UK, ASEAN Pledge To Strengthen Dialogue Partnership

The UK and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have recently reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the ASEAN-UK Dialogue Partnership and boost cooperation in economy, energy transition, education, and security.  

Senior officials from the UK and ASEAN vowed to enhance cooperation and the dialogue partnership at the second ASEAN-UK Senior Officials’ Meeting (AUKSOM) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, on 8 June.

The meeting was co-chaired by Johariah Wahab, Permanent Secretary and SOM Leader of Brunei Darussalam and Jenny Bates, Director-General, Indo-Pacific at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the UK and SOM Leader of the UK.

Participants reviewed cooperation between both sides across the three pillars of the ASEAN Community. The senior officials took note of the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-United Kingdom Plan of Action (POA) (2022-2026) and looked forward to further enhancing the partnership in areas of mutual interest, the ASEAN Secretariat said in a statement.

The UK also introduced its flagship multi-year development programmes to support the implementation of the POA on girls’ education; economic integration; women, peace and security; health systems; and climate transition.

Officials present at the meeting also discussed ways to deepen the ASEAN-UK cooperation in areas such as maritime cooperation, transnational crime, and cyber security. Other major topics of the talks included trade and investment, micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs), digital transformation and inclusivity, sustainable development and decarbonisation, environment and climate change, education, health, and connectivity. The UK and ASEAN also talked about narrowing the development gap, as well as smart cities and infrastructure.