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ACD Summit ends with pledge to work for prosperity in Asia
Publication Date : 19-10-2012
Putting aside their differences, representatives from 32 Asian countries united for the first time here under the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) platform and pledged to work for the progress of Asia and the prosperity of 4 billion people.
"We are called upon to increase our cooperation in vital areas related to sustainable development in every field — economic, commercial, financial, cultural, technological, environmental as well as health, population and other fields of cooperation that contribute to the progress of our countries and the prosperity of our peoples," Asian leaders said in the Kuwait Declaration at the end of their two-day inaugural ACD Summit on Wednesday.
Besides the Kuwait Declaration, the summit, which was attended by 12 heads of state or government, deputy prime ministers, ministers and representatives, also issued a 20-point communique, which covered a wide range of issues, such as regional connectivity, food, energy, education, health, disasters, environment, natural resources, democracy, respect for basic freedoms and human rights, free trade and investment, sharing knowledge, experience and expertise in technology and climate change.
Indonesian Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Rudi Rubiandini, who was present at the closing ceremony to stand in for Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, praised Kuwait for successfully hosting the first ACD Summit and paving the way for enhanced cooperation in various areas at the continental level.
"This is the first-ever meeting held at the Asian continental level," Rubiandini told Indonesian journalists after the closing ceremony.
"I am more than satisfied about the summit and its outcome."
Rajasa, the head of the Indonesian delegation at the ACD Summit, left Kuwait on Wednesday morning.
In his closing remarks, Kuwait's Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the initiator of the Summit, said that the meeting would contribute to the enhancement of the level of coordination and cooperation among Asian countries to achieve the goals of the ACD.
"Developing our mechanisms of joint work has become an urgent need. Today, we have a historic opportunity to accomplish this progress, as well as to embody this opportunity, through what our experts will envisage, and their visions of this expected mechanism," Seikh Sabah said.
The important outcome of the summit, according to Rubiandini, was that all members agreed to put greater emphasis on regional connectivity, food, energy and water.
"Regional connectivity is very important for economic development. We agreed at the Summit to start initiatives at the G-to-G [government-to-government] level first and then on to P-to-P [people-to-people]," Rubiandini said.
The communique of the first ACD Summit also mentioned connectivity, welcoming a proposal of Thailand to discuss ACD regional connectivity and to consider preparing a blueprint on ACD enhanced regional connectivity.
ACD members also expressed concerns about food and water security issues.
The next summit will be held in Thailand in 2015, followed by Iran in 2018.