Jakarta: The 7th Meeting of the ASEAN-Norway Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee convened at the ASEAN Secretariat this week, reaffirming both sides’ commitment to strengthen cooperation under the ASEAN-Norway Sectoral Dialogue Partnership.
"At the meeting, both sides exchanged views on the developments in ASEAN and Norway, including responses to COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery phase," the ASEAN Secretariat said in a press release on Thursday.
The meeting highlighted deliverables of Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2022; the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV; progress on the ASEAN Smart Cities Network initiative; and ASEAN’s effort to promote sustainable development.
The meeting explored opportunities to further strengthen the cooperation in a number of areas, including renewable energy and energy transition, which has become increasingly crucial in the wake of the war in Ukraine; as well as climate change; environmental protection; biodiversity; ocean sustainability and blue economy.
Other areas that were explored included smart cities; connectivity; digitalisation; cybersecurity; public health; sustainable development; trade; capacity building for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; human rights, including rights of person with disabilities; education, including technical and vocational education and training (TVET); and the IAI.
In the area of energy, Norway agreed to support a second four-year phase of the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT 2), which aims to deepen ASEAN’s readiness for energy transition to low carbon energy systems.
The meeting took note that the ASEAN-Norway Sectoral Dialogue Partnership: Practical Cooperation Areas (2021-2025), adopted in March last year to succeed the Priority Plan for the ASEAN-Norway Sectoral Dialogue Partnership, continues to set out the overall framework and priorities for both sides engagement and cooperation, and serve as a foundation for practical cooperation to further substantiate the partnership.
With the improving outlook of the pandemic, the meeting encouraged refocusing on initiating new joint projects to address the areas/measures under the current Practical Cooperation Areas, including projects in support of ASEAN’s efforts in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts as well as towards the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, Satvinder Singh, and Ambassador of Norway to ASEAN, Kjell Tormod Pettersen, co-chaired the meeting. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and their representative, and State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Henrik Thune, participated in the meeting.