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Prime Minister Sipilä at ASEM Summit: Global problem solving calls for common effort

Government Communications Department
Publication date 16.7.2016 8.59
Press release 313/2016

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä represented Finland at the meeting of the Asian and European countries, the ASEM Summit, in Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar on 15–16 July. The main theme of the 20th anniversary Asia-Europe meeting was promoting partnership for greater connectivity between the two continents. Considerable attention was also given to the current events in Nice and Turkey. In connection with the Summit, Prime Minister Sipilä had bilateral talks with several other Heads of State or Government attending the meeting.

In his speech at the Summit plenary, Sipilä said that ASEM cooperation had special meaning for Finland as the Summit countries met in Helsinki to mark the tenth anniversary of ASEM during the Finnish EU Presidency in 2006. He emphasised the need to enhance connectivity by developing, for example, economic and transport connections between Europe and Asia.

Sipilä said that, for us in Finland, Arctic region is of special and topical importance as, beginning in 2017, Finland will be chairing the Arctic Council. Sipilä drew particular attention to the impact of climate change on the Arctic and reminded that this can have very serious and far-reaching effects on us all. For that reason, we need broad international cooperation to prevent climate change.

- Cleaner and greener growth is the key. It opens up huge opportunities for all of us — in Europe, Asia, and beyond, said Sipilä.

In his second speech to representatives of almost 50 countries, Sipilä accentuated the significance of problem-solving ability and political will in efforts to find solutions to common global challenges. He mentioned migration and the refugee crisis as examples of this.

- Our priority must be saving human lives and respecting human rights. However, we should also go beyond that and work together to address the root causes of migration. To achieve this, Finland places key importance to conflict resolution and mediation.

Bilateral meetings

In connection with the Summit, Prime Minister Sipilä had several bilateral talks with Asian leaders. Sipilä had discussions with the President and Prime Minister of Mongolia, President of Myanmar, and Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan, Singapore and Vietnam. He also had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Poland.

Inquiries: Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen, Special Adviser (International Affairs), tel. +358 40 748 3867 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 468 5302, Prime Minister’s Office.

The Ulaanbatar Declaration, Chair's Statement and statement on terrorism adopted by the Summit are available on the Summit website (http://www.asem11.mn).

Photos for the media are available (http://asem11.mn/?page_id=3319&lang=en) and on the government Flickr account (https://www.flickr.com/photos/FinnishGovernment)

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