Following the 55TH ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM), chaired by Cambodia, the ASEAN Secretariat invited the head/representative of entities associated with ASEAN and ASEAN Centers to an online briefing by the Secretary-General of ASEAN on the outcomes of the AMM on 11th August 2022. Under the theme “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together,” The AMM reinforced ASEAN’s mission of tackling common issues and maintaining the momentum of the organization’s community-building initiatives with a powerful sense of unity. The meeting focused on enhancing collaboration with ASEAN stakeholders to ensure peace, security, and prosperity for regional and global actions in the face of ambiguity and swift change in Southeast Asia and beyond.

During the briefing, responding to the global aspect, the ASEAN Secretary-General emphasised several points on new security partnerships and initiatives responding to the Ukraine War, Korean Peninsula development, and the social-economic impact of Covid 19. Some security initiatives were brought up, namely Australia-the United Kingdom-the United States (AUKUS), Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), and Global Security Initiatives (GSI). For the regional aspect, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers stated the Cross-Strait Relations, which was issued on 4th August 2022. With the positive trend of ASEAN’S Community Building Efforts and productive and beneficial engagement of ASEAN external parties, the Secretary-General is optimistic about the realisation of these security partnerships and initiatives. Besides, by having various adaptive and responsive ASEAN Community Building Platforms, the ASEAN will continue to grow as the 5th strongest economy in the world and well on track to become the fourth one by 2030. Beyond that, responding to ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, ASEAN has been developing strategies focusing on unity, centrality, and resilience as the core elements to respond to current and future challenges and create a fluid strategic environment for the region.

In relation to the vision and mission shared by the Secretary-General, UCLG ASPAC, as the association of Cities and Local Governments in the Asia Pacific, has been involved in the realization of the ASEAN vision by uniting the voice and maintaining the cooperation of cities and local governments in the region. Through its ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) platform, UCLG ASPAC has provided a room to demonstrate the importance of local contribution to ASEAN’S regional integration. Regarding this platform, UCLG ASPAC will soon organise the AMF Consultative Meeting, hosted by the East Java Provincial Government on 6th-7th October 2022, and AMF Summit in early December 2022, hosted by Phnom Penh Capital City Administration. Through these special events, the AMF will always continue to support and contribute to “address challenges together” for the stronger ASEAN Nations. 

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