"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] APPENDIX A for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), Plan of Action

[Date] November 30, 2004
[Source] ASEAN Secretariat
[Full text]

Specific Measures

I. Building a Community of Caring Societies

a) Implement an "MDG Plus" initiative to accelerate poverty reduction in ASEAN;

b) Facilitate universal access to education for vulnerable groups (youth, women, persons with disabilities) to obtain the skills and knowledge necessary for gainful employment and meaningful participation in society;

c) Strengthen educational networks and institutional collaboration to improve standards of, and access to, education;

d) Ensure a better future for children by safeguarding their rights, ensuring their survival and development, and protecting them from abuse, neglect and violence;

e) Create enabling environments to prepare the youth for their future role as ASEAN citizens equipped with the necessary skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, and technical and vocational abilities;

f) Promote the equitable and effective participation of women in all fields both as agents and beneficiaries of development;

g) Promote community-based support systems for the elderly to supplement the role of families as primary caregiver and to build the capacity of health care professionals to address the needs of the elderly;

h) Ensure access of persons with disabilities to opportunities and protection against all forms of discrimination;

i) Strengthen social welfare mechanisms to make them more responsive to emerging social issues resulting from globalisation as well as demographic shifts;

j) Strengthen regional mechanisms and networks for combating human trafficking;

k) Ensure a healthy ASEAN Community living in harmony and safe environments;

l) Promote an enabling environment for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and for the comprehensive treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS in ASEAN;

m) Enhance the effectiveness of regional surveillance, preparedness, early warning, and response to emerging and resurging infectious diseases;

n) Ensure access to safe, quality and affordable medicines by building ASEAN capacity and competitiveness in pharmaceuticals as well as traditional medicines/complementary and alternative medicines;

o) Promote an enabling environment that allows ASEAN citizens to make healthy lifestyle choices accessible, affordable and sustainable and consistent with their views, beliefs, and culture in supportive environments;

p) Strengthen food security by enhancing stability in food production and supply and protect the region against fluctuations in production of basic commodities;

q) Strengthen food safety systems to ensure the protection of consumers' health by increasing the level of credibility and competency of regulatory authorities, and enhancing industry and consumer awareness and participation in food safety;

r) Promote activities related to community-based drug prevention aimed at families, schools and youth through publications, campaigns and training;

s) Strengthen cooperation with the private sector, in creating a science and technology community in the region;

t) Promote applied science and technology in socio-economic activities to improve social well-being; and

u) Establish efficient and well-functioning regional mechanisms for disaster prevention and management, including a coordinated response action plan in ASEAN and a network of training institutes.

II. Managing the Social Impact of Economic Integration

a) Support the efforts of the ASEAN Economic Community to facilitate the movement of professional and skilled persons, including mutual skills recognition arrangements for qualification in professional services to realise regional economic integration in ASEAN;

b) Develop a well-prepared labour force in ASEAN that would benefit from and cope with the challenges of regional economic integration;

c) Establish a technologically competitive ASEAN, competent in strategic and enabling technologies, with an adequate pool of technically trained manpower, strong networks of scientific and technical institutions and centres of excellence;

d) Strengthen systems of social protection at the national level and work towards adoption of appropriate measures at the regional level to provide a minimum uniform coverage for skilled workers in the region;

e) Promote sound industrial relations, industrial harmony, high productivity and social practice through tripartite cooperation;

f) Secure the benefits of trade liberalisation in healthcare services in terms of increased availability and better accessibility to quality and affordable health-related products and services;

g) Enhance the competitiveness of ASEAN health and related industries;

h) Strengthen regional training on management of innovation and technology, and establish a mechanism for its regional certification and accreditation; and

i) Consider the establishment of centres for training and research to support the development of human resources and institutional capacity in regional as well as international cooperation.

III. Enhancing Environmental Sustainability

a) Effectively address global environmental concerns by building national capacities to address issues and commitments to multilateral environmental agreements through awareness-raising and informed policy choices;

b) Effectively manage transboundary haze pollution resulting from land and/or forest fires through concerted national efforts and intensified regional action and international cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (the Haze Agreement), including the operationalisation of the ASEAN Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control and the ASEAN Haze Fund;

c) Promote the sustainable use of ASEAN's coastal and marine environment through the implementation of the ASEAN criteria for marine waters, and marine heritage and protected areas;

d) Ensure the conservation of ASEAN's rich biological diversity through the implementation of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Access to, and Equitable Sharing of Genetic and Biological Resources (expected to be concluded in 2004);

e) Promote the sustainable management of forest resources, which include protection of forests in an ecologically sound and integrated manner by developing and adopting common criteria for sustainable forest management in ASEAN, and eradicating unsustainable practices and related activities;

f) Promote the preservation of ASEAN Heritage Parks through coordinated systems of management;

g) Promote sustainability of water resources to ensure sufficient water quantity of acceptable quality to meet the needs of ASEAN in terms of health, food security and environmental sustainability through among others, the promotion of integrated river basin management and awareness promotion;

h) Promote environmental education through formal and non-formal education systems, capacity building and networking;

i) Promote environmentally-sound technologies in active partnership with the business sector through innovative financial mechanisms and labelling schemes;

j) Promote quality living standards in ASEAN cities/urban areas by achieving standards for environmental pollution reduction, including ensuring good ambient air and water quality, and minimum solid waste disposal;

k) Establish parameters for harmonising environmental policies, legislation, regulations, standards and databases, and preparing regular state of the environment reports; and

l) Pursue joint research in developing alternative fuels in order to prevent environmental devastation and resource exhaustion.

IV. Strengthening the Foundations of Regional Social Cohesion

a) Promote ASEAN awareness with the ultimate goal of fostering an ASEAN regional identity by promoting interactions and exchanges among artists, writers, media practitioners, scholars, students, cultural entrepreneurs, professionals, experts in culture and sports and others;

b) Promote people-to-people contact, especially among the youth through youth volunteer programmes and youth camps;

c) Promote ASEAN languages learning through scholarships and exchange of linguists;

d) Coordinate efforts for the documentation, preservation and safeguarding of national and regional treasures and other properties, antiquities, and works of historic, archaeological, anthropological and scientific significance;

e) Enhance ASEAN cooperation in culture and information to formulate and implement effective and efficient programmes in a concerted manner in order to promote the rich and vast cultures of ASEAN;

f) Promote confidence-building at the national and regional levels by promoting the learning of core values, customs and traditions and integrating multiple perspectives on civilisations through regular dialogue mechanisms; and

g) Promote an image of unity, stability and dynamism of ASEAN by strengthening contacts with mass media, the international fora and other channels of communication.