Published on: 30 May 2011
Posted on: 30 May 2011
by SHADA ISLAM -- (Brussels) - Asian and European foreign ministers meet in Budapest June 6-7 for talks on new security challenges, including cyber crime, food security, water management and piracy at sea.
Hungary, the current presidency of the 27-nation European Union and host of the meeting, said foreign ministers would look at cooperation in tackling energy, food and water security and supply as well as disaster-preparedness and management.
Other questions on the agenda include terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and organised crime as well as the movement of people fleeing crisis zones.
ASEM foreign ministers will review recent developments in the Middle East, Europe and Asia and look at efforts to reform the international financial system in the wake of the economic and financial crisis.
Economic governance and the role of the G8 and G20 group of countries will be discussed.
“We should also discuss how we can bring ASEM closer to our citizens and civil society, and how we can improve the visibility of our partnership,” Hungarian officials said.
With Norway and Switzerland having applied for ASEM membership – and Bangladesh and other countries also considering such a move – ministers will consider further enlargement of ASEM with a view to preparing the ninth ASEM summit to be held in Laos next year.
Launched in 1996 at a summit in Bangkok, ASEM has emerged as the prime platform for Asia-Europe talks. In addition to foreign ministers meetings, ASEM partners have also met recently to discuss cooperation to tackle food security challenges and education. --
ASEM has 48 partners, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Commission.
Shada Islam is a journalist in Brussels with a long experience of EU-Asia relations. This is a part of a series of articles being published by Ecorys Research and Consulting, as member of the COWI Consortium which is under contract to the European Commission, to look at different aspects of the multi-faceted Asia-Europe relationship. This article represents the views of the author and does not commit the European Commission in any way.