Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is scheduled to arrive in Brussels today to lead the Malaysian delegation to the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) Summit from Oct 18-19.
The Asem Summit will bring together heads of state or governments of 51 European and Asian countries, representatives of the European Union (EU) and the secretary-general of Asean.
Themed "Europe and Asia: Global Partners for Global Challenges", the leaders will seek to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the two continents on a wide range of areas, including trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development and climate, as well as security challenges such as terrorism, non-proliferation, cyber-security and irregular migration.
European Council president Donald Tusk will chair the summit and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will also represent the EU at the summit.
Wisma Putra in a statement said Wan Azizah was scheduled to deliver a national statement at the second plenary session of the summit on the topic "Reinforcing the Multilateral System: Advancing the Asem Partnership on Global Challenges", during which she is expected to touch on subjects such as climate change, education, gender equality and women empowerment.
Prior to that, Wan Azizah’s tight itinerary will begin with a call on her Belgian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon, who is also the Minister of Security and Home Affairs of Belgium, at his office at Westraat, Brussels, tomorrow to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Wan Azizah will be joining other leaders at the opening ceremony of the summit, hold a session with the stakeholders and moments with the non-EU Heads of Delegation, and attending a gala dinner hosted by Official Motorcade at the Royal Museums of Art and History.
Packed schedule for Friday
A packed schedule awaits Wan Azizah on Friday, as she is expected to attend two plenary sessions of the summit, titled "Building the Future Together: Promoting Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Connectivity" and "Reinforcing the Multilateral System: Advancing the Asem Partnership on Global Challenges" during which she will deliver her speech.
The deputy prime minister is also slated to hold a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
She is expected to receive a courtesy call from the Malaysian participants of the 3rd ASEF Young Leaders Summit in Brussels from Oct 15-19, themed "Ethical Leadership".
Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, is expected to conclude her trip to Brussels after hosting a dinner for Malaysian diaspora at the summit.
She will be accompanied throughout the summit by Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysian Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Malaysian Mission to the EU Hasnudin Hamzah, deputy secretary-general for Multilateral Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Kennedy Jawan, adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Rozhan Othman and senior Malaysian government officials.
The Asem member nations represent 60 percent of the world's population, contribute 55 percent of global trade, 65 percent of global gross domestic product and 75 percent of global tourism.