EU, Asia agree on finance, climate change, Myanmar

October 25th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 25 (DPA) Leaders of 16 Asian and 27 European Union (EU) nations issued three documents Friday and Saturday setting out their joint positions on the global financial crisis, climate change and a range of other issues.The leaders were joined at the seventh biannual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) by EU President Jose Manuel Barroso and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, representing the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean).

The 16 Asian nations represented at the summit were China, India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and the 10 Asean members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Below are extracts from the key paragraphs of the three ASEM joint statements:

1. Chair’s statement of the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting:

Leaders of ASEM members held in-depth discussions on important international and regional issues of common concern and interest under the overarching theme of “Vision and action: towards a win-win solution”.

Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening multilateralism and a multilateral international system with the UN at its core based on international law.

Leaders exchanged views on developments in Myanmar. They expressed their unanimous support for the good offices role of the UN Secretary General.

They also encouraged the Myanmar government to engage all stakeholders in an inclusive political process in order to achieve national reconciliation and economic and social development.

In this regard, they called for the lifting of restrictions placed on political parties and early release of those under detention.

Leaders expressed their appreciation of the dialogue carried out by ASEM partners through the informal ASEM seminars on human rights, held annually since 1998. They underlined their commitment to cooperate in the promotion and protection of human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Leaders affirmed their commitment to promote global health security including developing health-care systems and local infrastructure to improve public health in the developing world and reiterated their determination to combat health threats such as HIV/AIDs and avian influenza.

2. ASEM statement on the international financial situation:

They (ASEM leaders) expressed concern over the impact of the spreading international financial crisis on the global economy and in particular, the severe challenges it poses to financial stability and economic development of countries in Asia and Europe.

Leaders believed that authorities of all countries should demonstrate vision and resolution and take firm, decisive and effective measures in a responsible and timely manner to rise to the challenge of the financial crisis.

Leaders expressed full confidence that the crisis could be overcome through such concerted efforts.

Leaders agreed that IMF (International Monetary Fund) should play a critical role in assisting countries seriously affected by the crisis, upon their request.

3. Beijing declaration on sustainable development:

ASEM partners are willing to strengthen cooperation in a mutually beneficial manner and work towards win-win solution so as to make positive contribution to sustainable development.

We welcome the decisions of the Bali Action Plan, containing all the elements for an ambitious, effective and comprehensive agreed outcome for long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012 for strengthening international cooperation on addressing climate change.

Recognising the importance of tackling climate change, we affirm that developed countries should continue to show strong leadership and take measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments.

We affirm the critical role of technology, the need for technological cooperation and technology transfer to developing countries.

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