MANAMA -- Asian leaders have called for stronger cooperation in various fields to improve the living conditions of their people.
In their communiqué at the end of the two-day Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit on Tuesday, the 32 member states stressed the need to focus on key areas in order to fulfill the aspirations of their people and improve their living conditions.
Major areas include sustainable energy and cooperation on achieving prosperity and economic growth through integration, achieving food security via increasing agricultural production, facilitating trade and developing stable food markets, health care and combating diseases, addressing climate change and cooperation in the financial and education sectors, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s ambassador to Kuwait Mohammad Bahr Al Uloom said that his country was looking to becoming a member of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD).
“We hope to join in the near future in line with the policy of the new Iraq to become an effective member in all international political, economic and development communities and organizations,” the ambassador told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna). “Most of the forthcoming activities are of an economic nature and human potential should be used to ensure the prosperity of nations,” he said.
The Asian leaders welcomed an initiative by Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah for the launch of a fund and expressed willingness to improve living conditions of their people amidst food and energy challenges facing the continent.
Shaikh Sabah on Tuesday proposed setting up a $2 billion fund to help development in poor non-Arab Asian countries. He said that Kuwait would contribute $200 million.
Shaikh Sabah said that the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit was an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues.
The accomplishments of this summit over “our common issues” will certainly contribute to improving cooperation and coordination between the Asian countries, Shaikh Sabah said at the closing session of the ACD Summit held in Kuwait City over two days.
“The understanding that was achieved in this summit concerning our joint causes will undoubtedly contribute to the upgrading of the level of coordination and cooperation between us in the upcoming phases of our work,” he said, quoted by Kuna.
However, the Emir said that the summit that brought together 32 member nations reflected the magnitude of the enormous responsibilities they have to assume in the face of challenges to the progress of the Asian countries.
“Developing a mechanism for joint work has become an urgent need in order to keep pace with our expectations and to reinvigorate our determination so that our relations can reach higher levels and our cooperation leads to integration,” Shaikh Sabah said.
Thailand will host the next summit in 2015 and Iran will be the host of the third summit in 2018.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Asian states to build stronger cooperation at the international level in a bid to confront the current discriminatory structure of global relations.
The Iranian leader said that Asian countries are affected by “discriminatory international relations” in the economic, political, and cultural spheres, Meher News Agency reported.
“Asian countries …can play a pivotal role in replacing the current discriminatory structures of global relations with a system based on freedom and justice,” Ahmadinejad said.
The Iranian president also urged ACD member states to adopt “collective measures” to create opportunities for broader cooperation at international levels, the news agency said.
Addressing the summit, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf announced that his country would host an ACD Energy Forum in Islamabad in December.
He said Asia was a large continent with enormous opportunities.
“However, for these opportunities to be optimally harnessed for the collective good of the Asian fraternity, cooperation amongst the Asian countries in all possible areas of common interest is imperative,” he said, quoted by Pakistan Tribune.
“It is not possible in today’s world to thrive in isolation or suffer in seclusion. The world is so closely knit that the fall-out of prosperity or adversity is imminent,” he added. Raja said the Asia Cooperation Dialogue had the distinction of being the only forum of its nature that provided a platform to discuss, in an informal setting, a host of issues that confronted everyone.
Raja said that the 21st century belonged to Asia, stressing that its role in the global economic order had changed rapidly.
“By 2050, Asia is expected to account for more than half of the global economy. But for Asia’s phenomenal economic growth during the past decade, the world would have been different today,” he said, quoted by the daily.
(Source: Gulf News)
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