The 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting for Social Welfare and Social Development (AMMSWD) opened in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on September 6.

Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen led the Vietnamese delegation to the event.

Addressing the event, themed “Social Development for All”, both Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh laid special emphasis on the significance of social welfare to the integration and development process.

The ASEAN Secretary General applauded the coordination among ASEAN member countries as well as between the ten-member group and its partners in promoting social welfare programmes and assisting poor people and vulnerable groups, thus contributing to sustainable social development.

PM Hun Sen said social welfare and development has always been part of ASEAN’s socio-economic development strategy for the past decades.

The PM urged ASE AN member countries to pay attention to improving social assistance at all levels, to ensure that every person, especially the poor, vulnerable groups, people with disabilities, the elderly, illiterate teenagers and migrant labourers receive equal assistance and essential social services, in order to consolidate the bloc’s socio-cultural community.

The 8 th AMMSWD will discuss policies and programmes on social services and put forth suggestions to increase social services and protection for disadvantaged groups, focusing on the elderly, children and people with disabilities. It is also an opportunity for member countries to compare notes and share experience on good social security models.

The ASEAN ministers will also work on the drafts of the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection and the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children, which will be submitted to the 23 rd ASEAN Summit in Brunei in October this year for approval.

Within the framework of the 8th AMMSWD from September 2-7, there will be the fourth ASEAN+3 Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare, the ninth ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Social Welfare and the eighth ASEAN and Non-governmental Organisations Forum.-VNA