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ASEM Agrees to Issue the Beijing Declaration

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) issued a Chair's Statement on Saturday, agreeing to issue the Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development.

The statement said the leaders held extensive and in-depth discussions on issues of realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the sustainable development targets agreed in Johannesburg, strengthening energy security cooperation, jointly addressing the challenge of climate change, and environmental protection, including water resources, forests and air, and improving social cohesion under the framework of sustainable development.

Leaders stressed the importance of mid-term review of the MDGs, and underscored the need for ASEM members to further deepen international development cooperation to meet the IADGs, particularly the MDGs, in a timely manner.

Leaders expressed their support for strengthened international cooperation on climate change that could help assess impacts and vulnerabilities, build adaptive capacities, and support adaptation actions.

Leaders also emphasized the need for the sustainable management of forest and ocean as well as other territorial, coastal and marine ecosystems.

Leaders stressed the need to focus on development needs and environmental sustainability in the energy sector. They emphasized the need for Asia-Europe cooperation to ensure the availability of environmentally sound energy at a reasonable price to support economic growth and that the latest technology should be intended to increase energy efficiency.

Leaders recognized that the impact of globalization is increasingly being felt by the people of ASEM members, and share a common interest in strengthening the social dimension of globalization and improving social cohesion.

To this end, leaders unanimously agreed to issue the Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development.

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 7) was held in Beijing on 24 and 25 October 2008. The Meeting was the first gathering of the leaders of 45 members of ASEM since its second round of enlargement.

(Xinhua News Agency October 26, 2008)

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