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“Big Picture” for EU and South-east Asia

  • March 18th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

asean-interior-2-resize.jpgThe Nuremburg Declaration breaks some new ground.

When Foreign Ministers from the European Union and ASEAN ended their meeting at Nuremburg, in Germany, on Thursday, the ASEAN Secretary General, Ong Keng Yong, joined others in pronouncing it a milestone.

He said it had produced a “big picture” for a new world grouping, with a formal free-trade agreement to be negotiated without delay, and Europe signing the TAC – ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Co-operation, used for settling regional disputes.

As well, the gathering gave a priority commitment to tackling climate change, a preoccupation of the European Union since its formal undertaking earlier this month, to work for drastic cuts in greenhouse gas pollution.

The Ministers pronounced themselves broadly in agreement on several points detailed in their “Nuremburg Declaration”:

1. Commit to promoting more ASEAN – EU dialogue including at highest levels.

2. Assistance from Europe in the ASEAN Community project, e.g. its Economic Community program.

3. Step up co-operation in Political and Security affairs; Economic Management; Energy Security and Climate Change / Environment; Socio-Cultural relations; and Development.

Key points:

• Enhanced dialogue on promoting peace ands security in the Asia Pacific region with ASEAN as the driving force.

• Closer co-operation in combating terrorism, trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking, sea piracy, money laundering, cyber-crime and related transnational crime.

• Co-operation on disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and recognition of ASEAN’s nuclear weapons free zone in South-east Asia.

• Use the Trans-regional EU-ASEAN Trade Initiative in economic co-operation including realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

• Launch negotiations on free trade (FTA) and provide priority support to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Development Agenda.

• Strengthened cooperation in multilateral frameworks including the WTO.

• Priority support for comprehensive agreements against arms proliferation.

• Promote energy security and sustainable energy though a policy dialogue on energy.

• Develop technologies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

• Work on climate change particularly reducing greenhouse emissions, consistent with the Kyoto Protocol.

• Co-operation on environmental conservation and protection, sustainable development and natural resource management, including sustainable management of forest resources.

• Meet UN standards on biodiversity.

• Jointly address the spread of diseases including HIV/AIDS, SARS and avian influenza.

• Co-operate at regional and global levels on disaster management.

• Promote people-to-people contacts.

• Welcome EU commitments in support of ASEAN development co-operation programs.

Membership of ASEAN: Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

Membership of the EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.

Reference: Nuremburg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership; Germany 2007 – Presidency of the European union, Nuremburg, 15.3.07. (17.3.07)