It is my pleasure and an honor to take part in the 2nd Brainstorming Dialogue.
Implementing the Agenda 2030 is a top priority for Germany and fostering prosperity and regional integration in Southeast Asia matters greatly to us. As a development partner to ASEAN, we are highly interested in learning about our partners’ goals and experiences and this 2nd High Level Dialogue offers an excellent opportunity for that.
With great interest und much appreciation, I have read the report on the complementarities between the ASEAN Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda. The endeavor to dovetail regional integration efforts with global sustainable development efforts is innovative and highly commendable.
To start off, let me seize this opportunity to highlight in particular one of the common values the report identified as a common denominator underpinning future actions, the value of such actions being “built around peace, stability and justice”.
Germany fully shares this value which is a principle and a goal at the same time. In times of shifting global and regional dynamics and power relations affecting our security architecture in Southeast Asia as well as in Europe, it is more important than ever to uphold said principle.
For more than 50 years now, ASEAN has contributed to ensuring peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia. By adhering to the principles of constructive multilateralism ASEAN has become an anchor of stability and key to a rule-based order in Asia-Pacific.
We, Germany and the EU, share the belief that upholding these principles is the best way to sustain peace, stability and justice and in this we see the EU and ASEAN as “natural partners”. While we differ with regard to the degree and objectives of regional and institutional integration, we both work towards the same goal: Making sure that, in an ever more complex world, our regions remain strongholds of peace and stability, thus creating an environment conducive to economic prosperity and a prerequisite to achieving sustainable development and leaving no one behind.
An additional layer to this cooperation is the development partnership between ASEAN and Germany, by which our bilateral relations have truly reached a new stage.
Just this month, the 2nd ASEAN-Germany Joint Development Cooperation Committee successfully convened and adopted Practical Areas in which our cooperation will move forward.
Formally, it is a young partnership, but it is already rich in substance. Building on the existing successful cooperation, we have already worked intensively with many sectoral bodies and have ventured into new areas of cooperation such as maritime law, higher education and climate change mitigation.
The 17 SDGs set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are by nature interconnected, interdependent and, in many cases, transnational, as they reflect the complex and interconnected challenges our world faces.
We need strong and focused international cooperation in order to achieve this ambitious global agenda with its vision of a transformative shift.
The Sustainable Development Goals provide an impetus for using synergies between different actors as well as between existing visions and strategies. These visions and strategies should be compared carefully, implemented jointly and recalibrated where necessary, to fully contribute to our common goals.
Your research shows that there is a close fit of priorities between the 2030 Agenda as our overarching global framework and the ASEAN Vision 2025 as your regional set of goals and priorities.
The proposed complementarities agenda focuses on links between goals, on identifying trade-offs and, more importantly, positive correlations between these, and finally on devising good policies and instruments to capitalize on these possible mutual wins.
At the same time, it shows quite clearly, where ASEAN’s international partners can contribute to this process.
ASEAN features dynamic and fast growing economies, but also a large number of people still living in extreme poverty; it features high biodiversity and ecological riches but also high vulnerability to climate change and environmental degradation. We count on ASEAN to address these disparities and stand ready to do so jointly.
Together with UNESCAP Germany is committed to further strengthening agenda-based planning in ASEAN member states.
In your identified priority areas such as access to sustainable energy and water, green and sustainable infrastructure and improved resilience, planning is key because decisions taken today will have an impact well beyond 2025 or even 2030.
Infrastructure built today will very likely outlast these visions by 25 to 30 years. It will impact the quality of life in Asia’s growing mega-cities for the next 50 years. It will determine how sustainable they are.
The same holds true for the goal of achieving sustainable and inclusive economic development. With policies to incentivize greening of enterprises, money invested in this area will be an investment in the future competitiveness of our economies. Europe and ASEAN can become role models in this regard.
Germany, as ASEAN’s development partner, supports measures pertaining to the flagship areas identified in said report. We cooperate within the German-ASEAN Energy Partnership, as well as regarding sustainable forestry and agricultural value chains. We have been working on mitigating climate change in urban settings, on reducing marine plastic pollution, and on contributing to developmental planning in ASEAN member states – just to name a few areas of cooperation.
Germany finally welcomes and appreciates the proposal made by Thailand to launch a Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue. Such a center could add an important dimension to achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by better coordinating and integrating our respective existing and future actions. We are very much looking forward to that.
We are proud to be an official partner to these, to your endeavors and we aim at being a reliable partner up to 2030 and beyond.
Thank you for your kind Attention.