India to host ASEM foreign ministers’ meet in 2013

June 7th, 2011 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) In a step that indicates its increased global role, India Tuesday said it will host the meeting of foreign ministers of the 46-nation Asia-Europe (ASEM) forum in 2013. It also announced its decision to hike its financial contribution to the inter-regional forum.

“India has been an active participant of ASEM through the last almost five years. It, therefore, gives me great pleasure in announcing India’s offer to host the next meeting of the ASEM foreign ministers in 2013,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said at the 10th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Godollo, Hungary.

Krishna also announced a 20 percent increase in India’s contribution to the forum.

“We will now be providing $120,000 per annum towards ASEF activities,” he said.

The two-day ASEM meeting that began Monday focused on increasing international collaboration in dealing with a cluster of non-traditional security threats ranging from terrorism and piracy to food and energy security, climate change, disaster relief and management, illegal migration and infectious diseases.

Set up in 1996, ASEM, which represents over half of the global population and accounts for more than half of the global GDP, held its first summit meeting at Bangkok.

A forum of 46 Asian and European countries, ASEM also comprises two international organisations, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union, for expanding political and security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation.

India has been participating in ASEM meetings since 2007. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh participated in the seventh ASEM Summit, for the first time, at Beijing in October 2008. The next summit will take place in Vientiane (Laos) in October 2012.

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