2nd Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit
Thailand hosted the 2nd Asia Dialogue Cooperation Summit where leaders and high-level delegates from 34 member countries have participated, under the theme “One Asia, Diverse Strengths,” which reflects ACD’s goal to mobilise diverse potentials and strengths to enhance cooperation and create a sustainable Asian community. The ultimate goal is prosperity, stability and sustainability of the peoples of Asia.
The joining of ACD leaders in Bangkok at this Summit was a momentous occasion, as the conception of ACD took place here in Thailand back in 2002. The ACD leaders have pushed forward concepts in line with policies and interests of Asian nations, aiming towards the building of Asian community. The highlighted issues are as follows:
First The leaders, for the first time, agreed to develop Asia in the next 14 years through the endorsement of ACD Vision for Asia Cooperation 2030. The objectives of the document include sustainable development and the building of Asian community, emphasizing six pillars of cooperation i.e. (1) Connectivity (2) Science, Technology and Innovation (3) Education and Human Resources Development (4) Interrelation of Food, Water, and Energy Security (5) Culture and Tourism (6) Promoting Approaches to Inclusiveness and Sustainable Development
Second The leaders agreed to transform the Vision into action. In this connection, the Summit endorsed the Bangkok Declaration and the ACD Blue Print 2017-2021. The ACD Blue Print is a recommendation for our member countries to adopt as guidelines for implementation and concretization of the ACD six pillars of cooperation.
Thailand expressed its appreciation to Member States which are Prime Movers, including China and UAE (Food and Energy Security), Republic of Korea (Science, Technology and Environment) and Iran (Culture). We target that Working Groups of the 6 priority pillars of cooperation will be carried out by Prime Movers to drive our cooperation forward with concrete action plans and timeline, and that we could hear their progress report at our Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA72 in New York in September.
Thailand was designated as Prime Mover in Promoting Approaches to Inclusive and Sustainable Development to exchange among Member States appropriate development models for each country. While Thailand could share our success in adopting Sufficiency Economy Philosophy under various contexts to promote inclusiveness and sustainability, Bhutan will present the country’s Gross National Happiness Philosophy.
Third The meeting affirmed the partnership between the States and the private sectors of ACD to reflect the roles and opportunities of Asia at present, especially during a crucial time when the global economy is gradually recovering while still facing numerous challenges and fluctuations. The Summit trusts that Asia remains a regional full of potential and fortitude. This is also “the Century of Asia” where the region will proof its role as a catalyst for global economic growth and dynamism. ACD is, indeed, a cooperation framework which potential and strength of all member countries can be utilized for mutual benefits. The leaders of ACD member states have thus endorsed the ACD Statement on Reigniting Growth through Partnerships for Connectivity which demonstrates the States and the private sectors’ resolution to promote opportunities and cooperation at the ACD Connect 2016 Business Forum.
Fourth The meeting concurred to establish the ACD Secretariat in Kuwait to serve as a mechanism promoting ACD operations, particularly coordination between member countries, and hosting meetings and various events annually. The meeting thanked Kuwait as the host country of the ACD Secretariat and requested Kuwait to continue its financial support for the ACD Secretariat operations.
The 2nd ACD Summit is the first time where leaders of member countries have the opportunities to hear recommendations from representatives of the private sectors from ACD Connect 2016 Business Forum. The private sectors have proposed multi-dimensional guidelines in developing Asia to the public sectors, including the enhancement of financial connectivity in Asia through modern financial technology and innovation (FinTech). The recommendations include the capital mobilization for regional infrastructure development from main sources of funds, which should lead to inclusiveness and sustainable development.
The promotion of the Public-Private-People Partnership (4Ps) was highlighted and supported by the leaders. The partnership should be strengthened further. All stakeholders should be considered within the equation, especially the people which is the main force of the Asia continent. The leaders have agreed that no one will be left behind and we altogether must march forward steadily.
Lastly, the meeting expressed thanks and appreciation to Thailand for initiating ACD and for hosting the 2nd ACD Summit in Bangkok. This has substantially boosted the framework’s momentum. The ACD leaders additionally thanked UAE as the new ACD chair, and for hosting the 15th Ministerial Meeting in Abu Dhabi in January 2017 to expand and materialize the outcome of this Summit which concentrates on cooperation of ACD member states on alternative energy. The meeting also congratulated Iran as host country for the 3rd ACD Summit scheduled in 2018. That will be an opportunity for ACD leaders to review the progress of the 2nd ACD Summit where all have laid a strong foundation to guide member countries towards inclusive and sustainable Asia.