Sustainable Development
ASEM 5 leaders discuss int'l developments, global challenges
Heads of 39 delegations to the on-going fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Ha Noi focused their discussion on the topic of 'International Developments and New Global Challenges' in their first closed session on Friday morning.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, who chaired the session, underlined that the session would further consolidate the commonality of views among ASEM members about major issues in the world and would lay down guidelines for the enhancement of ASEM cooperation, thereby contributing to the consolidation of the world peace and security and enhancing the role of multilateral institutions.

The leaders exchanged views on such major issues as peace, security and stability, multilateralism, the role of the United Nations, international terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and non-traditional threats.

They shared concern over complicated political and security developments in the world since ASEM 4. In this connection, a number of leaders raised the issues of Iraq, the Korean Peninsular and Taiwan. They held that these developments have presented both opportunities and challenges to peace and development of all countries and agreed that peace and cooperation remained a prevailing trend in the world.

Asian and European leaders highlighted international terrorism as a serious threat to peace, security and sustainable development. They therefore agreed to further intensify ASEM cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
The leaders emphasized the need for close coordination to deal with new global challenges, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organised crimes, drug trafficking, money laundering, infectious diseases, including HlV/AIDS, SARS, environmental degradation, illegal immigration.

They were of the view that to cope with these new global challenges, it is necessary to have a common approach through extensive and intensive dialogues, culturally as well, and close cooperation based on international laws, mutual understanding, equality and mutual benefit. The leaders agreed that the United Nations should play the leading role in preserving international peace and security as well as in addressing the pressing issues as noted in the Millennium Declaration. They emphasised that the UN, including the Security Council, should be reformed so that its noble tasks be effectively carried out.
The leaders also agreed on the need to further strengthen cooperation between Asia and Europe, thus contributing to creating a favourable peaceful and stable environment for development in the two continents and the world over

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Economic integration

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VIETNAM - An Active Member of ASEM

In pursuit of a foreign policy of openness, multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations, Vietnam has been actively integrating itself into the region and the world. Having become a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July 1995 and being aware of the potential for cooperation in investment, trade, science and technology, and human resources development between Asia and Europe, Vietnam has made contribution to giving birth to Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and was one of the 26 founding partners of the process at the inaugural Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 1) held in Bangkok, Thailand in March 1996.


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