JAKARTA, 16 March 2021 – Yesterday, Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, in coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat, hosted the 16th Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (SOC-COM), to enhance synergy on the cross-sectoral and cross-pillar work of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASCC Kung Phoak co-chaired the meeting with Hajah Nor Ashikin Binti Haji Johari, the Chair of the Senior Officials Committee for the ASCC (SOCA).

Over a hundred officials from SOCA, representatives of sectoral bodies from all three pillars of ASEAN, Committee of Permanent Representatives, as well as ASEAN regional entities participated in the meeting which aimed at facilitating collaboration between and among ASCC sectoral bodies on cross-sectoral issues.

The conference’s theme was “Towards Post-COVID Recovery and Resilience in ASEAN,” recognising the urgency to strengthen collaboration against the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.

The meeting highlighted the implementation progress of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), which serves as ASEAN consolidated exit strategy from the COVID-19 crisis.

In promoting synergy within ASCC to support the implementation of ACRF, ASCC sectoral bodies, through a thematic discussion, presented their priority initiatives in line with the recovery framework that requires cross-sectoral cooperation.

The meeting was also updated on the development of the Consolidated Strategy of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), where a strong cross-sectoral and cross-pillar collaboration was emphasised. The strategy is expected to equip the ASEAN region to face the challenges presented by the 4IR, which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To conclude the meeting, the SOCA Chair reiterated the important role of SOC-COM in facilitating coordination and improving synergy of the cross-sectoral work within ASCC Pillar, as well as with other pillars.

DSG Kung Phoak shared SOCA Chair’s view and also underlined the importance of a robust monitoring system to track and evaluate the implementation of the ASEAN cross-sectoral and cross-pillar agenda.

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