JAKARTA, 12 March 2014 – A cross-sectoral meeting on ASEAN Virtual Learning Resources Centre (AVLRC) was held yesterday as a response to the call of the 22nd ASEAN Summit on promoting ASEAN awareness and communicating ASEAN’s efforts to the relevant sectors, people and stakeholders, about the benefits of regional integration.

About 50 delegates, including representatives from different sectors and coordinating bodies in ASEAN, and technical experts in the region, attended the meeting. They exchanged views on the development of information and knowledge portals, and lessons learnt using these portals to outreach and educate people about ASEAN. 

Participants of the meeting agreed that the AVLRC shall be an extensive database providing a common platform to gather information on ASEAN Member States, or ASEAN as a Community. “It will be an innovative and creative platform to give the public more information on what is going on in ASEAN, tell them how they can benefit from ASEAN, ask them to share what they have learned from the ASEAN integration, and encourage them to contribute to ASEAN community building process,” said Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, H.E. Alicia dela Rosa Bala.

The Meeting agreed that the AVLRC shall not only be disseminating information about ASEAN, but also promote coordination mechanisms amongst different sectors to address cross-sectoral issues. It shall connect the like-minded people in ASEAN, catalyse others to join forces in ASEAN community building, and tell younger generations about their contributions to ASEAN. 

The AVLRC will be developed in stages with the first phase focusing on ASEAN’s people, culture, history, places of interest, education, youth and ICT (Information and Communications Technology).  The Meeting also discussed the way forward to ensure the sustainability and relevance of the AVLRC in the evolving regional environment.

This AVLRC is one of the 15 prioritised projects in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), and is funded by the ASEAN Development Fund.