JAKARTA, 29 April 2019 – ASEAN and its associated entities discussed the progress they have made and how they could strengthen collaboration in achieving a more integrated and people-focused ASEAN at the 3rd Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN held in Jakarta today.

Over 150 participants representing ASEAN youth, civil societies, women, business and professional associations attended the forum.

Hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat, the forum served as a platform for the entities to explore possible cooperation with ASEAN centres and sectoral bodies, and among the entities themselves.

Dr. AKP Mochtan, Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, highlighted in his welcome remarks how ASEAN and the entities could work closer together in achieving a more people-oriented and people-centred ASEAN. He said, “given the diversity among ASEAN entities as well as the expansive scopes that entities cover, there is a big role ASEAN entities can play to ensure agility and inclusiveness in our regional integration process.”

In her opening remarks, Permanent Representative of Thailand to ASEAN Phasporn Sangasubana underscored that “the forum is a useful initiative by ASEAN Secretariat as it provides a platform for the entities to interact with the Secretariat as the nerve centre of ASEAN. I’m sure this platform will help strengthen ASEAN community building.”

Dr. Suriya Chindawongse, Director-General of ASEAN Thailand National Secretariat, underlined Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship priorities particularly its emphasis on sustainable development and how entities, centres, and the ASEAN Secretariat could contribute.

During the forum, participants were briefed on the priorities under the three ASEAN Community pillars (Political Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural). Further, they had an interface with the ambassadors of Member States to ASEAN and discussed the role accredited entities can play in ASEAN Community building. Meanwhile, representatives from the sectoral bodies shared the issues they currently work on and how entities could be involved.

One participant, Hangga Fathana representing Passage to ASEAN, said the forum was very beneficial for his organisation. He said, “We are a socio-cultural organisation, but through this forum we understand that there are a lot of opportunities to leverage on and collaborate with other organisations, such as those focusing on economic field.”

There are currently 72 entities associated with ASEAN which are listed in Annex 2 of the ASEAN Charter.

The forum was partly supported by the Federal Government of Germany through Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).