Senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have gathered at the 11th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Culture and Arts (SOMCA) in Indonesia to determine policies and strategies to promote arts and culture in the region.

Participants also discussed celebrating the formation of the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015, as well as ways for culture and arts to contribute to building a people-centred community.

Deputy Head of the Department of International Relations under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Ngoc Dinh said the event, which ran from May 12-14, is important as the ASEAN charts its post-2015 development future.

He added that the culture and arts sector needs to facilitate intercultural dialogues among ASEAN nations and highlight the role of culture in promoting sustainable development in the bloc.

A series of meetings with partners from China , Japan , and the Republic of Korea (RoK) were held to discuss common goals and mechanisms of culture and art cooperation.

The SOMCA Plus 3 Meeting was also convened to promote the centrality of culture and art in advancing mutual respect and meaningful partnerships throughout the region.

Other functions with UNESCO and the ASEAN Centres in China, Japan, and the RoK were held to explore partnership opportunities.-VNA