20 October 2021

The 17th Senior Officials Meeting on Culture and the Arts (17th SOMCA) and Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners was held via video conference. Attending on behalf of Brunei Darussalam was Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) and senior officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

The 17th SOMCA and Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners was officiated by Her Excellency Dr Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom of Cambodia and chaired by Her Excellency Pen Moni Makara, Secretary of State of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia. In her remarks, Her Excellency Pen Moni Makara highlighted the importance of the meeting for ASEAN to strengthen cooperation through sharing of best practices in cultural aspects especially during the Covid-19 pandemic; for ASEAN to inculcate the Culture of Prevention (COP) which aims to promote and nurture a prevention mindset to address social issues including violence, environmental degradation and quality of life in all levels; and SOMCA’s priority in contributing to culture.

The meeting also held dialogues with the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea and India. In the dialogues with the People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea the meeting discussed the status of the ASEAN Plus 3 Work Plan on Cooperation in Culture and the Arts 2019-2021, and the respective Work Plans on Cooperation in Culture and the Arts with People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea 2022-2025. An inaugural discussion was held with India, through the Permanent Mission of India to ASEAN, where the meeting acknowledged the close relations between ASEAN and India, in terms of history and civilizational links, and further discussed proposed activities to strengthen cultural cooperation between ASEAN and India.

The meeting also shared the status of ongoing and implemented projects under SOMCA and reports on activities in conjunction with the declaration of Siem Reap as the ASEAN City of Culture 2020-2022. At the same time, senior officials on culture and arts welcomed the ASEAN Cultural Activities under Cambodian Chairmanship of ASEAN 2022.

Brunei Darussalam also shared updates on the status of implementation of culture and arts activities under Brunei’s Chairmanship of ASEAN 2021 such as the publication of the Coffee Table Book on ASEAN Diversity and outcomes of the G20 Culture Ministers Meeting that was held in July 2021, where Brunei Darussalam as Chair of ASEAN was invited to attend and presented a statement on behalf of ASEAN.

The 18th SOMCA and Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners is scheduled to be held in Lao PDR in October 2022.

Prepared by: 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