15 March 2021
ASEAN Development Outlook is launched and 16th Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and 1st ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Partnership Conference are held

ASEAN Secretariat today launched the inaugural ASEAN Development Outlook (ADO), a regional publication to chart progress towards sustainable human development in the ASEAN region and to identify key challenges with examples of best practices for the future. The 2021 edition of the ADO focuses on inclusive and sustainable development in ASEAN across four (4) key thematic areas, namely: i) The ASEAN Identity, ii) Natural and Built Environment, iii) Livelihoods, and iv) Social Welfare and Health to help navigate and steer regional cooperation, and chart a vision of the ASEAN Community in coming years. This took into account of the major drivers of change in the region which will create opportuinities and present risks for current and future population. The ADO publication is expected to be one of the outcome documents for the 38th ASEAN Summit.

The ADO publication is produce of joint collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the ASEAN Secretariat under the overall guidance of the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (SOMRDPE), with contributions from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Sectoral Bodies across the ASEAN Community pillars and ASEAN’s strategic partners. The publication is made possible with the support from the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund.

The ceremony, held through video conference was attended by Yang Berhormat Major General (rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei Darussalam, as the Chair of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council together with His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of ASEAN and; His Excellency Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China; as well as ASEAN senior officials, ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, and lead researchers from University of Cambridge.

“This milestone publication of ADO is timely, especially against the backdrop of the unprecedented year of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will add value to ASCC’s work for inclusive, resilient and sustainable development in ASEAN” said Yang Berhormat Dato in his remarks. Whilst welcoming the comprehensive assessment of the current situation, challenges, opportunities, lessons learned, and best practices which will also serve as an excellent source of strategic, yet practical policy recommendations for ASEAN and respective member states. Yang Berhormat Dato also expressed his confidence that the publication will also support the work of ASCC’s sectoral bodies as ASEAN progress towards the realization of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so that no one is left behind.

In the morning, Senior Officials Committee for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (SOCA) Leaders attended the 16th Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (SOC-COM) co-chaired by His Excellency Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASCC and Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, as Brunei Darussalam’s SOCA Leader and Chair of SOCA, via video conference. Present also are Chairs of Senior Officials for ASEAN Political-Security Council, Senior Officials for ASEAN Economic Community Council and ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights; ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives; Chairs of Sectoral Bodies under ASCC and other ASEAN Entities. With the theme “Towards Post-COVID Recovery and Resilience in ASEAN”, the Conference, amongst others, discussed the findings and recommendations of the report of the Mid-Term Review of the ASCC Blueprint 2025 as well as the development of the ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision which form part of Brunei Darussalam’s priorities as ASEAN Chair for 2021. The Conference also deliberated on necessary operational resources to promote Post-COVID Recovery and Resilience in ASEAN.

Later in the afternoon, SOCA leaders attended the 1st ASCC Partnership Conference chaired by His Excellency Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASCC via video conference. Also participating in the conference were Chairs and Vice Chairs of Sectoral Bodies under ASCC; ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives; Chairs of Sectoral Bodies under ASCC; ASEAN’s Partners; UN Agencies; and International Organisations. During the conference, in tandem with the 16th SOC-COM discussions on key priorities towards Post-COVID recovery and resilience in ASEAN, participants exchanged views on the way forward following the adoption of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan by ASEAN Leaders last year.