21st ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Notes Good Progress
VIENTIANE, 14 February 2014 – ASEAN and New Zealand noted good progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration for ASEAN-New Zealand Comprehensive Partnership (2010-2015) and the Four Flagship Initiatives on education, disaster management, young business leadership and agriculture diplomacy. Recognising the untapped potentials for cooperation in SMEs development, technology and innovation, food productivity, safety and sanitary, ASEAN and New Zealand agreed to enhance their efforts to realise cooperation in these areas.
ASEAN and New Zealand held their 21st Dialogue yesterday in Vientiane, Lao PDR, to review and discuss future direction of their relations. The Dialogue was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR and H.E Mr. John Allen, CEO and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand.
The two sides committed to accelerate business-to-business interactions, connectivity, people-to-people contact, tourism, and disaster management, as well as to jointly address global challenges such as terrorism and transnational crime, climate change, food and energy security, among others.
ASEAN appreciated New Zealand for its continued support for ASEAN’s regional integration and community building, including assistance in narrowing the development gap and building capacity for the ASEAN Secretariat. New Zealand reiterated its support for ASEAN centrality and its core role as a regional institution in the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand also thanked ASEAN for supporting its engagement with the region over the past years and looked forward to working together with ASEAN to extend and deepen the long-standing partnership. As H.E. John Allen put it, New Zealand “want[s] to do more, think[s] it can do more, and will do more” towards this goal.
The two sides discussed preparations for the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit in 2015 and commemorative activities to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Dialogue Relations. The Meeting noted the Timelines for Conclusion of the Joint Outcomes Documents of the Commemorative Summit in 2015 and the list of proposed commemorative activities.
New Zealand will host the 22nd ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue in Wellington in February next year.