Following the success of the inaugural High-Level Dialogue on Sustainable Development between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU), which took place in November 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand, the European Commission (Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development) co-chaired the second Dialogue with Thailand this February. These Dialogues on Sustainable Development between ASEAN and the EU began following a decision of the 21st ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting which aimed to establish a dialogue between the two regions on the topic.

The second Dialogue, which took place on the 10th of February in Brussels, brought together senior officials from both the EU and ASEAN, as well as representatives from relevant sectoral European Parliament committee chairs, the OECD, relevant UN agencies, the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue and representatives from the European and ASEAN private sectors and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. The day-long event aimed to bring visibility and political support to the sustainable development dimension of the ASEAN-EU cooperation, and provided an opportunity to reaffirm the shared commitment between ASEAN and the EU and their continuing partnership.

The topics of the thematic discussion that took place throughout the day were the same topics discussed during the first Dialogue, in 2017, so as to ensure continuity and facilitate stocktaking:

  • Regional integration in promoting inclusive and sustainable development
  • Gender equality and women’s economic empowerment
  • Climate change, green growth and green financing

AETS was present at the event, represented by Mélanie Huitric, with a stand for the ongoing project, Enhanced ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE Plus). The project, which has been running since 2017, focuses on further extending the EU’s commitment in supporting the ASEAN region in trade facilitation, building on the progress and success of the predecessor project, ARISE. The ARISE Plus project is managed by AETS, AECOM, ARTEMIS and Fratini Vergano.

Photo by Simon Pugh Photography