ASEAN, UN reaffirm commitment to enhance cooperation

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JAKARTA, 10 April 2018 - The Secretariats of ASEAN and the United Nations held a regional Secretariat-to-Secretariat (S2S) Meeting at ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta yesterday, reaffirming their commitment to enhance cooperation.

The S2S Meeting reaffirmed the need for strong engagement between ASEAN and the UN. It was agreed that substantial progress had been achieved across all areas of their partnership, and that intensifying of political and technical engagement should be prioritised.

The meeting focused on exploring further opportunities for the implementation of the first ASEAN-UN Plan of Action (2016-2020), including cooperation in peace and security, addressing transnational political-security challenges, counter-terrorism and preventing violent extremism, as well as human rights and humanitarian developments.

The meeting also emphasised the importance of regional economic cooperation and integration and the complementarities between the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 that provide opportunities for scaling up joint action. Participants agreed that technical cooperation in specific areas including cross-sectoral cooperation for resilience and the promotion of synergy between the United Nations ‘Prevention’ agenda and the ASEAN ‘Culture of Prevention’ should be further developed.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of having a network of effective and mutually reinforcing regional and global mechanisms that are responsive to the crisis and challenges.

Mr. Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations, also underscored the importance of ASEAN-UN cooperation. He stressed, “The Secretary-General’s ‘Vision for Prevention’ and the UN reform agenda require expanded and deepened cooperation with regional partners. We share common concerns and common threats, which require common responses and common solutions.”

The meeting was co-chaired by Dato Lim Jock Hoi and Mr. Jenča. Participation from the ASEAN Secretariat included its Deputy Secretaries-General and senior staff members. The United Nations delegation included Ms. Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mr. Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and Ms. Valerie Cliff, Deputy Regional Director of UNDP for Asia and the Pacific as well as regional representatives from UN agencies in the region.

An interface meeting between the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives and the UN Senior Delegation took place earlier today. The next S2S Meeting is expected to take place in September this year at the margins of the UN General Assembly.