There is no comprehensive set of rules of procedure governing ASEM meetings. This makes ASEM different comparing to other international organisations like the United Nations or NATO, and there is no secretariat or headquarters either. This special informal structure is at the same time ASEM's weakness and strength. This causes a challenge when constructing a framework for a Model ASEM. When the real ASEM is based on equality and informality, a simulation requires some kind of rules or structured framework to make it possible to actually conduct a simulation. On the other hand it is also important not to make the model too formal or regulated since it would then be too different from the real ASEM structure. There are ongoing discussions among ASEM partners on how to reform and improve the process. This is being presented in “VADEMECUM – Modalities for Future ASEM Dialogue. Taking the Process Forward”, which you can download from
ASEM partners still want to keep the process informal but there have been taken steps towards institutionalising and a reformed structure. Examples of measures to improve the ASEM process are among others:
When constructing a framework for a Model ASEM it is important to capture the special atmosphere that is significant for ASEM, where informality and focus are important key words.