JAKARTA, 30 June 2015- The UN and ASEAN will continue to strengthen cooperation and institutional ties within the framework of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between the two organisations signed in 2011. The importance of the ASEAN-UN relations was reaffirmed during the meeting of the recently appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, H.E. Miroslav Jenča and H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, on 26 June at the ASEAN Secretariat. Both sides agreed to work towards realising the full potential of the Partnership.

SG Minh warmly welcomed Assistant Secretary-General Jenča and thanked him for visiting the ASEAN Secretariat soon after assuming office in May 2015. This reflected the importance the UN accorded to ASEAN, and in particular, Mr Jenca’s commitment to work with the ASEAN Secretariat to further expand and deepen ASEAN-UN cooperation.

SG Minh and Mr Jenča had a good exchange of views on the way forward to further strengthen ASEAN-UN relations, including a review of the Comprehensive Partnership and streamlining the various cooperation mechanisms. Both sides agreed to consider formulating a long-term plan for ASEAN-UN cooperation, taking into account ASEAN Community Building Post-2015 and the UN’s Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recognising ASEAN’s important role in promoting regional peace and stability, Mr Jenča looked forward to further collaborating with ASEAN in various areas of mutual interest under the political-security pillar, including strengthening cooperation to address transnational threats such as maritime security, violent extremism and international terrorism, trafficking in persons and people smuggling.

Secretary-General Minh expressed appreciation to the UN and its Agencies for the valuable experience and expertise extended to the ASEAN Secretariat over the past years. Noting that institutional collaboration is an important pillar of ASEAN-UN cooperation, SG Minh and Mr Jenča discussed several initiatives to further strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the ASEAN Secretariat to meet new responsibilities and future challenges.

ASEAN-UN cooperation started in the 1970s and has since expanded rapidly. ASEAN and its Sectoral Bodies now have working relationships with more than 50 UN Agencies. The Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the UN, signed in 2011, serves as an overarching framework for cooperation between the two organisations.