Call to re-engineer how ASEAN works

The 25th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council Meeting was held via video conference yesterday, chaired by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports cum Chair of ASCC Council Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

ASCC ministers, their representatives, ASEAN Secretary General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi and delegations attended the video conference.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan urged ASCC to keep building on its coordinated responses as it moves out of the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, while keeping in step with community-building efforts.

Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN 2021 Chairmanship themed ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’ underscores ASEAN’s collective pursuit to improve the wellbeing and livelihood of its people, alongside ensuring the whole of ASEAN Community and its partners can sustainably prosper together. This will show how relevant the association is to the people.

He also outlined the need to re-imagine, and re-engineer how ASEAN and its institution work, at the most fundamental level by renewing past commitments, strengthening cross-sectoral and cross-pillar coordination, in parallel with COVID-19 recovery and post-2025 vision efforts; while strengthening ASEAN’s centrality through ASEAN-led mechanisms. This will ensure ASCC to be future-ready and forward-looking.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports cum Chair of ASCC Council Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the video conference.

In support of Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC 2021) priorities and deliverables, the meeting, among others, agreed on the following:

– The submission of the draft Regional Policy Framework of Fostering Greater Understanding, Tolerance and a Sense of Regional Agendas among the Peoples of ASEAN, for adoption at the 38th ASEAN Summit. To realise this, a High-Level Cultural Forum on Promoting an Adaptive Community of Greater Understanding and Tolerance will be held this year. This is part of ASEAN efforts to build on its preventive work.

– The prioritisation of a transformative Social Protection is emphasised to realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and as lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to align with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. In this regard, Brunei Darussalam together with the ASEAN Secretariat, are working on introducing a Comprehensive Framework on Care Economy which would allow ASEAN to have policies to enhance readiness and responsiveness of social protection measures. This will also look into harnessing economic opportunities that may arise from the need to enhance care for our people.

– The ASCC Council’s role should be expanded to look into ASCC-related cooperation with dialogue partners. In this regard, the meeting agreed to establish an innovation platform dialogue within ASCC. The meeting also encouraged ASCC Sectoral Bodies to look into possible expansion of platforms with dialogue partners.

– The meeting underscored the importance of youth development and commended the spirit of volunteerism among the ASEAN youth and welcomed youth’s passion in giving back to society through implementation of youth-led projects.