Maliki addresses climate change at Asem meet

Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman, has stressed the importance of international cooperation in fighting climate change and man-made forest fires that cause haze, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. He was attending the foreign ministers' meeting of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) in Luxembourg.

Dr Maliki was speaking yesterday at the meeting's first plenary session titled: "Climate Change, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management".

He highlighted three major global challenges to the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals - international crises, pandemics and climate change.

In his speech, he said international cooperation is the only way to deal with such transboundary issues, including the forest fires, and emphasised the need for closer cooperation to pressure companies profiting from illegal slash-andburn methods.

Separately, Dr Maliki met Mr Vaino Reinart, undersecretary for economic and development affairs of Estonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They said they looked forward to the EU's swift ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Dr Maliki also met Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Kotzias to exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The meetings yesterday were two of several bilateral talks Dr Maliki is having with delegates from Europe and Asia.

At a reception of the Asia-Europe Foundation Young Leaders Summit, Dr Maliki met young entrepreneurs, academics and students.

Today, he will attend the retreat session of the Asem foreign ministers' meeting. The biennial meeting, which ends today, is attended by delegations from 51 Asian and European countries as well as the Asean secretariat and EU.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2015, with the headline 'Maliki addresses climate change at Asem meet'. Print Edition | Subscribe