28 September 2011Top United Nations officials and ministers from the South-East Asian bloc known as ASEAN have discussed how to enhance collaboration between the two bodies, as well as issues such as disaster management and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Yesterday’s meeting at UN Headquarters, held on the margins of the high-level debate of the General Assembly’s 66th session, comes less than two months before the next ASEAN-UN Summit that will be held in Bali, Indonesia, on 19 November.The meeting – attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – discussed the UN’s global and regional priorities, as well as the priorities for the current Assembly session, according to a press release issued after the meeting. ASEAN commended the priorities outlined by them, including the theme for the current Assembly session – “The Role of Mediation in the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes” – as well as others proposed by Mr. Ban in the areas of disaster management, peaceful settlement of disputes, and enhancing common prosperity, all of which coincided with efforts already being undertaken by the group. The meeting also discussed various regional and global issues, particularly those of common concern and interest to ASEAN and the UN that are on the Assembly’s current agenda. These include climate change, disaster management, maritime security and anti-piracy, conflict resolution, global financial crisis, sustainable development and the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The UN and ASEAN hold the meeting each year in conjunction with the opening of the General Assembly’s main session.