Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and co-operation bringing together the 27 European Union Member States and the European Commission with 16 Asian countries and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
The 8th ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government
was held in Brussels, Belgium on 5-6 October, 2010. At the Summit, ASEM leaders agreed to promote decent work, explicitly reiterating their support to the ILO Global Jobs Pact. In the Chair’s Statement
they furthermore stressed the crucial importance of the effective implementation of ILO fundamental principles and rights at work. “Violations cannot be invoked or otherwise used as a legitimate comparative advantage and labour standards should not be used for protectionist purposes, as stipulated in the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization”. It equally underlines the importance of strong labour administrations and inspectorates to ensure proper implementation. Leaders also noted with interest the gradual development of a global Social Protection Floor. The statement additionally promotes the greening of the economy, the rights of migrant workers and an effective social dialogue to promote mutual understanding on issues related to productivity, working conditions, remuneration and economic change.
The next ASEM Summit will take place in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in November 2012.