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The 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) and China, South Korea, Japan (ASEAN Plus Three) have promised to work together to promote their cooperation on sustainable development.
The promise was made at their summit on Wednesday.
In a statement released on Thursday, the leaders of the countries reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted last year at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York and the Paris Agreement adopted at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference,
The leaders vowed to work together to fulfill the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) over the next decades in the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation framework.
The leaders called on all the countries to take comprehensive, expeditious and concrete actions to advance the implementation of SDGs in the spirit of equality, cooperation and inclusiveness, as well as to strengthen regional and international partnership in the implementation process.
To achieve the goal of sustainable development, the leaders decided to embark on a course of equitable, inclusive, open, all-round and innovation-driven development for the interests of all ASEAN and Plus Three Countries.
In this regard, they agreed to take concrete actions such as reducing poverty and narrowing the development gap within and between the countries, promoting sustainable development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), boosting sustainable tourism cooperation and enhancing cultural exchange and cooperation.
The ASEAN plus China, Japan, South Korea cooperation mechanism incorporates the ASEAN Plus Three as well as the ASEAN Plus One framework. The latter stands for ASEAN's respective cooperation mechanism with China, Japan and South Korea.
The two frameworks were established in the late 1990s when ASEAN countries decided to enhance cooperation with other major economies of Asia against the backdrop of economic globalization.
The two frameworks, initially focused on economic cooperation, have expanded in recent years to the fields of politics, security and culture. Nowadays, they have developed into mechanisms in strengthening and deepening East Asia cooperation, particularly in economic, social and political areas.