Delegation of the European Union to the Lao PDR

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On Friday 27 September 2019, the European Commission will launch its Europa Connectivity Forum – an innovative multi-stakeholder international conference aimed at fostering dialogue and strengthening ties between governments, financial institutions, and private sector actors in Europe and beyond. Building on the already close cooperation between the EU and its Asia-Pacific partners, this first edition of the Forum will be held under the theme EU-Asia Connectivity: Building Bridges for a Sustainable Future.

Sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity will contribute to the enhanced prosperity, safety and resilience of people and societies in Europe and Asia.

On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the European Union reaffirms its commitment towards democracy as a fundamental right of every human being. Every woman and every man has to be free to participate to the political, economic and social life of her or his country. No one should fear to speak up, to demonstrate peacefully, to go to vote or to expect fair and inclusive policies from a government. Democracy can only function if participation and trust between democratic state institutions, governments and citizens are guaranteed.

On this first International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, we pay tribute to all those around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks because of their religion or belief. Persecution as a response to religious belief or affiliation, or lack thereof, is a violation of international law and requires joint work to combat it.

The European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) continue to deepen their relationship while working towards the establishment of a Strategic Partnership. This decision to upgrade relations was taken by the EU and ASEAN countries’ Foreign Ministers at the EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on 21 January 2019. EU-ASEAN (consisting of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) relations date back to 1977 when official “Dialogue Relations” began. In June 2015, the EU confirmed the adoption of a new strategy “The EU and ASEAN: a partnership with a strategic purpose”. In August 2017 during the EU-ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference, the second EU-ASEAN Plan of Action (2018-2022) was agreed.

As we mark the International Criminal Justice Day, the European Union reaffirms its longstanding support towards the international criminal justice system and in particular its unwavering commitment to the International Criminal Court (ICC), as part of the EU's wider commitment to a rules-based international order.

The Council today adopted conclusions on the EU's priorities at the 74th UN General Assembly(September 2019 – September 2020). These conclusions complements the Council conclusions on strengthening multilateralism which were adopted on 17 June 2019.

The Asia-Europe Sustainable Connectivity Scientific Conference (AESCON) is organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the Asia-Europe Foundation, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia and the Center for China and Globalization.

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