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ASEAN pledge to enhance culture, arts cooperation

VIENTIANE (Xinhua) — The member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pledged to enhance their partnership in the field of culture and the arts, aiming to promote the role of ASEAN culture and the arts for inclusion and sustainability.

According to the Lao national TV report on Wednesday, the topic is under discussion by ASEAN delegates at the 19th Meeting of Senior Officials Responsible for Culture and Arts and related meetings with dialogue partners from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The meeting was held in Vangvieng district of Laos’ Vientiane province under the theme “Promoting the Role of ASEAN Culture and the Arts in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic for Sustainable Development”.

Among those attending the meeting are the Deputy Governor of Vientiane province Daoheuang Nanthavong, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Social-Cultural Community Ekkaphab Phanthavong, and ambassadors of ASEAN member states, Timor Leste and ASEAN Plus Three countries.

Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Suanesavanh Vignaket said, “We are aware that culture and the arts are an important sector under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Pillar as a crucial driver of economic growth and sustainable development, as well as in forging closer friendship and cooperation, not only within ASEAN but beyond..” “The sector plays a strong role in implementing and realising the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016-2025 and the ASCC Blueprint 2025,” she told the meeting.

ASEAN has a unique identity, cultural and arts diversity, traditions, languages and religions. Even though there are differences, the people of ASEAN live together peacefully and harmoniously, fostering mutual assistance and people-to-people links through effective and efficient ASEAN cooperation, especially in the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage and best practices of traditions in order to achieve the sustainable development and prosperity of each ASEAN nation.

Suanesavanh said Laos acknowledges the significant role of ASEAN culture and arts in promoting inclusion and sustainability. “We therefore will include culture and the arts as one of the ASCC priorities and key deliverables during Laos’ ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024.” In conjunction with its rotating ASEAN chairmanship next year, Laos is rolling out the Visit Laos Year 2024 tourism campaign, centered on a variety of tourism events throughout the year.