I.P.O. Information Service



Asia-Europe Co-operation Cornerstone of New Multipolar World

  I.P.O. Statement at ASEF Meeting in Helsinki


Helsinki, 9 September 2006/P/RE/19895c-is

In a statement delivered on 7 September 2006 at the opening session of the Asia-Europe Foundation's (ASEF) meeting on "Connecting Civil Societies of Asia and Europe"  in the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki, the President of the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.), Dr. Hans Koechler, emphasized the importance of inter-regional co-operation between Asia and Europe for the emergence of a future multipolar world order. In the present global constellation, which is characterized by the absence of a balance of power, the improvement of ties among the member states of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is of special significance -- not only in economic and cultural terms, but also for international politics and United Nations reform. ASEM is the most important form of inter-regional co-operation to date, the President of the I.P.O. said. He explained that the Singapore-based Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), established by ASEM member states in 1997, has laid the intellectual groundwork for ASEM as an intergovernmental co-operation forum and deserves the full and sustained commitment of all ASEM member states to its important projects in the fields of economic, environmental, cultural and scientific co-operation.

At a workshop on the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), held within the framework of the ASEF meeting, Dr. Koechler launched the ideas of an Eurasian Digital Library or, alternatively, an Eurasian Digital Library Catalogue on a multilingual basis so as to make previously unavailable research accessible to scholars from both regions. He also suggested to study the possibility of an Eurasian Online Encyclopedia on the basis of the Wikipedia model. The workshop was moderated by the Vice-Chairman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta, Indonesia, Mr. Jusuf Wanandi.  The Managing Director and Executive Secretary of the Japan Center for International Exchange, Tokyo, Ms. Hideko Katsumata, presented the Asian perspective on how ICT can be used as a link for unity and cultural communication between Asia and Europe.

In a question and answer session with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Ki-Moon Ban, a candidate for the office of Secretary-General of the United Nations,  the President of the I.P.O. raised the issues of Security Council reform and of the position of the United Nations Organization vis--vis the International Criminal Court (ICC) in face of the United States' outright rejection of the Court. Dr. Koechler further asked the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea how, if elected, he would uphold the principle of multilateral action, a cornerstone of the UN Charter, against the newly launched doctrine of "preventive self-defense" and in view of the fait accompli created by the United States' unilateral use of force against Iraq (with a so-called "coalition of the willing"). He emphasized that these developments have seriously undermined the authority and challenged the legitimacy of the world organization. The debate took place at the concluding session of the Asia-Europe Foundation's ASEM@10 meeting yesterday afternoon under the chairmanship of the Foreign Minister of Finland, H.E. Erkki Tuomioja. The meeting was also addressed by H.E. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland,  who briefed the delegates on his successful mediation between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement, that resulted in the signing of a peace agreement in August 2005.

The meeting of experts from ASEM member states (the member states of the Association of South-East Asian Nations [ASEAN] plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea and the European Union) preceded the ASEM 6 Summit in Helsinki (10-11 September 2006) which marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the inter-regional grouping in Bangkok in 1996.

  • Finnish Foreign Ministry, ASEM@10 Web Site

  • Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

  • ASEM 6 -- Helsinki 2006

  • END/Asia-Europe Co-operation Cornerstone of New Multipolar World --  I.P.O. Statement at ASEF Meeting in Helsinki/P/RE/19895c-is