The book entitled the “13th Asia-Europe Summit: Multilateral Cooperation for a Resilient, Sustainable, and Rules-Based Future for ASEM” was launched here this morning under the presidency of H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the National Committee for Organising the 13th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM13).

In his opening remarks at the launching ceremony, H.E. Prak Sokhonn said this book, a joint publication of the Royal Government of Cambodia and ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia), captures the ASEM’s ambition to navigate the organisation through the common opportunities and challenges in today’s fast-changing world towards attaining an inclusive, sustainable, resilient and rule-based future for ASEM.

It mainly highlights the pathway to reinvigorate multilateralism for a better and stronger Asia-Europe cooperation, he continued, pointing out that the book contains well thought through articles covering from Political and Physical Connectivity, Economic and Financial Cooperation, Institutional and People Linkage, to Sustainable development. It also provides useful ideas to move ASEM to its next Summit.

“I am confident that this publication will serve as one of ASEM13’s significant achievement: a publication that can provide valuable inputs for all ASEM Partners and relevant stakeholders to effectively work together to transform ASEM into a dynamic, resilient, and sustainable community for the peoples of Asia and Europe in the next 25 years and beyond,” he underlined.

During the past 25 years, H.E. Prak Sokhonn added, ASEM has made remarkable institutional transformation and has dealt with complex regional and global issues that require close cooperation between countries of the two continents. However, ASEM has never had to deal with such unprecedented social, economic and health crisis of this global magnitude. The COVID-19 pandemic proves that the theme of the ASEM13 Summit, “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth” is more relevant than ever before. The impacts of COVID-19 have reached every part of our societies and its recovery will surely be a long and difficult process. The future is uncertain and this book has highlighted collective actions to promote multilateralism in a more effective way in order to move towards a post-pandemic recovery.

“The hosting of the ASEM13 Summit during this pandemic is even more a greater opportunity for Cambodia to promote this summit as a platform for all ASEM Leaders to address regional and global challenges such as public health, climate change, WTO reforms, youth employment, gender issues, to just mention a few,” he said.

The emphasis on the connectivity between Asia and Europe has always been there, so it is time to turn these commitments into actions. Ultimately, the two continents need to focus on a common approach to enable the Asia-Europe’s connectivity to bridge our two continents, in all its aspects, the Cambodian DPM stressed.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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