ASEAN Social-Cultural Community Council convenes 23rd meeting hinh anh 1At the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - A virtual 23rd meeting of the ASEAN Social-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council took place in Hanoi on June 23, with the ten ministers in charge of ASCC, the ASEAN Secretary General, delegates from member countries, and the ASEAN Secretariat taking part.

It was the first periodic meeting hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in its capacity as ASCC Chair 2020.

Chairing the event, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung, who is also Vice Chairman of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee and ASCC Chair 2020, said it is the first time in the history of the bloc that ASEAN senior officials’ meetings and summits have been held online, due to COVID-19. This requires governments cope with different contingencies to protect lives, stabilise economies, and ensure social welfare, he said.

Towards the theme “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”, he said Vietnam has suggested initiatives and priorities regarding human resources, social welfare, and communications to further promote the community's efforts towards the ASEAN Vision 2025.

This is an extremely important time for ASEAN, as its three communities are conducting mid-term reviews on the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Vision 2025. All ASEAN specialised agencies are also reviewing the 2016-2020 Work Plan and building the 2021-2025 Plan of Action.

Amid COVID-19, ASEAN leaders and specialised agencies on healthcare, human resources, social welfare, development, and education held symposiums to share experiences and enhance cooperation in dealing with the harmful effects of the pandemic.

With 15 specialised agencies covering various fields, Minister Dung said the ASCC must coordinate efforts to ensure socio-economic development.

Participants shared their opinions on priorities and cooperation during the period of recovery from COVID-19, to set orientations for the ASEAN Community’s activities this year and the next five years, towards a cohesive ASEAN Community that is beneficial for all./.