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The Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) held their 12th Ministerial Meeting on 28 September 2012 in New York on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Meeting was attended by ASEAN and ECO member states, and co-chaired by the Republic of Indonesia, and the Republic of Turkey, on behalf of ASEAN and ECO, respectively. The Secretary-Generals of the two Organizations were also present at the Meeting.

The Meeting, while updating information on each organization’s development for the past year, reviewed the progress of decisions taken at the 11th Joint Ministerial Meeting in September 2011 and exchanged views on the future direction of cooperation between ASEAN and ECO. ASEAN and ECO ensured their commitment to deepen and intensify their relations.

The Meeting looked forward to the success on the 20th ECO Council of Ministers Meeting and the 12th ECO Summit in Baku next October 2012. In line with these, the Meeting also reaffirmed the commitment to continuously enhance ASEAN and ECO cooperation to a higher stage in which both organizations could be supporting partners in the achievement of development and prosperity as well as the maintenance of peace and stability of the regions.

The two sides emphasized the need to accelerate the realization of the Work Programme to Implement Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN-ECO and to apply an approach that would enable the attainment of concrete actions between the two organizations. The Meeting also discussed the need to evaluate the Work Programme in order to update activities planned with current developments in both regions.

The Meeting was of the view that current uncertainty with regard to the global economic condition provides a momentum to enhance economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN and ECO regions. The Meeting also agreed to organize a business forum with the participation of private sectors from member states of both organizations. The Meeting further agreed to convene a regular meeting among senior officials with the participation of all member states of both organizations to ensure effective implementation of the Work Programme as well as to intensify cooperation in various areas of common concerns and interests. To this end, the Meeting agreed to organize an ASEAN-ECO Business Forum and an ASEAN-ECO Tourism Forum as a concrete form of cooperation in the field of trade and tourism.

The two sides have encouraged the two Secretariats to further increase their efforts to maintain day-to-day relations between ASEAN and ECO. The Meeting tasked both Secretariats to continue their coordination and enhance their regular consultation to further cooperation in the agreed areas of cooperation.

New York, 28 September 2012

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