Ministers vow to achieve priorities of Asean Socio-Cultural Community
Asean ministers under the Asean Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) have voiced their continued support for the realisation of the Community's priorities this year, welcoming a series of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Asean in 2017.
This was the consensus of the 17th Meeting of the ASCC Council held in Iloilo, the Philippines, from March 8-9.
At the meeting entitled “Pa rtnering for Change, Engaging the World”, ministers and heads of delegations from Asean member states exchanged views on the Community's contribution to achieving the thematic priorities under the leadership of the Philippines.
Their goals are to build a people-oriented and people-centred Asean; peace and stability in the region; maritime security and cooperation; inclusive, innovation-led grow th; Asean resiliency; and to create Asean as a model and a global player.
In their joint statement, the ministers acknowledged the progress of implementation of the ASCC Blueprint 2025and the development of work plans for the various sectoral bodies of the ASCC, including cross-cutting initiatives and community-building issues.
In his remarks at the meeting last Thursday, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr Savankhone Razmountry reminded participants about the outcomes of the 28th and 29th Asean Summits held in Vientiane last September, when a number of documents under the ASCC pillar were adopted by Asean leaders.
“These documents meet the needs and the real situation of Asean as well as the eight priorities of Laos' chairmanship of Asean in 2016, all of which will greatly contribute to the implementation and realisation of the Asean Community Vision 2025 and the ASCC Blueprint 2025,” he said.
Mr Savankhone also described how the Lao government had implemented the outcomes of the 15th and 16th ASCC Council meetings held in Luang Prabang and Vientiane. He said these had been part of Asean activities and external partners' projects under the cooperation framework of the ASCC through conducting and participating in meetings, workshops and seminars.
Internal consultative meetings among the cross-sectoral bodies and private sectors had been convened in Vientiane and the provinces to exchange views and disseminate the outcomes of the 28th and 29th Asean Summits and related meetings.
Mr Savankhone added that this year Asean has been more proactive in turning the Asean Community Vision 2025 into reality. “I am pleased to note that good progress has been made in the implementation of the ASCC Blueprint. Almost all the relevant sectoral bodies under the ASCC have completed and adopted their work plans for 2016-2020 in accordance with the ASCC Blueprint 2025.”
The information and media sector has done its job in promoting Asean community integration and tourism, in particular eco-tourism in Asean, with people's participation for poverty reduction and sustainable development. With the AMRI regional communication plan, media outlets in Asean member states have increased their reports and exchanges of news and articles on current affairs as well as political, economic and socio-cultural developments in the region in order to create deeper understanding and a better awareness of Asean within Asean and in the international community.
“So I hope that Asean media outlets will step up their promotion of Asean's image and cultural identity and each other's important national agendas and events. This year Laos is preparing to launch Visit Laos Year in 2018 and we look forward to receiving support from all Asean member states and also to mark the 50th founding anniversary of Asean,” Mr Savankhone said.
In their joint statement, the ministers of the Asean Socio-Cultural Community expressed their expectation for the signing by Asean leaders of the Declaration on the Role of Civil Service, which they saw as a catalyst for achieving the Asean Community Vision 2025 in pursuit of the 2017 priorities at the 30th Summit.
The ministers committed to support the finalisation of the Asean instrument to implement the Asean Declaration for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
They welcomed the activities to be held throughout 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Asean.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 13, 2017)