JAKARTA, 14 December 2015 — “ASEAN and Norway would forge substantial partnership cooperation for maximum benefits to both sides.” This was stressed by H.E. Morten Høglund, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway in his keynote address at the First ASEAN-Norway Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AN-JSCC) held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 11 December.

Norway was conferred Sectoral Dialogue Partner status by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers at their meeting in August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The establishment of this formal partnership paves the way for closer ASEAN-Norway cooperation including mutually agreed projects and programmes that will benefit ASEAN Member States.

The AN-JSCC was co-chaired by H.E. Stig Traavik, Ambassador of Norway to ASEAN and H.E. Hirubalan V P, Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for the ASEAN Political-Security Community, and attended by members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and their representatives. Deputy Minister Høglund took the opportunity of his presence in Jakarta to grace the opening session of this meeting during which he expressed Norway’s commitment to further strengthen and deepen ties with ASEAN.

The AN-JSCC is the cooperation mechanism to consider and approve projects and programmes within the framework of this partnership. The Inaugural AN-JSCC, beyond adopting its term of reference, also discussed modalities and processes to carry the partnership forward as well as priority cooperation areas. The meeting agreed that this partnership will be guided and work within the framework of the Joint Statement on ASEAN-Norway Partnership adopted in August 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and the recently adopted ASEAN Community vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

DSG Hirubalan V P had a bilateral meeting with Deputy Minister Høglund in the evening of the same day to discuss the outcomes of the Inaugural AN-JSCC Meeting as well as to exchange views on subjects of mutual interest.