On 6 August, the High Representative/Vice-President co-chaired via videoconference, together with Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, the EU-ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference. This high-level EU-ASEAN meeting is held each year on the margins of the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial meeting. At the meeting, the High Representative/Vice-President and ASEAN member states reviewed progress in the Strategic Partnership and provided guidance on how to further strengthen cooperation on trade, security, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. High Representative Borrell expressed concern on the situation in Myanmar, and welcomed the appointment of the ASEAN Special Envoy. He also thanked the EU’s outgoing ASEAN Coordinator Singapore, and welcomed its new ASEAN Coordinator the Philippines.
At the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial meeting, ASEAN member states and their 17 ARF partners assemble to review security cooperation over the past year, and share their concerns related to regional and international security. The European Union presented its views on the EU-ASEAN partnership and strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar, the South China Sea, and the Korean peninsula. Ministers adopted a statement on Youth, Peace and Security.
On 5 August, the European Union was also represented at the Friends of Mekong Ministerial meeting. This US-led contact group enables Mekong-bordering ASEAN members, Mekong-related institutions and vested international organisations and partners to coordinate their support for the Mekong region. At this meeting, the EU highlighted its active role in supporting the Mekong region in various sectors, including Mekong river basin and water management, illegal wildlife trafficking, community forestry, transnational crimes, and support to the Mekong River Commission Secretariat. The group also welcomed the accession of the Mekong River Commission to the group.