ASEAN’s socio-economic progress in these two and a half decades is heralded by remarkable human and sustainable development. At the heart of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) is the commitment to lift the quality of life of its peoples through cooperative activities that are people-oriented, people-centred, environmentally friendly, and geared towards the promotion of sustainable development. The ASCC 2025 opens a world of opportunities to collectively deliver and fully realise human development, resiliency and
sustainable development as we face new and emerging challenges together.

The ASCC’s strategy and planning mechanism, the ASCC Blueprint, was substantially implemented from 2009 to 2015 and was shown to be effective in developing and strengthening the coherence of policy frameworks and institutions to advance Human Development, Social Justice and Rights, Social Protection and Welfare, Environmental Sustainability, ASEAN Awareness, and Narrowing the Development Gap. More concretely, the ASCC has helped to heighten commitment in the form of policy and legal frameworks, such as the Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases in ASEAN and the Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN.

The region has also shown collective will, for example, in offering quick, tangible action in humanitarian assistance through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre). Underlying these initiatives are important development outcomes spurring social changes in the region: the proportion of people living on less than USD1.25 per day fell from one in two persons to one in
eight persons in the last two decades; the net enrolment rate for children of primary school age rose from 92 percent in 1999 to 94 percent in 2012; proportion of seats held by women in parliaments increased from 12 percent in 2000 to 18.5 percent in 2012; maternal mortality per 100,000 live births fell from 371.2 in 1990 to 103.7 in 2012; and the proportion of urban population living in slums decreased
from 40 percent in 2000 to 31 percent in 2012

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