The 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting opened in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on November 20. (Source: VNA)

 Nay Pyi Taw (VNA) –The 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM13) opened in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on November 20 in preparation for the 12th ASEM Summit slated for October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is one of the four delegation heads invited to deliver a speech at the event’s first session under the heading of “Synergizing peace and sustainable development.”

Themed “Strengthening partnership for peace and sustainable development,” the two-day meeting includes three sessions, during which the ministers will discuss measures to enhance cooperation in areas of shared concern, as well as partnerships in implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs), combating climate change, mitigating and managing natural disasters, ensuring food, energy and water resource security, and narrowing development gap.

They will also seek ways to make the ASEM partnership more dynamic and connected in such realms as people-to-people exchange, transport, tourism, culture, education, trade and investment, along with comparing notes on other regional and international issues.

Since 1996, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has become an important dialogue mechanism between the two continents, bringing together 53 members, including four permanent members of the UN Security Council and 12 members of the group of the world’s 20 largest developing and emerging markets (G20). ASEM makes up 68 percent of population and contributes about 55 percent of the GDP and nearly 60 percent of trade globally.

As one of the founding members of ASEM, Vietnam has actively participated in the Asia-Europe cooperation, with the most noteworthy being the country’s hosting of the fifth ASEM Summit in 2004 and other ASEM ministerial meetings.

Vietnam has proposed 22 initiatives itself and coordinated with other members to raise 26 initiatives, which all have been materialized. Such initiatives mainly focus on culture, health care, transport, food and energy security, climate change, science-technology, tourism, economy, green growth and social welfare.

The country has participated in five out of 16 cooperation groups of water resource management, climate change response and vocational training, education and human resource development, and technological connectivity.

At the end of the event, the ministers are scheduled to adopt a Chair’s Statement of the ASEMFMM13, an action programme for 2017-2019 and new initiatives, including Vietnam’s initiative on the ASEM conference on joint actions in response to climate change to realise SDGs.-VNA