Speaking at the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid, Foreign Minister Maas today (16 December) issued the following statement:
We want to use the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to call for Europe and Asia to stand shoulder to shoulder. Only by acting together can we tackle global challenges like terrorism, marine pollution and of course climate change. If the countries of Europe and Asia pull in the same direction, it can trigger global momentum.
Unfortunately COP25 did not manage to issue a decisive signal in the fight against climate change. Germany and the EU have sought ambitious agreements. Thanks to a very few states, these have not gone through. We have at least been able to defend the Paris Agreement and even make some major progress, for example on combating climate damage, an issue that is important to many developing countries. Now all states need to step up their climate change mitigation efforts substantially at national level. We will be saying this clearly again at the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as well.
However, we also want to use today’s meeting to intensify our relations with the ASEAN states. It is important for us to have wide-ranging relations in Asia. Germany is already a close economic partner for the ASEAN states. In future we want to work even more closely together at the political level. This is true of Germany and the individual ASEAN member states, but also of ASEAN and the EU.
The 14th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is being held in Madrid on 15 and 16 December under the motto “Asia and Europe: Together for Effective Multilateralism”. ASEM was established in 1996 as an informal platform for multilateral dialogue. The ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meetings bring the Foreign Ministers of all EU member states, Norway and Switzerland together with their Asian counterparts. Summits at heads of government level take place in this format every two years (with the Foreign Ministers’ meetings in the years in between).