Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has suggested the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) define sustainable development as an important content of collaboration in coping with global challenges, with people playing a central role.In his speech at the second plenary session of the 10th ASEM Summit, which opened in Milan city of Italy on October 16, the Vietnamese Government leader said that within more than one decade of the 21st century, human beings have faced extremely severe global challenges, including the most serious economic-financial crisis in over 100 years, the earthquake-tsunami calamity in Japan, Haiyan super typhoon in the Philippines, and now the deadly Ebora virus in Africa.
These challenges have seriously impacted on the world’s politics, socio-economy and security, and hindered efforts in maintaining peace, stability, economic recovery and residents’ life, he said.
Therefore, he noted that the current top priorities are to complete the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and build a post-2015 development agenda, and accelerate new global agreements on climate at the Paris Conference and on natural disaster mitigation cooperation at the Sendai Conference.
ASEM should have a global-level development vision and an inter-sectoral, innovative and creative approach to food, water and energy security in the face of more complex and unpredictable climate change, the PM stressed.
It also needs to step up joint efforts to reduce disaster risks and promote post-calamity recovery as the two continents are now hardest hit by natural disasters like super typhoons, sea level rises, droughts and floods, he added, citing that 70 percent of global disasters hit the Asia-Pacific region and two thirds of victims are living in Asia.
The Vietnamese leader urged ASEM to effectively coordinate activities and initiatives within the framework of the forum and other mechanisms, with a focus on supporting development gap narrowing, and subregional and regional cooperation of ASEM members, as well as improving the capacity of developing countries.
PM Nguyen Tan Dung affirmed that responding to global challenges is a crucial part in efforts to build a dynamic, self-reliant and united ASEAN community as well as in the bloc’s cooperation with partners.
At the unofficial meeting earlier the day, ASEAN and EU leaders stated their determination to look forwards a strategic partnership which will focus on economic and trade relations and coordination in dealing with global challenges, he said.
A cooperation agreement inked between Vietnam’s Ben Tre province and Romania’s Tulcea province during the meeting as a vivid example for the practicality of the Asian-European partnership, added
The leader highly valued ASEM members’ support for Vietnam’s initiatives during this summit, including an ASEM workshop on the sustainable management of water resources, an ASEM youth week on poverty problems and a meeting on green skills aiming for comprehensive and sustainable growth.
The 10th ASEM Summit will continue on October 17 with a number of activities, including a meeting on “Enhancing dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia and future direction of ASEM”.
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