By News Desk
The Brunei Times
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Brunei will continue to be committed and uphold the Asean Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), said Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Major General (Rtd) Awang Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof .
The minister was speaking during the 15th Asean Socio-Cultural Community Council Meeting in Luang Prabang, Laos on June 4.
“Brunei will continue to be committed in the ASCC solely for the welfare and benefit of the Asean Community.”
He said under the ASCC, many fields such as health, youth, community development, arts and culture, and work environment leads to the field of sports but also includes disaster mitigation.
The meeting themed ‘Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic Asean Community’ was chaired by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos, Professor Dr Bonsengkham Vongdara and launched by the Laos Prime Minister Thonhloun Sisoulith.
In his opening speech, the prime minister invited relevant parties to pave the rapid progress of the Asean Community, particularly the ASCC. He said elements of inclusivity programmes and activities in relevant sectors to target groups should not be taken lightly.
Awang Halbi said the formation of the Asean community at the end of 2015 and the next phase is to realise the vision of the Asean Community in the year 2025 towards a united Asean Community that is secure and stable, a long journey that requires the involvement of Asean countries that are collective and comprehensive.
According to the minister, the Asean Vision 2025 focuses on human resource development towards a sustainable and diversified economy. He said human capacity building is important to be taken seriously, especially involving youth groups who are productive. “Creative youths specifically those in the field of info-communications technology will greatly assist in economic development, energy and the like,” said the minister.
“The challenges ahead are certainly demanding to prepare youths with positive characteristics, attitudes and good value towards the community who are competitive and independent.”
In a Joint Ministerial Statement, the ministers noted that 2016 is a significant year to start the implementation of Asean Vision 2025 and Blueprints of the three pillars of the Asean community; Political Security, Economic and Social Cultural following the formal establishment of the Asean Community by 2015.
In this regard, the ministers expressed their full support and commitment to the priority areas of ASCC in 2016 and the next.
The ministers stressed that the implementation and development of the ASCC Blueprint is crucial to be monitored to ensure good implementation in the framework of the 2016-2025 sectoral bodies.
During the ASCC meeting, the Ministers made recommendations to the Vientiane Declaration on Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment towards Decent Work Promotion in Asean ; Asean Declaration on One Asean One Response: Asean Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region; and Asean Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth.
The three declarations are hoped to improve working conditions, response to disaster that is integrated and attentive services towards youth who are unable to attend or continue school.
Laos is the chairman of Asean for 2016 with the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic Asean Community”, emphasised on priority areas related to the people-oriented and people-centred through eight priority areas.
ASCC Ministers that were present during the meeting include ministers from Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as well as the Secretary-General of Asean .