JAKARTA – Over 300 people gathered in Jakarta on Sunday to mark the start of the EU-ASEAN Green Diplomacy Week 2023. 

Officials from ASEAN, the EU, as well as youth and people with special needs marked the occasion with a symbolic ride, run, and walk along the route of Jalan Sudirman to Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta.

Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN, Sujiro Seam, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN (Socio-Cultural Community), Ekkaphab Phanthavong, and the Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, Hjayceelyn Mancenido Quintana, were all present to launch the event. 

The event marks the start of region-wide activities for the EU-ASEAN Green Diplomacy Week 2023.

EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Sujiro Seam, flags off participants at the start of a symbolic run and ride to mark EU-ASEAN Green Diplomacy Week. Photo: EU Cooperation ASEAN

From October 15-22, EU delegations across ASEAN are hosting a series of events to celebrate EU-ASEAN Green Diplomacy Week.

The events are designed to provide a platform for ASEAN youth to actively engage in green transition activities, such as discussions on climate change, online competitions, workshops on waste segregation and plastic recycling, upcycling, the young climate heroes campaign, as well as biodiversity and wildlife education. 

“The European Union is committed to supporting our partners in their respective green transitions, including ASEAN,” said the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Sujiro Seam.

This event shows our commitment to continue working together with ASEAN towards a greener future. It is an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made, and to encourage individuals, communities and organisations to take stronger action in future – to protect, preserve and restore our environment, for now and for future generations.”

EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Sujiro Seam, with participants at the kick off event for the EU-ASEAN Green Diplomacy Week. Photo: Courtesy of EU Cooperation ASEAN

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, Ekkaphab Phanthavong, added: “I am confident that this event will enhance ASEAN-EU collaboration and particularly encourage the public and youth to step up and take bolder climate action for the betterment of ASEAN and the sustainable planet”, 

“I would like to invite everyone to take this opportunity to reflect, engage, and motivate others to join in climate action to ensure a sustainable and resilient ASEAN community.”

Participants of the run and ride held to kick off the EU-ASEAN Green Diplomacy Week. Photo: Courtesy of EU Cooperation ASEAN

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, Hjayceelyn Mancenido Quintana, who is also country coordinator for ASEAN-EU dialogue relations, said: “We welcome this concrete initiative from the European Union, as it implements our leaders’ decision to strengthen shared endeavours regarding climate change by promoting enhanced collaboration for a green and inclusive transition.”

“We commend efforts to reduce emissions and accelerate energy transitions, and remain committed to continue enhancing collaboration among ASEAN member states as well as with the EU.”

First introduced to the public in 2019 as Climate Diplomacy Week, this initiative has become a landmark annual event where EU delegations and missions of EU member states around the world host events to foster dialogue and cooperation on climate change.

Re-named “Green Diplomacy Week” as of this year, the event still aims to serve as a platform for showcasing success stories and inspire further action.

A full rundown of events across the region can be accessed here.