The ASEM leaders pose for a photo (Photo: VNA)

Ulan Bator (VNA) – State and government leaders attending the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit have vowed to make their contributions to the world’s efforts in realising the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework of Disaster Risk Reduction.

During the first plenary session of the 11th ASEM Summit that opened in Ulan Bator, Mongolia on July 15, which marks the forum’s 20th anniversary, they agreed to prioritise activities to reduce poverty, ensure social welfare, and cope with climate change and natural disasters.

They also concurred to support efforts in maintaining food security, managing trans-border water resources, developing human resources, offering vocational training for the youth, and giving support in finance, technology transfer and capacity building for developing countries.

In his opening remarks, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj highlighted the important achievements that the forum has made since it was set up two decades ago in Bangkok, Thailand.

ASEM has become an important dialogue and cooperation mechanism and is the largest scale meeting between Asia and Europe, he said, adding that the summit is a chance for members to review the 20-year development path of the forum, while determining the position of ASEM in shaping world structure, and for mapping out their partnership orientation.

Meanwhile, President of the European Commission and other leaders from ASEM as well as the coordinating members of Myanmar, Slovakia and New Zealand, also underscored the need to increase cooperation and connectivity to create a new momentum for Asia-Europe cooperation.

Participants also expressed sympathy to the French Government and people on their losses caused by the July 14 attack, committing to work closely against terrorism.

At the second plenary session, the leaders agreed that connectivity is the focus of ASEM cooperation across infrastructure, institution and human resources and will set up a pioneering group in the work within two years.

Themed: “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity,” the event will run until July 16, with a retreat on strengthening three key ASEM cooperation pillars.-VNA