Is ASEM fit to fill its mandate and what challenges does it face outside of the political pillar? First run through the major infrastructure linking ASEM to the socio-cultural and economic audiences. Essentially – what public diplomacy tools does ASEM have at its disposal
AEBF A forum for Business leaders to meet in the lead up to the summit – usually led by the summit host as no secretariat exists, has been criticised for its inconsistent value and influence. Though Access to leaders is a key plus of the dialogue.
AEPF An NGO set up in 1996 to promote solidarity and dialogue, it is volunteer run with functioning working groups in both Asia and Europe but suffers from similar issues to the AEBF, coordination and visibility. Often takes place on the margins of ASEM.
ASEF Is the only physical institution of the ASEM process – is an inter governmental organisation mandated to improve mutual understanding and knowledge between Asia and Europe by enabling exchanges between civil society.
Connects institutions and people from both regions together through joint initiatives and engagement
Helps feed civil society priorities and concerns into the inter-governmental process.
Visibility = tool of Asia Europe public diplomacy HR – Human Trafficking
Stephane best placed to elaborate on the above issues.
Creating an understanding where one did not exist Creating resources where ones did not exist Providing a layer of understanding for government and civil society stakeholders
Visibility or Credibility? Since its inception – ASEF has suffered from a lack of visibility but is this the vital question, should the focus be on credibility among government, business and civil society actors alike.
High level dialogue at the highest level??
ASEM is often criticized for its inability to attract the highest level participants – often leaders summits lack key leaders, ministerials are attended by junior ministers, technocrats. What impact does this have on its image?
So much to share? From the EEAS website - finance, trade, culture, education, human rights, disaster preparedness, transport, immigration, climate change, piracy at sea, information technology, food security, development, employment, energy security and global governance.
Dialogue of many voices ? 51 members soon to be 52 – how does this impact the message – or is it a source of strength. 50 Countries to spread the message
Effectiveness and impact over openness and dialogue?
Should the focus be on making ASEM and its institutions results oriented to maintain their relevance and build credibility – or is the open dialogue channels the right fit for the right purpose.
Ronan Lenihan - ASEM Challenges
Challenges and Socio-Economic
Relevance of ASEM
Focus on ASEF
• Links to Intergovernmental process
- Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights
- ASEM Education Ministers Meeting
- ASEM Senior Officials Meeting
- ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting
• Supporting Visibility of ASEM
- People to people exchange
- Information sharing – www.aseminfoboard.org
- Media engagement at key meetings
• Areas for engagement
- Sustainable Development
- Public Health
Focus on ASEF …continued
• Building on Understanding
- Dual perceptions research –
‘EU through the Eyes of Asia’ (2005 – ongoing)
‘Asia in the Eyes of Europe’ (2009-2012)
- ASEM Outlook Report 2012 & ASEF Report 2014
- Training Programmes - Asia-Europe Public
Diplomacy & Climate Change Negotiation
Focus on ASEF …continued
Challenges of ASEMs relevance
• Visibility or Credibility?
• High level dialogue at the highest level??
• So much to share?
• Dialogue of many voices ?
• Effectiveness and impact over openness and
Consider the below question in the context of
the ASEM Summit using blue sky thinking:
• “What added value of ASEM should be
promoted to improve Asia-Europe dialogue?”