PRESS RELEASE

            The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) held their 10th Joint Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York today.  The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. U Nyan Win and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, on behalf of their respective organizations.

            The co-Chairmen welcomed the Foreign Ministers and Representatives of ASEAN and ECO member states and thanked them for their interest in strengthening relations between the two organizations.  They noted the convergence of interests in important areas which would make the relationship mutually beneficial.  Both regional organizations could gain from sharing of experiences and good practices, and would further intensify cooperation to that end.

            The Secretaries-General of ASEAN and ECO reviewed past contacts and the progress made in relations in the light of the previous Joint Ministerial meetings.  They expressed satisfaction at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations in January this year.  Cooperation in trade and investment, tourism, development of small and medium sized enterprises and also in narcotic control would add greater substance to relations.

            Both sides emphasized the need for early implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.  An effective Work Programme would be prepared for that purpose.  Necessary modalities would be worked out in consultation between the two Secretariats.

            The Ministerial meeting also expressed interest in initiating joint projects in the agreed areas of mutual cooperation.  The subject would be discussed further by ASEAN and ECO officials.

New York

26 September 2006.