21 June 2021

The ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held on 21 June 2021 via videoconference, and was chaired by Emaleen Abd Rahman Teo, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brunei Darussalam. The ASEAN Senior Officials continued their work on developing the ASEAN SHIELD initiative, which will promote a strategic, holistic and coordinated approach across all three ASEAN Community pillars in responding to emergencies and disasters.
In line with Brunei Darussalam’s priority for ASEAN to be well prepared to face challenges, the Meeting endorsed Brunei Darussalam’s concept paper on the establishment of the ASEAN Junior Fellowship Programme with the ASEAN Secretariat that will create a well-rounded corps of professional and skilled young officers with perspectives of regional and global issues as well as be familiar with the work of ASEAN and its processes. The establishment of the Programme is expected to be announced at the forthcoming 38th ASEAN Summit.
Recognising the emerging significance of the blue economy, the Meeting agreed to Brunei Darussalam’s proposal to convene the ASEAN Workshop on the Blue Economy on 23 June 2021, which will contribute to ASEAN’s objective of reaching a common understanding on the blue economy for the region and identifying areas that ASEAN can work with its external partners.
The Meeting also discussed the follow-up to the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting which was held on 24 April 2021 as well as made preparations for the upcoming 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings. The ASEAN Senior Officials also had in-depth discussions on advancing ASEAN’s cooperation with all its dialogue partners.

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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