Hanoi (VNA) –The ASEAN Social-Cultural Community (ASCC), one of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community scheduled to take shape on December 31 this year, pursues the most important objective of promoting social progress and building regional identity.

Joining hands for ASEAN unity in cultural diversity hinh anh 1ASEAN Social-Cultural Community, one of three pillars of ASEAN Community (Source: Internet)

The ASCC plays the role of connecting and supporting the other two pillars - the Political-Security Community and the Economic Community.

In a speech delivered at the ASCC’s fourth meeting which opened in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang on August 16, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that ASEAN member countries have enhanced cooperation in culture and social affairs in an effort to form the ASCC at the end of this year.

The ASCC is expected to be a community of solidarity and unification where member countries can work to narrow gaps and reach a shared identity.

The initiative for the ASCC was formed under the ASEAN Vision 2020 approved at the second unofficial ASEAN high-level meeting in December 2007.

The ultimate goal is to build a human-centred community, a sharing and harmonious society with better social welfare for everyone.

The objective has been step by step realised though specific cooperation programmes such as the ASCC Plan of Action 2004, the Vientiane Action Programme 2004 and the ASCC Master Plan 2009-2015.

The master plan focuses on human development, social welfare and insurance, rights, social equality, a sustainable environment, ASEAN identity and narrowing development gap.

Since joining ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has seen progress in cooperation with other member countries in the fields of communications as well as cultural and artistic exchanges.

The country has hosted many successful cultural events of the bloc and actively participated in cultural events held in other ASEAN nations.

Through these events, Vietnamese officials and artists had opportunities to learn from regional countries’ experience with the effective support of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information.

Joining hands for ASEAN unity in cultural diversity hinh anh 2Delegates to the sixth meeting of ASEAN Ministers responsible for Culture and Arts (Source: Internet)
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said that the Vietnamese Government, as a founding member of the ASCC initiative, has made every effort to improve the Vietnamese people’s cultural, spiritual and material lives, while closely coordinating with other member countries to build regional features.

The ASEAN Community is tasked with preserving and further enriching the cultural identities of its member countries.

Through the ASEAN Community, regional people, especially the youth, are expected to deepen their understanding and raise the sense of membership.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan said that Vietnam has met, and will continue to fulfil its membership obligations, contributing to the development of the ASCC in particular and the ASEAN Community in general.

Joining hands for ASEAN unity in cultural diversity hinh anh 3ASEAN Traditional Music Festival in Thanh  Hoa province (Source: Internet)

Regional governments and people advocate building ASEAN culture through unity in diversity. The ASCC is seen as a mirror reflecting the most beautiful and vivid images of the bloc to international friends and partners.

By: Thu Hien-Huy Hiep-Thu Huong