PARIS, 20 December 2013 – The signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement for Cooperation between ASEAN and UNESCO was held on 17 December at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. Signing the document on behalf of ASEAN was H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, and for UNESCO was H.E. Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO. Members and representatives of the ASEAN UNESCO Committee (AUC) – Ambassadors of the ASEAN Members States accredited to UNESCO based in Paris, and high-level officials from UNESCO witnessed the signing.
The ASEAN-UNESCO Framework Agreement is the first of its kind that ASEAN has concluded with a UN Specialised Agency after the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter in 2008.
ASEAN attaches high importance to the cooperation with UNESCO and the conclusion of the Framework Agreement marked an important milestone in ASEAN-UNESCO cooperation. The Framework Agreement sets out the course of cooperative actions for the next five years (2014-2018) and beyond as ASEAN is developing the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision. The Framework Agreement and its five-year Indicative Joint Programme of Action 2014-2018 spells out seven main areas of cooperation: (i) education, (ii) Science, Technology & Innovation (STI); (iii) Disaster Risk Reduction; (iv) Environmental Sustainability; (v) Social and Human Sciences; (vi) culture; and (vii) Communication & Information.
This Agreement comes at the time when ASEAN is striving to build a people-oriented, caring and sharing Community, which is inclusive and where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced. The Framework Agreement would also serve as a broad and ambitious framework to the long-standing and ongoing collaborative efforts that individual ASEAN Member States have had with UNESCO.