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.