October 19, 2017

ASEAN’s socio-cultural pillar can help minimize the tension of regional issues, promote more ASEAN identity among member states: Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham

Bagan, 30 Sept—The 12th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council
Meeting was opened at the Aureum Palace Hotel in Bagan on Tuesday, with an address by Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham, sources said.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham said:
We have witnessed, how ASEAN has endured and overcome the regional issues with resilience, and sustained its “One Vision, One Identity and One Community” since its inception 47 years ago.
For Myanmar’s first ever Chairmanship, after being a member for 17 years, we have chosen the theme: “Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community,” with the emphasis on further reinforcing collective actions, to ensure the emergence of a united and harmonious ASEAN Community, by 2015.
The challenges for ASEAN today, are huge, complex, multifaceted and transnational in nature, which call for a more coordinated socio-cultural pillar, can help minimize the tension of the regional issues, and be able to promote more ASEAN identity among the member states.
The human, natural and cultural resources of ASEAN, not only provide the means for economic growth, but also help sustain its development. Conservation of these resources, allows the region to prosper now and into the future, enabling people to uplift their socio-economy, thereby reducing poverty and improving their overall standard of living.
ASEAN Member states are to work even harder to help build ASEAN identity through the promotion of ASEAN awareness, and a sense of community, preservation of ASEAN cultural heritage, promotion of cultural
creativity and industry and engagement with the community.
It is accepted as our collective personality, norms, values and beliefs, as well as aspirations, as one ASEAN Community.
The commitment we made in 2013 in BSW Declaration, calls for moving forwards a people-centered Community and people connectivity. The Nay Pyi Taw Declaration, announced at the 24th ASEAN Summit, highlights most socio-cultural issues under ASCC, and urged constructive and meaningful engagement, with all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, the academia, parliamentarians, youth and civil society groups, with the hope of forging and becoming a people-centered ASEAN.
Myanmar, the Chair of ASEAN, has proposed a number of priorities, in the ASCC Pillar’s tasks. These include to undertake the work in progress, on the ASEAN Agreement for Protection of Rights of Migrant Workers, to reconsolidate collective efforts, on climate change and disaster management, to redouble the efforts, no poverty reduction, to strengthen social safety nets, and forge a common identity, to build a caring, sharing, and harmonious society, to promote inclusiveness in sharing the region’s wealth, and to enhance the role of women and children.
We must continue to build ASEAN capacity, to advance regional peace, stability, prosperity and social harmony. For Post-2015 Vision therefore, all Working Groups under each Pillar, should come up with a comprehensive Framework too.
During this Meeting, with collaboration and coordination from each country, we will be able to undertake a meaningful deliberation and fruitful discussion, providing inputs to the ASEAN Community, for this year, and for many years to come.
As Chairman of the ASEAN Socio-Culture Council, Union Minister for Culture extended greetings.
After the opening ceremony, Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham received a courtesy call by ministers scheduled to attend the 12th ASEAN Socio-Culture Community Council Ministers’ Meeting and the deputy secretary-general of ASEAN in Bagan on Tuesday morning.

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