Skip to content

Minister Dr Cerar at ASEM meeting on climate change, sustainable development and women's role

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Miro Cerar is taking part in the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting under the title Asia and Europe: Together for Effective Multilateralism. During the debate on enhancing the multilateral system and consolidating ASEM partnership on global challenges, he outlined Slovenia’s outlook on multilateralism and its efforts relating to climate change, sustainable development and gender equality.

Hosted by Spain on 15–16 December 2019, the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is chaired by the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles. The Meeting is focused on enhancing the multilateral system and on ASEM’s contribution to this process, including sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia.

In his address, Minister Cerar underlined the need for cooperation on tackling global challenges and for strengthening multilateralism. He pointed to Slovenia’s commitment to an effective multilateral system based on the UN and its values, the rule of law and human rights. He referred to the role of women as a key element in preserving peace and promoting sustainable development. Perceiving climate change as one of the most serious global challenges of our time, the Minister called for prompt and joint implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The first plenary session titled Revitalising the multilateral system – advancing the ASEM partnership on global issues featured an exchange of views on climate change, management of the oceans and marine litter and plastics, gender equality and the role of women in peace and security. In their addresses, the ministers stressed the need for international cooperation and for responding jointly to global challenges. Strong support was voiced for the Paris Agreement and the need for sustainable ocean management.

The second plenary session on Strengthening sustainable connectivity between the EU and Asia focused on the role of ASEM process in strengthening connectivity, on the WTO, the rules-based trading system and on the 2030 Agenda. 

The participants exchanged views on climate change, gender equality, the role of women in peace and security, ASEM's contribution to enhancing connectivity, the WTO and the rules-based trading system, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, fight against terrorism, non-proliferation, maritime and cyber security, including topical international issues, the situation in the Korean peninsula, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and the Middle East peace process.

Numerous side events were held, including the 9th Model ASEM organised by ASEF (Asia-Europe Foundation), with a view to enhancing cooperation between young people from the two continents. It provided an outline of various aspects of diplomatic relations, negotiations and international relations. Minister Cerar met with the two Slovenian youth representatives who attended the Model ASEM.

ASEM was established in 1996 as a Europe-Asia cooperation platform. It has since become a prominent international forum for regular informal dialogue on topical regional and global issues and on enhancing the connectivity between the two continents.

The next major summit of the ASEM process will be hosted by Cambodia in November 2020.

Chair’s statement agreed by foreign ministers at the 14th ASEM Meeting