Vietnam supports care economy initiative at ASCC Council meeting hinh anh 1Vietnamese Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung at the videoconference (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Hanoi (VNA) – The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council convened its 26th meeting via videoconference on September 29, which was the most important event of the council in 2021 to consider and approve documents and declarations to be submitted to the 38th ASEAN Summit.

The meeting was attended by 10 ministers/heads of delegations of ASEAN countries, the ASEAN Secretary General, and the ASEAN Secretariat. Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung led the Vietnamese delegation to the event.

Participants noted that with high consensus, the ASCC has stayed responsive, frequently discussed, and made efforts to jointly achieve the priorities set at the start of the year in such areas as sustainable environment, readiness for the future of work, civil service adaptability, children’s rights, poverty eradication, gender mainstreaming, social work, protection of vulnerable population.

They highly valued the ASCC’s performance in implementing the initiative to enhance ASEAN’s integrated strength in response to natural disasters so as to protect people from relevant adverse impacts, particularly the inclusive and comprehensive activities aimed at resolving the shortages and challenges in terms of public health, social welfare, fake news, environmental degradation, and climate change.

ASEAN ministers shared their viewpoints on the fields that should be given more attention and further promoted by the ASCC in the time ahead, along with efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, including the implementation of the post-pandemic ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

They also voiced expectations for the establishment and operation of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).

Vietnam supports care economy initiative at ASCC Council meeting hinh anh 2The 26th ASCC Council Meeting takes place virtually on September 29 (Photo: VNA)
Addressing the meeting, Minister Dao Ngoc Dung expressed his support for the initiative to build a comprehensive framework on care economy proposed by Brunei, Chair of the ASCC in 2021.

This initiative focuses on responding to challenges and opportunities of an ageing society, building a disaster resilient ASEAN, stepping up technological reform and digital transformation in the bloc, turning families into the strong foundation for a care economy, promoting social welfare so as to leave no one behind, enhancing recovery capacity, and protecting the environment.

The Vietnamese official held that the proposed solutions are highly practical, able to guarantee social stability, contribute to economic development in the current context. The integration of initiatives and activities on COVID-19 response, post-pandemic recovery, and other emerging issues has shown that ASEAN is increasingly adaptive and resilient to economic shocks or social impacts of a changing world.

He expressed his belief that in the spirit of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, the bloc will keep taking firm steps forwards to surmount the pandemic in the near future.

Minister Dung also highlighted Vietnam’s efforts to address and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the Government’s proactive issuance and implementation of many financial - fiscal policies, tax cuts, electricity and water price reduction, cash aid packages for people and vulnerable groups, and the exemption and reduction of insurance contributions by the workers suffering from income losses in order to guarantee social security and recover the economy early.

Concluding the meeting, participating ministers issued a joint statement and approved 27 documents and declarations. Seven of the documents and declarations will be submitted to the 38th ASEAN Summit for approval. Meanwhile, 20 others on the youth, labour and employment, elimination of the worst forms of child labour, vocational training, public services, environment, mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts, and mid-term review of the implementation of the ASCC Blueprint will be submitted to the 38th ASEAN Summit for recognition./.

The ASCC Council meeting is a conference of ministers in charge of the cooperation fields under the ASCC. It is held biannually before an ASEAN summit to review the implementation of activities and prepare documents on cooperation activities within the ASCC’s remit to be submitted to the ASEAN Summit for approval.