JAKARTA, 15 October 2018 – Today, the ASEAN Secretariat hosted the 2nd Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN.  The forum served as a platform for the entities to explore possible cooperation between ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN sectoral bodies, ASEAN related centres and entities, and among the entities themselves.

Over 80 participants representing ASEAN parliamentarians, judiciaries, youth, civil societies, women, and business and professional associations attended the forum.

ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi highlighted in his welcome remarks the entities’ achievements and challenges in relation to the strategic measures under respective the three ASEAN pillars. “I believe it is time for ASEAN to further engage the entities, especially the entities associated with us, as part of our family. Our engagement with entities, along with the Centres,  in itself showcases the people-oriented side of ASEAN,” said Dato Lim.

On his part, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN Ambassador Tan Hung Seng underlined the importance for entities, centres, and the ASEAN Secretariat to discuss thematic issues relevant to the priorities of the respective pillar of ASEAN. He said, “like ASEAN, your respective organisations recognise that there is value to enhance regional cooperation, to share experiences and best practices; harness group synergies and economies of scale; and to make a collective push in what you believe in.”

During the interface with the entities, Dato Lim shared ASEAN’s vision, recent works and how civil society organisations could help in achieving the ASEAN Vision 2025. He encouraged the entities to “spread the message of how ASEAN helps the people and also how people can help ASEAN.”

Participants received updates from three pillars of ASEAN namely ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

A number of ASEAN centres also shared with the forum their collaboration stories with various stakeholders. These centres include ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, ASEAN Business Advisory Council, and ASEAN Centre for Energy.

Isra Sunthornvut, Secretary General of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, said that the forum was an important opportunity for the ASEAN entities to come together to talk about their grievances and problems. “We represent a vast network of interests of ASEAN; the forum is an opportunity for us to find paths to make ourselves stronger and self-reliant,” he said.

There are currently 71 Entities Associated with ASEAN which are listed in Annex 2 of the ASEAN Charter. They are categorised into parliamentarians and judiciary, business organisation, think tank and academic institution category, civil society organisation, and other stakeholders.