30 March 2021
Senior Officials Committee for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community meet online

Bandar Seri Begawan, 30 March 2021 - Senior Officials Committee for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (SOCA) Leaders today held their Thirtieth Meeting of the Senior Officials Committee for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (30th SOCA Meeting) through video conference. The meeting was chaired by Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, as Chair of SOCA and attended by His Excellency Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) and SOCA Leaders, as well as their respective delegations.

The 30th SOCA was held as a preparation for the 25th ASCC Council Meeting to be held on 31 March 2021.

In addressing the meeting, Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin highlighted that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic taught ASEAN to always be ready. Thus, prioritization is the key, focusing on ASEAN’s cohesive journey to resilience, and ensuring the well-being of ASEAN’s people taken care of, to build one ASEAN community. She also called on the SOCA Leaders and the ASEAN Secretariat to look into ways to consolidate and strengthen ASEAN’s efforts, including renewing those committed to in the past and reinforcing them through stronger cross-pillar, cross-sectoral collaboration. In turn, to assure ASEAN’s partners that ASEAN is an organization that is sustainable and resilient.

The Meeting supported Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN2021 Chairmanship, guided by the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, and agreed to work closely, together with the ASCC Sectoral Bodies, to deliver ASEAN’s collective commitment to care for its people and prepare for further challenges and opportunities, with the goal of ensuring that the whole ASEAN Community can sustainably prosper.

Amongst others, issues discussed are as followed:

(i) The meeting supported the proposed initiatives to advance the implementation of Culture of Prevention, as reported by the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on the Declaration on Culture of Prevention (CoP) for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society held yesterday;

(ii) As the follow-up to the adopted Mid-Term Review of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 Blueprint at the 37th ASEAN Summit in 2020, the meeting agreed that the ASCC should incorporate and align the Blueprint’s implementation, in the next five years, strategically and operationally, with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. This includes addressing issues on data availability and gaps;

(iii) The meeting noted the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 and looked forward to active engagement of relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies to the Capacity Building Initiative for ASEAN Sectoral Bodies to integrate the implementation and monitoring of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 scheduled to be held on 6-7 April 2021; and

(iv) The meeting looked forward to the establishment of the 3 ASCC Research and Development Platforms on (1) ASEAN Public Health Emergencies Platform; (2) ASEAN Climate Change Platform; and (3) ASEAN Disaster Management Platform.

The 30th SOCA is the follow up to the 29th SOCA Meeting held on 5 November 2020. The 31st SOCA Meeting will be held in September 2021.