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Sun, 17 Jul, 2016 12:06:56 AM
ASEM Summit 2016
FTimes Report, Jul 17
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä at the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulanbator, Mongolia. Photo Lehtikuva.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has emphasised the need to enhance connectivity between Europe and Asia by developing, for example, economic and transport connections.
The prime minister made the remark in his speech at the ASEM Summit, the meeting of the Asian and European countries held on July 15-16 in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. He also drew particular attention to the impact of climate change on the Arctic, said an official press release on Saturday.
“For us in Finland, the Arctic region is of special and topical importance as, beginning in 2017, Finland will be chairing the Arctic Council,” said Sipilä.
He said, for that reason, we need broad international cooperation to prevent climate change. “Cleaner and greener growth is the key. It opens up huge opportunities for all of us – in Europe, Asia, and beyond.” 
In his speech at the summit plenary, Sipilä said ASEM cooperation had special meaning for Finland as the summit countries met in Helsinki to mark the 10th anniversary of ASEM during the Finnish EU Presidency in 2006. 
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (L) meets with Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj prior the opening of the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulanbator, Mongolia on July 15, 2016.Photo Lehtikuva.
In his second speech to representatives of almost 50 countries, Sipilä accentuated the significance of problem-solving ability and political will in efforts to find solutions to common global challenges, mentioning migration and the refugee crisis as examples.
“Our priority must be saving human lives and respecting human rights. However, we should also go beyond that and work together to address the root causes of migration. To achieve this, Finland places key importance on conflict resolution and mediation,” he said.
The prime minister held bilateral talks with several other heads of state or government during the meeting. He had discussions with the president and prime minister of Mongolia, the president of Myanmar, and the prime ministers of Kazakhstan, Singapore and Vietnam. He also had a bilateral meeting with the prime minister of Poland.
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