New York, USA, 24 September 2011
The Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) held their 11th Joint Ministerial Meeting on 24 September, 2011, in New York, on the margins of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers/Representatives of the Member States of ASEAN and the ECO and co-chaired by H.E. HOR Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and H.E. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, on behalf of ASEAN and ECO, respectively. The Secretaries-General of the two Organizations were also present in the Meeting.
The Meeting, while reviewing the progress on the implementation of its decisions taken at the 10th Joint Ministerial Meeting, exchanged views on the current status of bilateral cooperation between ASEAN and ECO. The two sides emphasised the need to render the relationship more productive and meaningful by accelerating the implementation of the Work Programme and the MoU jointly developed by the two Organizations. In their remarks at the outset, the Co-Chairs welcomed the holding of the 11th ASEAN-ECO Ministerial Meeting and noted that the Meeting offered a constructive forum for exchange of views on matters of mutual interest concerning ASEAN-ECO partnership and also to maintain momentum for strengthening their relationship. The Co-Chairs also highlighted the potential of cooperation between the two Organizations and resolved to translate it into tangible actions in the spirit of friendship, cooperation and mutual benefits.
With a view to further deepening cooperation between the two Organisations, the Meeting was of the view that the convening of a biennial ministerial meeting to be held alternately in an ASEAN and ECO Member State in addition to the biennial ministerial meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA would be useful to set the strategic vision of cooperative relationship between the two organisations to monitor status of implementation of their directives and also to give further guidance for strengthening the ongoing relationship between ASEAN and ECO. The Meeting also agreed to convene a senior officials meeting with the participation by all member states of both Organisations, and organise a business forum with the participation of private sector from member states of both Organization. The Meeting also agreed to encourage the economic ministers of ASEAN and ECO to meet as well.
The two sides also encouraged the accreditation of the Ambassadors of all member states to ASEAN and to the ECO respectively as well as regular interaction among the Permanent Missions of the ASEAN or ASEAN New York Committee and ECO Member States in New York to discuss issues of common relevance in the Agenda of the United Nations.
The Meeting directed the Secretaries-General of the two Organizations to take early steps, through regular consultations, for practical activation of cooperation in the areas of Trade and Investment, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, private sector engagement, Narcotics Control and Tourism as envisioned in the MoU and the Work Programme as well as in other areas of mutual interest. ASEAN and ECO are also looking forward to the promotion of Inter-regional Connectivity.
The Foreign Ministers expressed their gratitude to the Co-Chairs for the excellent organisation of the Meeting. They also conveyed their appreciation to the two Secretariats for their efforts and contributions towards the success of the Meeting.