JAKARTA, 20 November 2013 –The 1st ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting was held at the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Latsamy Keomany, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Lao PDR, and H.E. Mr. David Taylor, Ambassador of New Zealand to ASEAN.

The meeting highlighted the implementation progress of the ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action (2010-2015) and the Four Flagship Initiatives. Both sides agreed to strengthen joint efforts to effectively implement the priority areas for 2013-2014. A number of potential areas for future cooperation were proposed by both sides such as food and energy security, agricultural development, standard and quality control, climate change and disaster management, SMEs development, and education, among others. The meeting also emphasized the need to align ASEAN-New Zealand cooperation with the development of the ASEAN Community until and beyond 2015 so that New Zealand’s support to ASEAN in this endeavor could be well planned and timely delivered.

ASEAN welcomed New Zealand’s new strategy to strengthen and deepen its engagement with the Association as reflected in the paper “New Zealand’s ASEAN Partnership: One Pathway to Ten Nations” launched by the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 12 July 2013. New Zealand reaffirmed the commitment to continue its support for ASEAN regional integration and connectivity, and to encourage businesses and the private sector in New Zealand to further engage with the region.

Further, the meeting discussed preparations for the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit in 2015 and commemorative activities to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Dialogue Relations. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, the New Zealand delegation, and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat were also in attendance.