On 20 April 2021 H.E. Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Ambassador of Thailand to Belgium, participated in a virtual meeting between the ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC) and the Director-General of the Department for International Partnerships of the European Commission. Representatives from relevant EC agencies, as well as the Mission of the EU to ASEAN in Jakarta, also participated. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Vu Anh Quang, Ambassador Vietnam to Belgium, and Mr. Koen Doens, the Director-General for International Partnerships
During the meeting, both sides exchanged views on strategies to strengthen ASEAN-EU cooperation on development issues with the view of achieving tangible results, which is an important element in driving forward ASEAN-EU Strategic Partnership. Both sides discussed further cooperation in order to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, including cooperation to ensure adequate supplies of vaccines, as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, the meeting discussed other potential areas to enhance cooperation, such as digital economy, including cyber security, climate change, connectivity at the regional and people-to-people level, circular economy, trade and investment with the aim of realizing the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement, and human development.
On this occasion, Ambassador Wannamethee, also representing Thailand in its capacity as the ASEAN-EU coordinator on sustainable development, addressed the meeting on ways and means to promote ASEAN-EU cooperation, including on Bio-Circular Green Economy (BCG Model), which is a national agenda of Thailand, as well as Thailand’s role in driving forward sustainable development. Most recently, on 31 March 2021, the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs of Thailand and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP) co-organized the 5th High-Level Brainstorming Dialogue on Enhancing Complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development virtually. A representative from the EU participated as a panelist in the said meeting. Moreover, Ambassador Sek stated Thailand’s readiness to the host the 3rd ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development this year.