ASEAN holds first partnership conference on COVID-19 recovery hinh anh 1In Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: Xinhua)

Jakarta (VNA) – The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) recently held its first virtual Partnership Conference themed “Towards Post-COVID Recovery and Resilience in ASEAN” to strengthen cross-pillar and cross-sectoral coordination among ASEAN, its stakeholders and partners in realising the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

The event attracted 222 delegates, including leaders of ASCC, Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, representatives of ASEAN sectoral dialogue partners, development partners, UN agencies, international organisations, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for ASCC Kung Phoak  emphasised that the region’s recovery efforts must be done in a systematic and coordinated way, in concert with stakeholders and partners. He reiterated that these major tasks cannot be accomplished by the ASEAN governments alone.

Chair of Senior Officials’ Committee for the ASCC (SOCA) Hajah Nor Ashikin Binti Haji Johari further underscored that the Partnership Conference would maximise existing resources to implement the identified priorities of the Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. These priorities are aligned with Brunei’s ASEAN Chairmanship theme, placing peoples’ well-being as ASEAN’s top overall agenda.

The 15 ASCC Sectoral Bodies presented their priority areas and identified relevant activities planned for the next five years that would promote a sense of regional agenda and sustain the ASCC building efforts towards post-pandemic recovery.

Representatives from partner countries and organisations recognised the shared commitments of the ASCC Sectoral Bodies and ascertained areas of mutual interest for potential collaboration.

They further underscored the importance of a whole-ASEAN approach to ensure that interventions are not only effective but also sustainable.

In closing, delegates expressed confidence that the dialogue will further lead to concrete actions between ASCC Sectoral Bodies and partners, in laying the groundwork for ASEAN’s post-COVID efforts, in the spirit of a community that is caring, prepared and prosperous in all its actions./.