The 7th Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN was successfully held on Monday, 15 May 2023, in person, at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Indonesia. The event was supported by Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) ASEAN Project, which main purpose is to strengthen direct engagement between entities and the ASEAN Secretariat, stimulate collaboration, widen the networks, and deepen the partnership as a way forward. This purpose is also aligned with the Indonesian Chairmanship theme, ASEAN Matters, Epicenteum of Growth.

The forum was opened by Mr. Tran Duc Binh, Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, who emphasized the crucial role of the ASEAN Entities. He added that the support from the entities might result in positive changes for the people in the region and advance ASEAN’s agenda for sustainable development.

Next, the forum continued with a roundtable discussion with the theme, ‘’Charting a Sustainable Future for ASEAN.’’ The session was led by Mr. Romeo, Leading the Committee Relation Division of ASEAN, and aimed to discuss sustainability concepts and strategy in ASEAN. The session was delivered by three (3) sections of interactive games in which participants could share their perspectives about SDGs and their practices in ASEAN.

The session continued with the roundtable discussion, where participants were exposed to managing ASEAN cooperation projects (ACPs), fund disbursements, and reporting. The entities had the chance to learn how to use the available resources for their projects and processes throughout the ASEAN project cycle. It also helps the entities engage with partners and donors by taking the available resources with the donor and partners.

The main session was the interface session with the Secretary-General of ASEA, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, led by Mr. Lee Yoong Yoong, Director of Community Affairs Directorate, ASEAN Secretariat. The Secretary-General encouraged joint collaboration among entities to advance ASEAN development and bring solutions and benefits until the grassroots level. Further, the forum would foster robust stakeholder cooperation for more successful ASEAN Community building efforts.

The entities hoped this forum would illuminate capacity building among entities and spark more collaboration. Since the changes may take time, collaboration is essential to advance South East Asia’s development and beyond.

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