(KPL) The ninth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) summit started at the National Convention Center yesterday afternoon under the theme “Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity”.
President Choummaly Sayasone delivered a key-note speech at the opening ceremony after Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong gave a warmest welcome to all heads of states and government, heads of delegations and distinguished delegates attending the 9th ASEM summit and the sincere congratulations to Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland as new members of ASEM.
“I am confident that the discussions at this high level forum during the 9th ASEM Summit will bear a very successful outcome and achieve the objective of promoting peace, cooperation and development under the theme: ” Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity”, President Choummaly said at the ceremony.
He said the 9th ASEM Summit will discuss and exchange lessons learnt and experiences as well as explore appropriate solutions to minimize the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, fostering a robust growth, in responding to common aspiration of all nations in guaranteeing better living conditions and lasting prosperity for people.
“As a partner of ASEM, the Lao PDR has always supported the Asia- Europe cooperation and exerted its utmost efforts to meet the ASEM’s goals of moving forwards towards a bright future direction. Having consistently embraced the foreign policy of Peace, Independence, friendship and Cooperation for Development, the Lao PDR is determined to strengthening and broadening relations, friendship and development cooperation with all nations in Asia and Europe,” he said.
Attending the meeting are leaders from 19 Asian states — China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN Secretariat — and the 27 members of the European Union (EU) as well as the European Commission.
During the two day meeting, the leaders are expected to discuss issues such as economy and finance, energy security, water resources management and food security as well as cultural exchanges between the two continents.
Finally, leaders will look to the future of ASEM and adopt the ASEM work programme for the next two years (2012 – 2014).
At the end of the summit, participants are expected to approve the “Vientiane Declaration on strengthening partnership for peace and development”, reaffirming the commitment of the ASEM partners to peace, security, stability and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In addition, they will also adopt the summit communique (“Chair’s statement”).
Source: KPL Lao News Agency
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