Cambodia to host 13th Asia-Europe Summit

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures as he joins an online meeting of the ASEAN-China special summit at Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. – An Khoun SamAun/National Television of Cambodia via AP

Cambodia will be hosting the two-day Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit later this week, focusing on the post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery and strengthening multilateralism.

The chair has not invited Myanmar’s Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to attend, following the ASEAN decision on October 15th to invite a senior non-political official instead. Myanmar chose to skip the summit. At the ASEAN-China commemorative summit on November 22nd, Myanmar was a no-show again.

Representatives from 50 countries in Asia and Europe will take part in the virtual summit, hosted by Phnom Penh on November 25th and 26th, to discuss a myriad of issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and the global trade system. The president of the European Council and the Secretary General of ASEAN will also participate.

During the two days of meetings, two statements will be issued, namely the chair’s statement on strengthening multilateralism for shared growth and the second on COVID-19 recovery efforts.

In the chair’s statement, seen by Thai PBS World, the leaders express their deep concerns over the situation in Myanmar and confirmed their strong support for ASEAN’s efforts to de-escalate the crisis. They also called on all parties in Myanmar to engage in dialogue and return to the path of democratic transition.

Regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the ASEM leaders called on North Korea to bring about a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation. They also exchanged views on efforts to address humanitarian needs and human rights situation in North Korea, including the immediate resolution of abductions.

Thai PBS World has learned that the section on the situation in the South China Sea is still under discussion. Some ASEAN members would like to add the current efforts by ASEAN and China to negotiate an early conclusion of an effective and substantive code of conduct in the area.

In the joint statement on COVID-19, which will be issued on Thursday and has been seen by Thai PBS World, the ASEM leaders reconfirmed their commitment to helping each other through cooperation and collaboration, in order to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient. It emphasises that the Asia-Europe partnership is a source of strength and inspiration in the global COVID-19 recovery.

In addition, the ASEM leaders also recognised the importance of equipping people with knowledge and skills, to be more competitive and resilient, while providing access to equitable quality education at all levels.

The summit was originally scheduled to be held in November 2020, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.


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