – EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development: Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” on 17 November 2017 in Bangkok, to provide visibility and political support to the sustainable development dimension of the ASEAN-EU cooperation. The Dialogue was also in commemoration of the ASEAN-EU 40th anniversary of collaboration.
As Co-Chair of the meeting, together with H.E. Mr. Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, H.E. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, highlighted the importance of partnership in the evolution of ASEAN-EU relations and partnership as an important mechanism under SDG17. Apart from the Dialogue to put sustainable development cooperation as a key agenda in the ASEAN-EU enhanced partnership, “sustainable development cooperation will also benefit from other modalities of partnership such as South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation involving third parties for either developed countries or international organs”, said the Foreign Minister.
In the statement delivered by UNOSSC Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific to the Dialogue, Mr. Jorge Chediek, the Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and the Director of UNOSSC observed that “In line with the principle of mutual benefit under South-South and triangular cooperation, both ASEAN and EU have benefited from collaboration in sharing of knowledge, capacities, and expertise.” He also highlighted the efforts at individual country level of ASEAN and EU in support of South-South and triangular cooperation, including in SDGs localisation.
According to the Co-Chairs’ Press Statement, “Building on the commitments of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of 2015 and in line with the new European Consensus on Development adopted in 2017, the participants exchanged views on traditional and innovative engagement modalities that could be explored in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including triangular and South-South cooperation.”
The Dialogue also focused on three thematic areas; the role of regional integration in promoting economic growth and narrowing development gaps, which adheres to a people-centered approach and to ensure that no one is left behind; addressing the challenges of climate change and promoting green growth; and gender mainstreaming in the sustainable development process.
Ministers and senior representatives of the Member States of ASEAN and the European Union, H.E. Mr. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, and invited international organizations including the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.