The ASEAN and United Nations and will continue to strengthen cooperation and institutional ties within the framework of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between the two organisations signed in 2011.

The statement was made during a meeting between UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh at the ASEAN Secretariat on 26 June.

Addressing the event, the ASEA Chief praised Assistant SG Jenca’s visit to the ASEAN Secretariat shortly after assuming office in May as a reflection of the importance of ASEAN to the UN.

Meanwhile Jenca pledged to work with the ASEAN Secretariat to expand and deepen ASEAN-UN cooperation.

The two sides exchanged views on ways to strengthen ASEAN-UN ties, including a review of the comprehensive partnership and streamlining various cooperation mechanisms.

Both agreed to consider formulating a long-term plan for ASEAN-UN cooperation, taking into account ASEAN Community Building Post-2015 and the UN's Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recognising the ASEAN's important role in promoting regional peace and stability, Jenca affirmed the UN will continue to cooperate with the bloc in various areas of mutual interest under the political-security pillar, including strengthening cooperation to address transnational threats such as maritime security, violent extremism, international terrorism and human trafficking.

Minh expressed his appreciation for the UN and its agencies for the valuable experience and expertise extended to the ASEAN Secretariat over the past years, noting that institutional collaboration is an important pillar of ASEAN-UN cooperation.

The two sides discussed several initiatives to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the ASEAN Secretariat to address new responsibilities and future challenges.

ASEAN-UN cooperation began in the 1970s and has since rapidly expanded. ASEAN and its agencies now have working relationships with more than 50 UN agencies. The Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the UN, signed in 2011, serves as an overarching framework for cooperation between the two organisations.-VNA