The Inaugural High-Level ASEAN – EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development: Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals was successfully convened at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok on 17 November 2017. The Dialogue was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, and Mr. Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. The event was also attended by Mr.Le Luoung Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.
The Dialogue reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening ASEAN – EU Enhanced Partnership, notably in the year 2017 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN – EU Dialogue Relations and recalling the outcomes of the 21st ASEAN – EU Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok in October 2016.
The Dialogue underscored the following points:
(1) Promoting sustainable development through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
(2) The EU and ASEAN already have a longstanding and successful development cooperation partnership advancing ASEAN – EU cooperation at bilateral and regional levels, as well as partnership in multilateral fora on key global issues of sustainable development;
(3) The EU programme on promoting women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in ASEAN, promoting green growth and circular economy, including environmentally sustainable and climate resilient cities, sustainable consumption and production, and addressing the challenges of climate change. Recognizing regional integration processes as a tool for narrowing the development gap were also discussed; and
(4) The two sides agreed to follow-up on this first Dialogue meeting by exploring concrete development cooperation initiatives in the areas discussed, developing a roadmap on ASEAN – EU Sustainable Development Cooperation in line with the ASEAN – EU Plan of Action 2018 – 2022, and using ongoing as well as newly launched regional programmes, in particular the new E-READI policy dialogue facility platform. In this context, the idea of the development of an ASEAN centre to promote sustainable development studies and dialogue could be explored.
The next high level ASEAN – EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development is scheduled to be convened in 2019