NEW DELHI: India and the ASEAN countries today decided to encourage cooperation in strengthening health systems as well as affordable medicines.
The Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations said the nations decided to strengthen cooperation in education and youth sectors, disaster management and humanitarian assistance among others.
"Encourage health cooperation in areas relevant to the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda, particularly in the area of strengthening health system and access to care, as well as safe and good quality medical products and affordable quality medicines, including traditional and complementary medicines," the declaration said.
The ASEAN comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, Brunei.
The leaders will also take part in the Republic Day event tomorrow.
The countries also decided to cooperate towards promoting civilisational and historical links between the ASEAN and India by providing platforms for knowledge exchange among policy-makers, managers, and academicians concerned with tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
The nations also decided to intensify efforts to preserve, protect and restore cultural and historical symbols, and structures which are of mutual interest in reflecting the ASEAN-India cultural and historical connection, including through India's proposal on mapping inscriptions along the Mekong river.
The countries also decided to cement a stronger cultural link by promoting cultural tourism and further enhancing people-to-people contacts, through programmes such as Delhi Dialogue, ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks (AINTT), ASEANIndia Eminent Persons Lecture Series (AIEPLS), among others.
"Strengthen cooperation in education and youth sectors, in the form of setting up of English language training, entrepreneurship development and vocational training centres, and granting of annual scholarships like Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) scholarships, ASEAN-India Goodwill Scholarship and Nalanda scholarship".
The countries also decided to explore the possibility of setting up an ASEAN-India network of universities and encourage other University to University exchanges, including with the ASEAN University Network.
They also decided to strengthen ASEAN-India cooperation in disaster management and humanitarian assistance, including supporting the work of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).
"Promote dialogue between government officials and relevant stakeholders of the ASEAN and India on empowerment of women, the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children, the elimination of all forms of violence against them," the declaration said.
It also decided to promote women entrepreneurs in line with the ASEAN-India Plan of Action (POA) 2016-2020, as well as support the relevant ASEAN frameworks and mechanisms on these matters.
The countries also decided to cooperate in environmental management and climate change, including exploring cooperation to support the implementation of relevant strategic measures as outlined in the ASCC Blueprint 2025, priorities of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment (ASOEN), and the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC) Work Plan 2016-2025.
The nations also decided to enhance cooperation in biodiversity conservation and management, through exchange of knowledge and experience, conduct of joint research activities and capacity building programmes to address the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem degradation.
They also decided to explore the possibility of cooperation in alliance building, networking and partnership between ASEAN and India in civil service matters, among others.