UN, ASEAN Conclude Joint Declaration on Climate, Economy, Energy, Food and Disaster Cooperation

UN, ASEAN Conclude Joint Declaration on Climate, Energy, Food and Disaster Cooperation19 November 2011: The UN Secretariat and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have concluded a Joint Declaration on a Comprehensive Partnership on the occasion of the fourth ASEAN-UN Summit, held on 19 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Declaration, recommending that the Asian and Pacific region assume global leadership on issues of international concern, including climate change, sustainable development, access to food and energy, human rights and the empowerment of women. He said sustainable development is the “number one imperative” of the partnership between the UN and ASEAN, noting that Asia understands the interconnection between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health and food and nutrition security. He said the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) would provide an opportunity for Asia to "show the way" on sustainable development. He also cited the importance of women's empowerment for development.

The Joint Declaration includes sections on: food and energy security; climate change; disaster risk reduction; and economy and development, among others. On food and energy security, the UN and ASEAN commit: to strengthen cooperation in addressing related challenges in conjunction with natural resources management, including land, water and energy resources, and the growing nexus between food and energy prices and their volatility, climate change and bioenergy policy; as well as to explore ways to promote food and energy cooperation to ensure greater security and sustainability of food and energy, supplies in keeping with the rising demand for both, including assurance of freedom from hunger, adequate nutrition, enhanced connectivity in conventional energy resources, exploitation of unconventional energy resources, energy efficiency improvement, development of renewable energy and universal access to energy services in the region.

On climate change, the UN and ASEAN commit: to enhance cooperation towards strengthening international efforts, recognizing the central role of the UNFCCC to address climate change and respond to its impacts on socio-economic development, health, environment and water resources, including activities on building adaptive capacities and supporting mitigation and adaptation actions as well as incorporating such actions into national development strategies and policies in line with sustainable development; and to pursue the realization of priorities set out in the Bali Road Map, including the Bali Action Plan, to ensure the continued implementation of international efforts in addressing climate change to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention. They also recognize the needs of developing countries for financing, technology transfer and capacity building.

On disaster risk management, the UN and ASEAN commit to: continue close collaboration to jointly respond to catastrophic events and to strengthen coordination on disaster risk management, including as part of rehabilitation and reconstruction process, with a view to building disaster-resilient nations and safer communities in the region; support cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States and with relevant UN agencies on disaster risk management; mainstream disaster risk reduction into national development and recovery policies; and formulate and implement risk reduction measures that link climate change adaptation and key sectors, such as productive, infrastructure education and health sectors, as well as urban development to ensure sustainable and inclusive development, as incorporated in the Hyogo Declaration and Framework for Action.

On sustainable development, the UN and ASEAN commit to: enhance dialogue to maintain a global economy that is more inclusive, equitable, sustainable and resistant to economic crises and natural disasters, as well as to increase cooperation to address the multiple impacts of global crises on the most vulnerable groups of society. [UN Press Release] [Joint Declaration] [Ban's Opening Statement]