SEVENTEENTH MEETING OF THE SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETING ON SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT (17TH SOMSWD) and 1st ASEAN OUTSTANDING SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT AWARDS (AOSWADA) PRESENTATION CEREMONY 2021

16 December 2021

The Seventeenth Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (17th SOMSWD Meeting) began today via video conference. The meeting was chaired by Her Excellency Madam Ramrung Worawat, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Thailand and attended by the Deputy Secretary General for ASEAN Socio Cultural Community as well as Senior Officials responsible for Social Welfare and Development from ASEAN Member States. Yang Mulia Dayang Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports attended on behalf of Brunei Darussalam.

With the theme of “Strengthening Partnerships towards the Betterment of ASEAN”, the 17th SOMSWD aims to enhance the well-being and improve the quality of life of older persons, children, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups in ASEAN. In supporting the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD), SOMSWD plays a central role in recommending regional policies, developing and implementing the five-year regional workplan, and managing partnerships to advance social welfare and development in ASEAN.

The 17th SOMSWD was preceded by the 16th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development held on 15th December 2021, via video conference. The Forum was co-chaired by Miss Ramrung Worawat, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, as SOMSWD Co-Chair, and Professor Emeritus Dr. Chanita Rukspollmuang, National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand (NCSWT), as NGO Co-Chair. The overall objective of the Forum is to serve as a multi-stakeholder platform and venue of exchanges for ASEAN Member States, NGOs, CSOs, private sector, academia, and relevant stakeholders on measures and resources needed to advance social welfare and development in ASEAN, with particular focus on building a more inclusive and resilient post-pandemic world based on the notion of leaving no one behind.

Amongst others, the 17th SOMSWD discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Framework and Action Plan to Implement the ASEAN Declaration On Strengthening Social Protection, the Regional Action Plan to Implement The Kuala Lumpur Declaration On Ageing: Empowering Older Persons In ASEAN, the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming The Rights of Persons With Disabilities, the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on The Elimination Of Violence Against Children (RPA-EVAC) as well as the Strategic Framework on Social Welfare and Development. The 17th SOMSWD will continue with the 16th ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development to be held on 17th December 2021. 

Prior to the convening of the 17th SOMSWD, the presentation ceremony for the 1st ASEAN Outstanding Social Development Awards 2021 was held, also via video conference. 

The ASEAN Outstanding Social Development Awards was endorsed by the ASEAN Ministers for Social Welfare and Development this year, with the objective of enhancing and elevating the engagements of SOMSWD with various stakeholders. The Awards, which are available in two categories, non-government organisations or civil society organisations (NGOs/CSOs) Category and the Private Sector Category, are also aimed at fostering sustained partnerships and cooperation among NGOs/CSOs, social enterprises, and the private sector in ASEAN Member States, and contribute to the advancement of social welfare and development, guided by the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Social Welfare and Development, which contains priorities for children, the elderly and persons with different abilities.

The 1st AOSWADA Awardees 2021 from Brunei Darussalam are Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam for the NGO/CSO Category, and imagine Sendirian Berhad for the Private Sector Category. Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam was awarded the AOSWADA for the NGO/CSO Category in recognition of its achievements as one of the longest running organisations advocating for the development of persons with different abilities in Brunei Darussalam, whilst imagine Sendirian Berhad was awarded the AOSWADA for the Private Sector Category due to its active contributions and corporate social responsibility initiatives relating to the protection of children, in particular but not limited to, the Talian ANAK 121.

Present to receive the awards virtually on behalf of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam were Yang Mulia Pengiran Datin Hajah Noraini Pengiran Dipa Negara Laila Diraja binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Momin, Executive Trustee of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam and Yang Mulia Dayang Nurul Huda binti Awg Haji Muhin, Head of Administration, whilst the Award for imagine Sendirian Berhad was received by Yang Mulia Dayang Suzannawati Suharju, Chief Executive Officer of imagine Sendirian Berhad.

Source: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984