JAKARTA, 11 June 2021 – Today, the ASEAN Secretariat virtually hosted the 5th Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN. This is the second time the Forum is taking place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 100 participants representing ASEAN parliamentarians, judiciaries, youth, civil societies, women, and business and professional associations attended the forum, which is convened to strengthen the partnership between entities and ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN sectoral bodies, ASEAN related centres, and among themselves.
One highlight of this year’s forum was the launch of the Entities Digital Platform. The platform is an independent cybernetic space for ASEAN’s associated entities and centres, which is embedded in the ASEAN website. It allows members to directly engage with one another; to post event announcements, and to call for applications. It also aims to streamline the accreditation process through digitalisation.
Opening the forum, Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs Tran Duc Binh remarked that ‘’while we are once again physically apart for this annual forum, I am confident that our discussion today will bring us closer together especially for our journey toward recovery.’’
The forum kicked off with an interface featuring DSG Tran Duc Binh and DSG for ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh on the role of the ASEAN Entities and Centres in the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework Plan (ACRF).
‘’We need to learn to live with the pandemic while at the same time, start our efforts for safe reopening, as we prioritise public health, recovery, and long-term resilience,’’ said Singh during the interface. ‘’The ACRF is being implemented alongside efforts to contain the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some Member States. To date, of the 184 ACRF initiatives in the implementation plan, more than 10% have been completed, and a further 75% have been commenced or partly completed,’’ he added.
The Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to ASEAN also held an interface on the subject of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper” which is the 2021 ASEAN Chair theme under Brunei Darussalam. In the Chair’s opening remarks, Ambassador Hairani looked forward to hearing constructive proposals on the fostering of an ASEAN Identity, and on how the ASEAN Entities and private sectors can contribute to the ASEAN Community building and thereby to improve the livelihood of the ASEAN people.
While the interface covered a comprehensive range of subject matters, the general consensus expressed by ASEAN CPR is the importance of maintaining regular exchange of information between CPR and ASEAN Entities. The sentiment is that through the sharing of information, ASEAN Member States can firstly identify the needs, and thereafter to synergise the programs on the ground for the better efforts of community building for ASEAN.
Lee Yoong Yoong, Director for Community Affairs, in his closing remarks, encouraged ASEAN and its entities to continue working closer together in achieving the ASEAN Vision 2025. ‘’With the launch of digital platform for entities, we look forward to seeing more engagement and initiatives among entities and centres,’’ he concluded.
There are currently 77 entities associated with ASEAN listed in Annex 2 of the ASEAN Charter. This forum was supported by the German Federal Government through the GIZ cooperation project.
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