Friday, December 18, 2009

ASEAN Social and Cultural Community Blueprint Workshop

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

About 200 Cambodians officials from provincial and district culture and fine art departments throughout the country attended the “ASEAN Social and Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint” workshop at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) in Phnom Penh on December 16.

Samraing Kamsan, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that the workshop marked the first time his ministry has organized this important event for the ministry’s officials in order to share information and knowledge on ASEAN, especially the ASCC Blueprint and the establishment of ASCC in 2015.

The main purposes of the workshop are to publish a blueprint of the ASEAN Social and Cultural Community for all based cultural institutions to be well informed; create a working plan and program in accordance with the ASEAN blueprint, seek new and important knowledge about the blueprint in order to improve the establishment of ASCC in Cambodia; and also to document and publish this knowledge for the advantage of implementation and further research in the future.

“The potential goals of the establishment for ASEAN Social and Cultural Community are gathered on serving the common interests of all ASEAN’s country members through strengthening solidarity and unity between ASEAN state members and ASEAN members focusing on promotion of social healthcare, quality of living, peace, prosperity and people’s developments,” he said during his opening remarks at the workshop.

The Secretary of State stated that Cambodia became a full member of ASEAN on May 30, 1999. The membership has provided the opportunity for Cambodia to integrate its politics, economy, and cultural sectors into the region as well as the world. Since then, all Cambodian government ministries and institutions have actively taken part with all ASEAN members in community building, which are three pillars of ASEAN including ASEAN political community and security community (APSC), ASEAN economic community, and ASEAN social and cultural community.

On October 7, 2003, due to the ASEAN Concord II in Bali, Indonesia, ASEAN leaders agreed to establish these three ASEAN communities by the end of 2020. But in the 12th ASEAN top summit on January 13, 2007 in Cebu, Philippines, all ASEAN leaders signed and agreed to establish these three ASEAN communities by the end of 2015, said Samraing Kamsan. He added that to achieve this decision goal of the ASEAN leaders, during the 13th ASEAN top summit on November 20, 2007, all ASEAN leaders agreed again to create a blueprint on the establishment of three ASEAN communities to achieve by the end of 2015.

“I hope that all participants will learn more or know about the concept of the ASEAN and ASCC blueprint and finally, we can prepare ourselves and an action plan for the good integration of Cambodia’s cultural resources into the ASEAN community in the future,” he said.

Ouk Sokun, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Fine Arts who attended the workshop, said that the establishment of common communities of ASEAN aims to maintain and strengthen the peace and stability in ASEAN country members in the future.

The ASEAN Social and Cultural Community will play an important role in ensuring the preservation of cultural things, people’s healthcare, the environment, knowledge training, poverty alleviation, and developments in ASEAN, said Sokun.

“The understanding about the detailed meaning of ASEAN’s pillars will help our Cambodian people be ready to participate in the ASEAN community by 2015,” he said. “I hope this workshop will transfer new knowledge for participants to be aware and understand the meaning of one of the three ASEAN’s pillars stipulated in ASEAN’s Constitution.” ///

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