The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu led a delegation to participate in the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting that took place on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels bringing together 51 countries across Asia and Europe, as well as EU and ASEAN Institutions under the title “Global Partners for Global Challenges”.At the Summit, the Vice President joined the other global leaders in unanimously stressing the role of ASEM as a main platform for Europe and Asia to strengthen dialogue, foster cooperation and tackles global challenges, such as climate change, terrorism, global peace and security, maritime governance, preserving and strengthening rules-based multilateral trading system, and working towards 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Chair’s statement was also issued at the Summit.The Vice President, during his interventions, called on the international community to take concerted action against terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, that threatens peace and stability. He stated that it is important to uphold principles of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries and to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity. He stressed on an early adoption of the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. Terming economic offences as a serious issue that threatens the financial stability of nations, he asked the ASEM partners to work together for denying shelter and for expeditious and timely exchange of financial information. He also highlighted India’s own ambitious policy measures in actively combating climate change and stressed International Solar Alliance as a shining example of Asia-Europe cooperation. He underlined Government of India’s measure for more inclusive development, including focus on women empowerment.
Earlier on October 18, the Vice President also called on His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians. On the sidelines of the Summit, the Vice President also met with the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras and Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr. Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister, Mr. Pedro Sanchez and exchanged views on matters of common interest.During his visit to Belgium, the Vice President also visited Jain Temple Complex in the City of Antwerp and met the members of Indian Community on October 20. He outlined the transformative governance initiatives in India and suggested that the Indian diaspora could be active partners in the current India’s growth story. Underscoring the important of ethics in business, he emphasized the paramount importance of maintaining the link with the mother-tongue, motherland and enhanced respect for mother and the guru or the mentor. He also visited Office of the Governor of Antwerp where he paid floral homage to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. Later in the day, he exchanged views on further enhancing India-Belgium trade and investment ties with select group of prominent CEOs.After successfully concluding his visit, Vice President will be returning to Delhi on October 21.