Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith speaks at the meeting's opening ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC) convened its 16th meeting in Vientiane, Laos, on August 31 with the participation of officials in charge from the 10 member countries.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan.

Opening the event, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith appreciated the ASCC’s efforts in implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity to 2025 and promoting the realisation of the Community’s priorities.

He underlined the meeting’s importance, elaborating that its outcomes will be reported to ASEAN leaders at the approaching 28th ASEAN Summit.

The Community’s documents this year that focus on vulnerable groups will help create a caring and sharing society in ASEAN as targeted in the Master Plan, he added.

During the one-day meeting, officials will consider documents and declarations to be submitted to the 28th ASEAN Summit, including a Vientiane declaration on transition from informal employment to formal employment towards decent work promotion in ASEAN, a Vientiane declaration on reinforcing cultural heritage cooperation in ASEAN, and an ASEAN declaration on the bloc’s common response.

Other joint declarations are on biodiversity, strengthening education for out-of-school children and youth, climate change, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Socio-Cultural Community is one of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community that took shape on December 31, 2015. The other two are the Political-Security Community and the Economic Community.-VNA