His Majesty leaves for Milan to attend 10th ASEM talks
HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is scheduled to attend the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) here from October 16 to 17.
The monarch is expected to arrive today, a day ahead of the meetings.
The 10th ASEM Summit, in which ASEM Heads of State and government meet to set ASEM’s priorities, will be chaired by the President of the European Council and hosted by the Government of Italy.
These summits are held alternatively in Asia and Europe every two years.
In 2012, the monarch attended the Ninth ASEM Summit in Vientiane, Laos.
ASEM was created in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia.
The theme of the 10th ASEM Summit is “Responsible Partnership for Growth and Security”, which reflects the growing scope of the relationship between the EU and Asia.
The meeting will provide a key opportunity to convey a strong message of commitment to Asia, it added.
ASEM said in its website that in line with the theme, both Europe and Asia should act responsibly, abiding by their joint commitment to environmental protection, social dialogue, eradicating poverty, promotion and protection of human rights, among others.
ASEM should be increasingly moving towards a broader-based partnership to address jointly global and regional challenges, it added.
During the meetings, leaders will look towards sustainable growth, which means strengthening mutual trade and investment.
Other issues to be discussed revolve on security, including maritime security, non-traditional security, social security, food security and nuclear security, among others.
The ASEM website said the European Union will emphasise its ambition to be seen as a constructive and reliable player in the evolving regional security architecture.
Prior to the start of the meetings on October 16, leaders will have the opportunity to engage in bilateral meetings.
The opening ceremony of ASEM will begin at approximately 2pm, followed by the first plenary session.
In the evening, His Majesty is scheduled to attend an official dinner hosted by Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano.
On October 17, a retreat session on enhancing dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia and the future direction of ASEM will take place.
This year, two new partners will join the ASEM Summit –Croatia and Kazakhstan.
The Brunei Times