Foreign Affairs Minister concludes successful ASEAN meetings
August 7, 2017 - Manila, Philippines - Global Affairs Canada
Canada’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is founded on strong people-to-people ties and continues to grow through economic and security cooperation.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded her participation in the ASEAN-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting in Manila.
The meetings provided an opportunity for Canada to advance its interests in Asia and to promote regional cooperation and stability through multilateral institutions. At the ASEAN Regional Forum, the minister reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and exchanged views with her counterparts from 26 governments on addressing key security issues, including the threat posed by North Korea and the rise of Daesh in Southeast Asia.
During her visit, the minister met bilaterally with counterparts and senior officials from Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the European Union. These bilateral meetings offered Canada an important opportunity to advance priorities on regional and international security, economic issues, human rights, Canadian consular issues, climate change and other challenges.
Minister Freeland announced 12 development-assistance and security projects totalling nearly $13 million. Together, these projects will help ASEAN member states improve domestic and regional security, combat terrorism and prevent human smuggling. The minister also announced roughly $7 million in humanitarian assistance for the region, focused on providing immediate life-saving support to the most vulnerable, including refugees, internally displaced persons and people suffering due to armed conflict and violence.
In addition, Minister Freeland announced, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, $10 million over five years to provide individuals from ASEAN member states, especially women, scholarships when undertaking short-term studies or research in Canada.
“As we mark the 40th anniversary of Canada’s status as a partner of ASEAN, we continue to realize the benefits of our special relationship and the innumerable ties between Canadians and the people of the ASEAN countries. Canada is taking concrete actions to increase its commitment across the region and to promote regional stability and prosperity.”
- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Canada’s status as a dialogue partner of ASEAN. Canada is one of only 10 countries with this important level of partnership.
Canada partners with ASEAN on a wide range of issues, from tackling climate change to counterterrorism. Ongoing cooperation with ASEAN since 2011 is valued at over $90 million.
ASEAN countries are an important source of immigration to Canada. In 2015, more than 55,000 people from ASEAN countries came to Canada as permanent residents. In 2015, the Philippines was Canada’s top source of new permanent residents.
The Philippines is the chair of ASEAN in 2017 and is responsible for coordinating ASEAN’s relationship with external partners, including Canada, a responsibility it will hold until 2018.
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
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