JAKARTA, 31 March 2021 – The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council gathered today to discuss strategic issues and directions for the Socio-Cultural pillar. The Council extended support to priorities under Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2021 theme, “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”,  which aims to strengthen ASEAN’s efforts toward recovery, resilience and shared prosperity.

The Council commended the ASCC sectoral bodies for the timeliness and significance of their initiatives and outcome documents for adoption and notation by the Leaders in the 38th ASEAN Summit, the 16th East Asia Summit and the 24th ASEAN Plus Three Summit.

They also shared views on strategic issues under the pillar, highlighting the importance of transformative social protection, preparing the youth for the future, human resource development, women development and gender mainstreaming, building future resilience towards green recovery, equal access to digitalisation, poverty reduction, sports and education among others.

In addition, several priorities were introduced, including:

  • the plan to establish the Strategic and Holistic Initiative to Link ASEAN Responses to Emergencies and Disasters (ASEAN SHIELD);
  • the development of the Comprehensive Framework on Care Economy;
  • the Institutionalisation of Innovation Platform Dialogue;
  • the plan the establish the ASEAN Climate Change Centre;
  • ASEAN Youth Academy Programme;
  • ASEAN Walk 2022:
  • and the Regional Policy Framework on Fostering Greater Understanding, Tolerance and a Sense of Regional Agendas among Peoples of ASEAN.

The priorities aim to build a harmonious and resilient community, ensure ASEAN’s prepared to respond to future challenges, and create opportunities for people to benefit through initiatives that enhance the sustainable prosperity of the region.

The 25th ASCC Council Meeting was preceded by the 30th Senior Officials Committee for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and the 4th Working Group on the Declaration on Culture of Prevention for A Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy, and Harmonious Society.