Virtual consultation looks into ASEAN Identity Narrative hinh anh 1The virtual consultation on the Narrative of ASEAN Identity on August 31 (Photo:

Jakarta (VNA) – The ASEAN Secretariat held an online cross-sectoral and cross-pillar consultation on the Narrative of ASEAN Identity on August 31.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Kung Phoak, and Chairs of the ASEAN sectoral bodies from the three ASEAN Community Pillars attended the meeting to discuss the development of the narrative.

In his opening remarks, the ASEAN Secretary-General said: “In order for ASEAN to gain wider traction, we need to go beyond promoting the understanding of ASEAN. ASEAN needs to develop a sense of belonging and ownership among its 660 million people.’’

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi stated: “ASEAN Identity must become the soul that binds ASEAN as it progresses as one family. This is particularly important as ASEAN transforms itself from a society into a community, with shared values and common vision. In the coming years, the ASEAN Identity must be streamlined into the workplans of all the sectoral bodies from the three pillars of ASEAN.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General Kung Phoak urged the sectoral bodies to continue to be proactive in mainstreaming ASEAN Identity, noting that this is just the beginning.

“We foresee more discussions and engagements with our sectoral bodies to understand how we are to celebrate and operationalise ASEAN Identity,” he added.

The idea to develop the Narrative of ASEAN Identity was first introduced following the adoption of the Yogyakarta Declaration on Embracing Culture of Prevention to Enrich ASEAN Identity by the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts in October 2018.

As 2020 is the Year of ASEAN Identity, the Senior Officials Meeting for Culture and Arts (SOMCA) talked and supported the development on the Narrative of ASEAN Identity at the 15th SOMCA in September 2019. The draft narrative was also discussed with civil society organisations during the Virtual Consultative Meeting held on August 24.

This narrative will be the main deliverable of the 2020 Year of ASEAN Identity and one of the key deliverables of Vietnam’s chairmanship. It is set to be adopted by the bloc’s leaders at the 37th ASEAN Summit this November./.