ASEAN’s prioritisation of post-pandemic readiness, particularly in providing access to vulnerable groups to education and viable platforms of socio-economic activities, underscored the community spirit in the region to face challenges together.
This was said by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the 27th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council meeting on Wednesday.
The minister mentioned the ASEAN Comprehensive Framework on Care Economy adopted at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits in 2021 as an example of the platforms supporting socio-economic activities for vulnerable groups.
Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan also re-affirmed the pivotal role of the Senior Officials Committee for ASCC (SOCA) and welcomed the continuing development of the Strategy Playbook following the adoption of the ASEAN Strategic Policy Framework on Promoting an Adaptive ASEAN Community of Greater Understanding, Tolerance and A Sense of Regional Agendas Among the Peoples of ASEAN last year.
“The playbook will serve as a guiding document to foster greater regional understanding and tolerance among our people. In underlining the importance of youth issues to sustainable development in the ASEAN region, ASCC should continue to encourage the youth to undertake community engagement and to be empowered as agents of change, and be given the opportunity to act with purpose and belonging to ASEAN and its initiatives, and as such, welcome the declaration of the year 2022 as the Year of ASEAN Youth,” the minister added.
Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, in his capacity as the Brunei Darussalam’s ASCC Council minister, attended the meeting via video conference.
The meeting was chaired by Cambodia’s Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Dr Hang Chuon Naron as the ASCC Council Chairman. The meeting was also attended by ASCC Council ministers or their representatives, Secretary General of ASEAN Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, as well as their respective delegations.
During the meeting, the ASCC Council ministers expressed their support for Cambodia’s ASEAN 2022 theme ‘Addressing Challenges Together (ACT)’ which highlights ASEAN’s spirit of “togetherness” as one community and the common will in its endeavour to address and overcome challenges facing the region.
The meeting highlighted the progress made in the ASCC Pillar, with particular focus on this year’s priorities which among others include the progress of the continued implementation of the ASCC Blueprint 2025 in building a community that engages and benefits the people, and is inclusive, sustainable, resilient and dynamic.
The meeting also commended the development of the ASCC’s outcome documents to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits including ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Safe School Reopening, Learning Recovery and Continuity and the Declaration on Digital Transformation of Education System throughout ASEAN.
At the same time, the ASCC Council ministers also underlined the importance of continued empowerment of youth and women to support sustainable development in the ASEAN region, and looked forward to the adoption of ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on year of ASEAN Youth 2022 and the ASEAN Declaration on Building More Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient Future, Declaration; Unlocking Women’s Entrepreneurship in ASEAN.
The significant role of sports in ASEAN Community building, which also supported the realisation of ASEAN 2025 and sustainable development goals (SDG) 2030, was also emphasised during the meeting. In this regard, the meeting also welcomed the development of the Declaration on Leveraging the Role of Sports in ASEAN Community-Building and Achieving the SDGs; and the Declaration on Fostering ASEAN Identity through the Safeguarding of Traditional Sports and Games (TSG) in the Modern World.
Furthermore, the meeting also noted with satisfaction the ongoing efforts in strengthening ASEAN’s commitment to address climate change issues and noted the ongoing discussion on the initiative to establish an ASEAN Centre for Climate Change (ACCC), which is expected to be a climate change knowledge hub, think tank and strategic coordinator.
The meeting welcomed several initiatives on disaster management which are in line with the implementation of ASEAN SHIELD, including the development of the TOR of the ASEAN Disaster Resilience Platform to ensure a whole-of-ASEAN approach in disaster management and reaffirmed the commitment to enhance the quality of life of the ASEAN people through the strengthening of continued cooperation in the areas of health, social protection, cultural and creative industries.
Accompanying Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan at the meeting were Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari as well as senior officials from the ministry.
The 27th ASCC Council Meeting was preceded by the 32nd SOCA and the 5th Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Culture of Prevention (5th WG on CoP) held on March 28 and 29 via video conference.