WELCOMING REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA KHALTMAAGIIN BATTULGA AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 12TH ASEM SUMMIT
Esteemed Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to congratulate the European Union, in particular H.E. Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, for the successful organization of the 12th ASEM Summit.
My sincerest appreciation also goes to the Federal Government of Belgium for warmly hosting the delegations of the ASEM partners to its beautiful city of Brussels with ancient history.
In today’s world, the role of regional cooperation has been steadily increasing in resolving the changes and challenges faced by the international community and strengthening international cooperation and partnerships.
It is well evident that ASEM has been an efficient mechanism for consensus-based cooperation and dialogue since 1996. Thus, the very cooperation between Asia and Europe broadened significantly within the three pillars of ASEM: political, economic and socio-cultural.
In other words, for the last 20 years, ASEM has served as “an exclusive venue” to its Asian and European partners to discuss their common problems and to identify common solutions and opportunities. In addition to its political and security features, ASEM is now distinguishable among other mechanisms for its principles and concepts, including “people-to-people communications”, “connectivity” with its “hard and soft aspects”, and “the tangible areas of cooperation”. These simply embody the ASEM Brand of Cooperation.
Since 2006, Mongolia has been actively participating in the activities of Asia-Europe Meeting, and successfully organized the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting under the theme “Partnership for the Future through Connectivity” in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
We are pleased that “Chair’s Statement” and “Ulaanbaatar Declaration” adopted during the 11th Summit became important documents for developing political negotiations, economic and socio-cultural cooperation, improving their practical impacts, and expanding connectivity into broader fields in the third decade of ASEM.
In addition, ASEM Pathfinder Group on Connectivity established during the 11th ASEM Summit has made great achievements in terms of agreeing on the definition of connectivity and defining the tangible areas of cooperation in the field of connectivity (TACC) in the result of its six successful meetings held in the last two years. We believe that the recently established Senior Officials’ Connectivity Group (SOCG) will continue the notable works of the previous group and further develop cooperation fields.
We deem that the 12th ASEM Summit in Brussels under the theme “Europe and Asia: Global Partners for Global Challenges” is a successful continuation of the Ulaanbaatar Summit in terms of its content.
At this Summit, we will discuss a range of important issues from maintaining peace and security and boosting trade and investment, to connectivity, to sustainable development and climate action. Therefore, I am confident that at the end, we will adopt substantive outcome documents containing realistic suggestions and solutions for further development of the dialogue and cooperation within the ASEM framework.
There is an old Mongolian proverb “No decision is wrong that has been discussed by many”. We highly value the role of stakeholders in the ASEM process, including the discussions with parliamentarians, youth, editors, business, labor, and impact of the cultural festival.
It has been widely comprehended and recognized that in the 21st century, every development aspect should be people-centered. Therefore, although it is important to develop mutually beneficial cooperation at all levels between Asia and Europe, I would like to emphasize the importance of promoting the people-to-people interactions and maintaining and developing the ASEM traditions that allow both cultural and business representatives to meet and develop their ties.
In the context of ASEM, if we could acknowledge each other through art and culture and develop peace and harmony between religions and civilizations, the political and economic pillars will be even further strengthened.
I wish every success to the 12th ASEM Summit and congratulate and wish success to the Kingdom of Cambodia as well – the host of the next 13th ASEM Summit.
Thank you all for your attention.