The 6th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM6) at the level of Heads of State or Government took place on 10-11 September 2006 in Helsinki, Finland. It was a historically significant event as it also marked the 10th anniversary of the ASEM cooperation forum. ASEM6 was the largest ever meeting at the level of Heads of State or Government hosted by Finland. The overarching theme of the Summit was “10 Years of ASEM: Global Challenges – Joint Responses“, reflecting both the joint objectives and global developments.

The priorities of the Helsinki Summit were:

  1. Support for the multilateral international system
  2. Addressing security threats (including global health threats such as the avian flu)
  3. Questions related to energy security and climate change
  4. Support for a conclusion of the negotiations on the WTO/DDA
  5. Questions relating to globalisation, competitiveness and structural changes in the global economy
  6. Intercultural dialogue
  7. The 10 years of ASEM cooperation was also be one of the meeting’s cross-cutting themes. The Summit submitted proposals for further development of the ASEM cooperation and to adopt a Helsinki declaration on the Future of ASEM.

The Finnish-Japanese joint research report, entitled ASEM in its Tenth Year: Looking Back, Looking Forward, provided background for the discussion and decisions on the future of the process.