Italy and ASEAN, Partnership growing stronger


At the Farnesina, a new high-level meeting with the leadership of the bloc of Southeast Asian countries

Editorial by Maria Tripodi, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

On December 7, I received the Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN, Michael Tene, at the Farnesina. The meeting was part of our country's ongoing collaboration with ASEAN to implement the Development Partnership launched in late 2020. In a little more than three years, our Partnership with ASEAN has achieved significant results, enabling the implementation of multiple training initiatives for the benefit of Southeast Asian countries in a wide range of strategic areas: from security to the environment, and from the protection of cultural heritage to sustainable development. With Deputy Secretary General Tene, I renewed our common commitment to enriching the Partnership with new projects-many of which are already under negotiation with the Secretariat and member states-with a shared mode of ownership and in areas of common interest. These include many fields that are essential for the stability and security of states in contemporary reality: cybercrime, combating transnational crime, promoting legality, space, food security, energy transition, and prevention and management of natural disasters. This is in the knowledge that only together can the growing threats to peace, the protection of the rules-based international order, and sustainable development, which are also fueled by the multiplication of crisis theaters around the world, be effectively addressed. Indeed, ASEAN represents a model of regional integration in a key geo-strategic position for maintaining peace and shared prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. In this context, Italy stands ready to collaborate with the incoming Laotian Chairmanship of ASEAN, focusing on the issues of connectivity and resilience, with the hope that the country can build on the important achievements of the current Indonesian Chairmanship, especially in the areas of regional integration and investment. We trust that Laos will also ensure continuity in Indonesia's efforts to manage the serious crisis that has plagued Myanmar for nearly three years, following the February 1, 2021 coup d'état, with possible repercussions for stability in the area.

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