Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr. AKP Mochtan addresses the forum in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 29 (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – An annual forum held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 29 highlighted social organisations’ role in promoting the building of the ASEAN Community.

The third forum of social organisations associated with ASEAN gathered representatives of the member countries’ permanent missions, research institutes and social organisations.

Opening the event, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr. AKP Mochtan said the forum matched the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” put forth by Thailand, which holds the ASEAN Chair this year. To ensure the ASEAN Community building efforts are effective, it is necessary to have the support and cooperation of all relevant sides to contribute to the region’s integration.

An important factor in the community building is to improve public awareness of the importance of ASEAN integration to the life of 635 million people in the region. In 2018, the ASEAN Secretariat conducted a survey of people’s awareness of ASEAN to evaluate communications efforts. Results showed that the awareness of the ASEAN Community and its three pillars remained relatively low, he noted.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the forum, Ambassador Phaspron Sangasubana, head of Thailand’s permanent mission to ASEAN, emphasised the importance of social entities in the building of a people-centred ASEAN community.

Echoing this, Executive Director of the Jakarta-based Centre for Southeast Asian Studies Arisman said the countries are working towards promoting people’s connectivity in the building of the ASEAN Community, especially with the engagement of multiple parties, including civil organisations, the media and associations.

Considering social organisations as a knowledge bridge between ASEAN and people, the ASEAN Secretariat pledged to continue stepping up cooperation among relevant sides so as to boost the building of a people-centred ASEAN community.

Founded on August 8, 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. 

The ASEAN Community came into being on December 31, 2015.
The ASEAN Vision 2025 was adopted earlier the same year, focusing on building a people-centred community.-VNA