JAKARTA, 16 May 2017 – ASEAN took a step further in building a people-oriented, people-centred community  during the 12th Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community held on 15-16 May at the ASEAN Secretariat. It brought together all sectoral bodies in the socio-cultural pillar, Ambassadors to ASEAN of the member states, representatives from sectors in the political-security pillar, and selected regional entities .

The conference highlighted progress achieved by the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) since the establishment of the ASEAN Community as well as auspicious events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.  The Philippines as ASEAN Chair for 2017 shared the priorities for the year and enjoined the support of ASCC to deliver the expected outcome documents for the 31st ASEAN Summit in November.

This year’s conference focused on creating synergies through sectoral efforts at national and regional levels to promote the agenda on“Culture of Prevention.” This is a broad cross-cutting initiative that aims to promote respect, tolerance, culture of peace, human rights and lawfulness and contribute towards preventing various forms of violence, including violent extremism, criminality, drug use and trafficking as well as violence against women and children.

Delegates also  exchanged ideas on operationalizing the ASCC Blueprint through a robust monitoring and evaluation framework and highlighted the need to intensify efforts at communicating what ASEAN does for its peoples.

The conference is a regular platform that enables representation across ASEAN sectors and partners in the socio-cultural pillar to ensure that the ASEAN Community is inclusive and engages and benefits the people.