BANGKOK, 20 November 2017 – “We look forward to enhancing cooperation with the EU in sustainable development, including through promoting complementarities between the ASEAN Vision 2025 and SDGs,” stated  Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh, in his policy statement at the Inaugural High-Level ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development: Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held on 17 November in Bangkok.

SG Minh also expressed appreciation for the EU’s support to ASEAN through projects in sustainable use of peat lands and haze mitigation and in biodiversity conservation and management of protected areas.

The inaugural dialogue focused on cross-cutting development catalysts towards the achievement of multiple SDGs such as promoting gender equality; green growth and circular economy; sustainable consumption and production; and addressing the challenges of climate change.  A roadmap on ASEAN-EU Sustainable Development Cooperation would be explored.

The new ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes were also launched at the dialogue. They include the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) to further strengthen EU-ASEAN policy dialogues and the flagship programme on economic and trade connectivity in support of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 (ARISE Plus). ASEAN and EU will also promote women migrant workers’ rights and opportunities in ASEAN.

The event gathered Ministers and senior representatives of the Member States of ASEAN and of the European Union, the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat. It was co-chaired by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai of Thailand who is ASEAN Coordinator on Sustainable Development Cooperation and Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, and Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.