The 8th ASEAN Entities Forum 2024 – Fostering the Spirit of Collaboration and Partnership

May 14, 2024 | UCLG ASPAC, Secretariat of ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF), was invited to join the 8th ASEAN Entities Forum held on May 14, 2024, at ASEAN Headquarters in Jakarta. UCLG ASPAC, together with a diverse group of ASEAN entities, including representatives from business leaders, civil society organisations, and youth leaders from the region explored collaboration and partnership opportunities between ASEAN and its Centres and Entities.

The morning session was opened with a remark from the ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, who emphasised the role of ASEAN entities in transforming challenges into opportunities through collaboration. Further, the Secretary-General mentioned that the entities need to update one another since they carry the objective of ASEAN to the ground. There are 6Cs focuses of the Secretary-General on the entity’s collaboration: 1) Commitment to ASEAN; 2) Contribution to ASEAN; 3) Community carries lots of duties; 4) Cooperation and Collaboration; 5) Consensus on what makes ASEAN different from other organisations); 6) Communication among partners and people.

The Forum continued with a remark from Ambassador Bovonethat Douangchak, Chair of Country Permanent Representative (CPR) and Permanent Representative of Lao PDR to ASEAN-on-ASEAN Chairmanship 2024 Priority and plans for the upcoming year.

Mr. Lee Yoong Yoong, Director of Community Affairs Directorate-ASEAN Secretariat, moderated the interface session and provided the entities with insights on the Lao-ASEAN Chairmanship theme, connectivity, and resilience. The distinguished speakers for the sessions are Dato’ Astanah Abdul Aziz, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Political-Security Community, and Mr. Nararya S. Soeprapto, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs.

Dato Astanah Abdul Aziz highlighted that ASEAN focuses on approaching everyday human beings’ conditions and recognition. To be successful ASEAN entities, they need to refer to the pillars of ASEAN. ASEAN allowed entities to sit together and coordinate with other stakeholders. Some entities took advantage of the opportunity and maximised it. Take extra steps by understanding what member states could use ASEAN.

Mr. Nararya S. Soeprapto stated that Communication is fundamental to addressing the point of view and issues. The entities need to work closer to reach the SDGs by being more topical when approaching ASEAN.

The afternoon session continued by listening to the presentation from three selected entities, the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR), the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), and the ASEAN Foundation. They presented how to find the same common grounds and collaborations with other entities to tackle the same challenges. Projects were showcased, highlighting innovative solutions and successful initiatives across the region. The presentation demonstrated the tangible impact of collaborative efforts and inspired participants with these new ideas.

The Forum closed with an interactive networking session, which enabled participants to get to know other entities better by sharing experiences and exploring potential collaborations. The networking sessions were precious for establishing and strengthening new partnerships.

UCLG ASPAC highly appreciates the invitation and opportunities and looks forward to working further with ASEAN, its Centres, and Entities for the betterment and benefits of cities and local governments within the region.