ASEM dialogue and cooperation should be linked to SDGs hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source:

Luxembourg (VNA) - Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son has suggested that dialogues and cooperation among Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) members should be closely connected with sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The official was speaking at the first plenary session of the 12 th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM12) that kicked off in Luxembourg on November 5. The session themed “ Climate Change, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management” was held after the opening ceremony.

The Deputy FM laid emphasis on poverty reduction, narrowing the development gaps, achieving social welfare and gender equality fulfillments, and responding to global challenges.

He underlined the need for ASEM to have a new mindset as well as a general, inter-sector and long-term approach to link up ideas, projects and relevant working groups.

Regular dialogues on sustainable development are the vivid manifestation of ASEM’s sound approach and vision, he said.

It is a must to pay more heed to jointly managing and mitigating risks caused by natural disasters in tandem with responding to climate change, Son noted, suggesting the establishment of an information network and early warning systems of the world and ASEM in particular.

The official called for innovations and technological applications, as well as public involvement in preventing and mitigating natural disaster consequences and promoting post-disaster building capacity.

To further contribute to ASEM’s joint efforts, the Deputy FM proposed the organisation of the “ASEM conference on natural disaster management and mitigation: innovations and technologies for sustainable development and self-resilience” in Vietnam in 2016 which received warm response from many ASEM member countries.

Son also suggested the combination of activities and initiatives within ASEM with other mechanisms in a bid to boost global partnerships for sustainable development.

He stressed efforts to narrow development gaps and boost cooperation in the sub-regions and regions that house the ASEM members, especially the Mekong-Danube cooperation.

As one of the world’s leading farm produce suppliers, Vietnam is among the 10 countries hardest hit by climate change and sea level rise, he said.

Thus, Vietnam wishes to cooperate with other ASEM members in joint efforts to cope with climate change and natural disasters for a sustainable and safe future, he affirmed.

Delegates at the event said 2015 is an important year to act globally for peace, the planet, prosperity, peace and cooperation.

They agreed to accelerate the ASEM Dialogue on Sustainable Development and stressed the need for Asian and European ministers to foster collaboration to reach a new global agreement on climate change at the upcoming 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference (COP 21).

On the sidelines of the ASEM FMM12, Deputy FM Son held bilateral meetings with Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Ambassador Zhang Yan, and Dubravka Jlejic Markovic , head of the Croatian delegation.

Jonathan Taylor said the EIB stands ready to cooperate with Vietnam in such areas as infrastructure, especially the construction of metro lines in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and climate change.

Zhang Yan affirmed the ASEF’s willingness to partner with Vietnam in implementing activities within ASEM.

Meanwhile, Dubravka Jlejic Markovic said Croatia hopes to join hands with Vietnam in bomb and mine clearance efforts, navy, and peace-keeping missions, and suggested the two sides soon reach an agreement on double taxation avoidance.-VNA