JAKARTA, 25 May 2018 – In the spirit of cross-sectoral and cross-pillar collaboration, the socio-cultural pillar of the ASEAN Community (ASCC) had its coordinating conference, 13th SOC-COM, on 24-25 May at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for ASCC, chaired the conference that brought together more than 100 officials from the Senior Officials’ Committee for the ASCC (SOCA), representatives of sectoral bodies from all three pillars, the Committee of Permanent Representatives as well as ASEAN regional entities.

Highlights of the conference outcomes included discussion on the next steps in advancing the Declaration on Culture of Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy, and Harmonious Society; enhancing coordination of ASEAN cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues through the identification of lead pillar and ASCC relevant sectors; and progress in implementing the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Systems of the ASCC.

The conference also welcomed a number of forthcoming activities to strengthen the operationalisation of ASCC M&E in the area of capacity building, baseline study, and establishment of the ASCC e-monitoring and information. An open session with the United Nations (UN) was conducted on the first day of the conference. This marked the first time that the SOC-COM has had an open session with the UN, signifying the maturity and development of the ASEAN-UN partnership. It was another step in the direction to a “quantum leap” in ASEAN-UN partnership, as advocated by the UN Secretary-General at the 9th ASEAN-UN Summit in November 2017.

The conference agreed on the need for enhanced technical coordination between ASCC sectoral bodies and UN agencies, collaboration in advancing the Culture of Prevention, exchange of best practices on institutional coordination of UN prevention agenda, and the need for increased collaboration on resilience.

Representative of the ASEAN Economic Community Department presented and updated the conference on the ongoing assessment on ASEAN Readiness for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the way forward.

Other highlights of the conference were presentations and deliberations on the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, cross-pillar and cross-sectoral implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, application of Timor-Leste for membership to ASEAN, and progress in Promoting Complementarities between ASEAN Vision 2025 and the SDGs.