Part of the ASEM Process

ASEM has the benefit of being a privileged process where regional developments can be addressed in a non-confrontational way.

Activities within the ASEM political pillar focus on international crises, security, multilateralism, environment and human rights, where they further the dialogue involving Asian and European policymakers. High-level meetings in the form of Summits, Foreign Ministers’ Meetings and Senior Officials’ Meetings have developed a genuine exchange on political issues of concern to ASEM Partners.


ASEM uses diplomacy, dialogue and political will to encourage the implementation of protocols, agreements and UN Security Council resolutions relating to nuclear non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the Middle East situation, terrorism, migration and maritime security.

  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation and WMD
    The complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula is of particular importance to ASEM in order to assure peace, security and stability for the region and the world. Another focus is political dialogue and implementation of rules to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.
  • Security and Counter-Terrorism Cooperation
    ASEM Leaders emphasise the need to combat terrorism by following international conventions, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.
  • Migration
    Stressing the need to address the root causes of irregular migration, ASEM Leaders underline the need for a multilateral, multilevel and comprehensive approach to address migration and its many related areas — including human rights, human trafficking, refugees, and criminal finance.
  • Maritime Security
    Addressing maritime security includes discussion on freedom of navigation, overflight, and measures to combat piracy. ASEM Leaders are united in their belief that progress in these areas should be based on principles of international law, the UN Charter and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Middle East Situation
    Although Middle East countries are not members of ASEM, the situation in this region is of key concern. ASEM Leaders regularly affirm their commitment to peace and security in the Middle East through active dialogue and efforts to enact and implement resolutions, protocols and agreements that lead to long-term progress and stability.

ASEM promotes sustainable development across various important issues, including climate change, the environment, gender equality and the empowerment of women.

  • 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    ASEM is working towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    ASEM Leaders have pledged their support to the UN in its review and follow-up process of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through establishing the ASEM Sustainable Development Dialogue (ASEMSDD). This encourages the sharing of best practices and experiences among ASEM partners across all the issues of common interest such as climate change, the environment, gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • Climate Change
    ASEM is fully committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change. ASEM members will pursue its implementation through protocols that reflect equitable responsibilities in view of different national circumstances.

  • Environment
    The ASEM Environmental Ministers’ Meetings and Asia-Europe Environment Forum gather leaders from the political, non-governmental and civil society field and foster dialogue as a basis for future action on environmental issues.

    Following ASEM commitment to the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development in the execution of its own programmes that promote greater trade and investment between Asia and Europe – the 2020 Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) Annual Conference focused on the topic of SDG 12 and circular economy by exploring various strategies for sustainable consumption and production.
  • Gender Equality & Women/Girls Empowerment
    The ASEM dialogue on women’s participation and empowerment looks for concrete action in areas such as access to technology, conflict prevention and resolution and economic development, areas where the equal involvement and leadership of women is crucial.

The ASEM Process fosters international dialogue based on the respect for the UN Charter and the rule of law, cooperation among members and partnerships with other groups. Ad hoc meetings and consultations, such as those involving national directors-general, mayors and governors, in addition to regularly scheduled meetings are designed to promote ASEM’s effective multilateral approach to solving key issues.

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the basis of ASEM’s dialogue on human rights. ASEM recognises that such dialogue is related to other areas such as migration, terrorism and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Leaders discuss these issues taking into account human rights principles.

The Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights serves as a unique platform which brings together ASEM Leaders and civil society leaders to share perspectives, build confidence and promote mutual understanding.

Connectivity cuts across all three of ASEM’s pillars, as well as across the issues of common interest. It includes physical links such as economic trade and transportation, digital connectivity in the areas of information and communications technologies, as well as human connectivity through tourism, the creative industries and people-to-people links. The ASEM Pathfinder Group of Connectivity is a series of ASEM meetings undertaken to promote connectivity in these areas. ASEM has created a digital platform called the ASEM Sustainable Connectivity Portal. This resource offers connectivity- and sustainability-related data to help policymakers, researchers, businesses and other stakeholders gather insights into the state of connectivity within ASEM.

Latest ASEM Summit & ASEMFMM Updates

The most recent 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) took place in October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Titled “Global Partners for Global Changes”, it reaffirmed the group’s commitment to multilateralism, continued open dialogue between the two regions, and acknowledged ASEF’s work to build people-to-people connections. Read more in the Chair’s Statement

The 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMFMM14) took place in December 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Titled “Asia & Europe – Together for Effective Multilateralism”, it “underlined the value of ASEM as a building block for strong and effective multilateralism and the rules-based international order”. Read more in the Chair’s Statement