Jakarta: The 3rd ASEAN-United Kingdom Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting held today at the ASEAN Secretariat welcomed positive developments in the ASEAN-UK Dialogue Partnership and underscored commitment to augment the partnership.

ASEAN and the UK exchanged views on developments in ASEAN and the UK, as well as appraised the progress of cooperation pursued across the three ASEAN Community pillars between both sides. The meeting noted substantial progress in the implementation of the ASEAN-United Kingdom Plan of Action (POA) (2022-2026), whereby a significant number of action lines are either being addressed or have been completed. Both sides expressed their commitment to ensure the effective implementation of the POA, a key document in enriching and amplfying the partnership and bringing it onto a higher plane.

ASEAN and the UK also took note of Lao PDR’s 2024 ASEAN Chairmanship theme “ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience” and its priorities for the year; updates on the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV; progress on the ASEAN Smart Cities Network initiative; and ASEAN’s efforts to promote sustainable development. In the occassion, the UK informed of its five flagship programmes, (i) Supporting the Advancement of Girls Education (SAGE); (ii) ASEAN-UK Economic Integration Programme (EIP); (iii) ASEAN-UK Green Transition Fund (GTF); (iv) ASEAN-UK Health Security Partnership (HSP); and (v) ASEAN-UK Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Programme.

ASEAN and the UK also welcomed the launch of the ASEAN-UK ‘Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarships as part of the ongoing SAGE Programme and the UK’s plan to launch the ASEAN Chevening Scholarships in July this year. These programmes will complement the implementation of the POA and tailored to the needs of ASEAN.

Both sides agreed to continue strengthening existing cooperation while exploring cooperation in the areas of maritime security; cybersecurity; trade and investment; economic integration; green finance; sustainable infrastructure; supply chain resilience; financial services; digital transformation; climate change and biodiversity protection; renewable energy and energy transition; food security; education and people-to-people contacts; health; women, peace and security; women economic empowerment; science, technology and innovation; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); youth; culture; connectivity; and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).

Additionally, both sides underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation in the four priority areas outlined in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). In this regard, ASEAN welcomed the UK’s upcoming projects in the area of maritime cooperation and economic integration. The meeting also welcomed the UK’s proposal for an ASEAN-UK Joint Statement on Connectivity to be adopted at the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference Plus One Session with the UK in July this year.

Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to ASEAN Latifah Zaini and UK Ambassador to ASEAN Sarah Tiffin co-chaired the Meeting. The Permanent Representatives to ASEAN or their representatives, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community and their respective delegations were in attendance. Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to ASEAN, Natércia Coelho da Silva, also attended as an observer.