The Fifth ASEM Summit Adopts Three Joint Documents
On October 9, 2004, the Fifth ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit that was held in Hanoi adopted 3 joint documents, namely, the Chairman's Statement, the Hanoi Declaration on Closer Asia-Europe Economic Cooperation, and the ASEM Declaration on Dialogues among Cultures and Civilizations.
The Chairman's Statement points out Asian and European leaders believe dialogues and cooperation should be enhanced on the basis of mutual understanding, equality and mutual benefit so as address global challenges with multilateral means and collective actions. They reiterate their firm support for effective multilateralism and for the establishment of a just, fair and law-based international order with the United Nations at the core.
The Chairman's Statement condemns the recent series of terrorist attacks and stresses the need for adopting comprehensive means to fight against terrorism, enhancing international cooperation through collective efforts and enabling the United Nations to play a leading role in the process. In the meantime, the UN Charter and basic rules in international law should, in particular the principles of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and respect for human rights and the rule of law, should be upheld.
The Chairman's Statement indicates that Asian and European leaders agree ASEM should be kept open, gradual and informal. They reiterate the importance of full participation by leaderships at the highest level and the need for promoting balanced cooperation in the three pillar areas, enhancing political dialogue, driving economic cooperation and pushing forward cooperation in other areas.
The Hanoi Declaration on Closer Asia-Europe Economic Cooperation points out dialogues on key trade investment areas, capacity building, and policy transparency and coordination should be enhanced and new initiatives on the facilitation of trade and the promotion of investments should be further explored and formulated. Information exchanges should be conducted in such areas as monetary and fiscal policy, financial market, debt management, structural readjustment and anti-money laundry so as to establish a sound financial system. In the area of energy cooperation, possibilities of cooperation in areas of mutual concern should be explored on a voluntary and commercialized basis. It is encouraged to combine multilateral trade negotiations and open regionalism. Exchanges with the business community should be prioritized so as to give full play to the Asia-Europe Business Forum as a bridge.
The Declaration on Dialogues among Cultures and Civilizations points out cultural diversity is the common heritage of mankind that advocates inclusion, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation rather than mutual exclusion. ASEM covers both eastern and western cultures and civilizations. The favorable geographical conditions and long-term communication have laid a good foundation for the enhancement of dialogues and cultural exchanges. Asian and European leaders welcome the achievements of the First ASEM Meeting on Cultures and Civilizations as well as the recommendations adopted by the ministers and reiterate that consistent measures should be taken to enhance dialogues of cultures and civilizations. Asian and European leaders appreciate the efforts of continuing dialogues of cultures and civilizations on the political level.
With the first convention in Bangkok, Thailand in 1996, ASEM Summit is held in Asia and Europe alternatively every two years. Apart from the summit meeting, ASEM also includes meetings of ministers of foreign affairs, finance, economy and culture where cooperation in a particular field is consulted on a regular basis.