Welcome to the official ASEAN 2018 page! Singapore is honoured to take over the ASEAN Chairmanship from Philippines (ASEAN 2017) in the New Year. Like our
Facebook page to stay updated with the latest happenings, and watch this video for the inspiration behind the logo for #ASEAN2018!
The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 Deliverables for 2018 and ASEAN Connectivity Microsite Launched
The ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) launched three Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 priority deliverables and the ASEAN Connectivity microsite at the 22nd ACC Meeting on Tuesday, 13 November 2018 in Singapore. The three deliverables are: (i) the establishment of a rolling priority pipeline of ASEAN infrastructure projects to attract more public and private investments into infrastructure in ASEAN; (ii) the development of a sustainable urbanisation strategy for ASEAN, with city specific-action plans and tool kits for cities to use as a template to mitigate urban challenges; and (iii)the study on the adoption of digital technology by micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to ascertain how to encourage more regional MSMEs to use digital technology as an enabler to increase their capacities and amplify their reach. PR Tan Hung Seng handed over the publications outlining the purpose, status, and next steps on each of the three deliverables to Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The ASEAN Connectivity microsite, aimed to raise awareness of the MPAC 2025 initiative was also launched at the same event. Click here to find out more.
FM Vivian Balakrishnan hosted a welcome dinner for the foreign ministers from the ASEAN Member States to Singapore for the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
ASEAN Connectivity Microsite
Introducing the newly-launched #ASEANConnectivity microsite on the ASEAN website. You may now get all information on ASEAN’s efforts to continuously connect the region on the go on https://connectivity.asean.org. Click here for the introductory video
The 2018 ASEAN Women’s Circle of Jakarta (AWC) Bazaar was held on 1-2 November at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, which raised more than US$ 10,000 to be donated to beneficiaries such as Indonesia Ekselensia, Tarbiyah Bunaiya and for the AWC’s disaster relief fund. Funds were raised from proceeds from sales from stalls set up by ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners. The bazaar was participated by ASEAN Member States, Dialogue Partners and more than 70 vendors from all over Indonesia and the ASEAN Region. PR Mission participated in the event with PR Tan Hung Seng’s attendance and also by setting up a Singapore booth. Pictured above, DSG CCA Dr AKP Mochtan and AWC President Sari Percaya cutting the ribbon at the Opening Ceremony. Read more about it here.
ASEAN representatives discussed ways to leverage technology in managing migrant labour at the 11th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML), held on 29-30 October in Singapore. Hosted by the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore, the forum was attended by around 90 delegates from governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as civil society groups in ASEAN. The forum’s theme “Digitalisation to Promote Decent Work for Migrant Workers in ASEAN” resonates the theme “Resilient and Innovative” of Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship. Both themes envision ASEAN as a forward looking region that continues to harness opportunities and embrace digital technologies to advance well-being of people including in aspect of labour migration. Read more about it here.
PM Lee Hsien Loong was in Brussels, Belgium, on 19 October 2018 for the ASEAN-EU Leaders’ Meeting where he represented ASEAN as the ASEAN Chair in 2018. ASEAN and the EU are long-standing economic partners. At the ASEAN-EU Leaders’ Meeting, the leaders discussed ways to strengthen the relationship, including the ASEAN-EU
Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and negotiations for an ASEAN-EU FTA.
The ASEAN-IPR Governing Council (GC) and Advisory Board (AB) convened in Jakarta on 18 October 2018 for the 13th GC Meeting, 7th AB Meeting, and 5th GC-AB Interface. Ambassador Tan Hung Seng chaired the GC and Interface Meeting as Chair of the ASEAN-IPR Governing Council. This is the first time this year the the Advisory Board is meeting with the Governing Council, where the two bodies discussed new ideas for the Institute’s research topics and/or priorities. The Governing Council also adopted the Institute’s Staff Regulations, Financial Rules & Procedures and Guidelines on Project Management.
Ambassador Tan Hung Seng attended the Opening Ceremony of the ASEAN-IPR ‘Regional Youth Conference on Peace and Tolerance: Building Unity and Common Understanding in Countering Intolerance and Violent Extremism' on 19 October 2018 at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel in Jakarta. The Regional Youth Conference brought 33 young delegates from across ASEAN and the Republic of Korea to exchange views on countering intolerance and violent extremism in the region. Amb Tan also met the Singaporean delegates at the side-lines of the event. We are proud of the Singaporean team comprising of Jennifer, Yuling, Saiful and Kwang Tong for their project submission Commence Plastic Reduction (CPR).
Co-Chair of the Jakarta Ambassador Golfers Association (JAGA), Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, Permanent Representative of Singapore to ASEAN, presented the donations raised at the event to the donor recipients, as well as trophies to winners of the tournament. He was joined by Co-Chair of JAGA, Ambassador Mayerfas, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN AKP Mochtan. Funds from this year’s tournament are earmarked for reconstruction of a public facility in Lombok, which was severely damaged by a recent earthquake. Other recipients are St. Kanisius Panite Elementary School in West Timor, and the ASEAN Disability Forum. Read more about it here.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Bali, Indonesia, from 10 to 11 October 2018 to attend the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat and ASEAN Leaders’ gathering. PM Lee also participated in a moderated dialogue with World Bank Group (WBG) President Jim Yong Kim at the WBG’s Third Annual Human Capital Summit. PM Lee co-Chaired the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. “Singapore has made sustainable development a key theme for our ASEAN Chairmanship. We need to align our economic development objectives with sustainable development goals, so that growth can improve the lives of citizens, but not at the expense of our external environment. ASEAN will continue to engage and work closely with the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. They support ASEAN’s community-based building efforts and help countries close development gaps.” – PM Lee Hsien Loong
Minister of Social and Family Development of Singapore, Desmond Lee, presented Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, outgoing Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), with a certificate of appreciation from the ASCC Ministers, at the Gala Dinner of the 20th ASCC Council Meeting held on 3 October 2018 in Singapore. The certificate was given as a tribute for his contributions to the ASCC during his 3-year service as the DSG for ASCC from 2015-2018.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was in New York for the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week. At the sidelines of the UNGA, he chaired the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (IAMM) on 28 September 2018. He also chaired the meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the General Assembly which took stock of ASEAN-UN cooperation. Read more here.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended and gave the opening remarks at the Launch of the Photo Exhibition in Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership at Al-Azhar University in Jakarta on 27 September 2018. (Photo Credit: China Mission to ASEAN)
The inaugural ASEAN Prize has been launched and the ASEAN Secretariat is calling for nominations for the award. The ASEAN Prize aims to recognize inspiring achievements and contributions of an individual or organisation that foster the ASEAN identity, promote the ASEAN spirit, and champion the ASEAN way in designated focus areas. Click here for more information!
Minister (FM) Vivian Balakrishnan delivered a Statement on behalf of ASEAN at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, and also co-hosted the “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem” with the US and over 30 other countries. Read his full statement here.
PM Lee Hsien Loong met with ASEAN Ministers for Cybersecurity and ICT on 19 September 2018. The ASEAN Ministers were in Singapore for the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity as part of the annual Singapore International Cyber Week. “We have to work with other countries, especially our #ASEAN partners, to counter cyber attacks. By cooperating and exchanging info, we will be more effective against the bad guys” – PM Lee Hsien Loong Read more about it here.
Photo of the CPR and DSG Hoang Anh Tuan with State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi during the CPR visit to China from 8 to 15 September 2018. (Photo credit : Wang Zhongyu)
PM Lee Hsien Loong attended the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on 12 September 2018, where the theme of harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) was discussed. “ASEAN is committed to further economic integration. This is an important condition for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, because it is about building networks, creating new synergies and staying connected.” - PM Lee Hsien Loong
Click here to watch PM Lee’s speech at the World Economic Forum.
The 9th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium was held in Singapore on Thursday, 6 September 2018. The Symposium serves as an important platform to conduct two-way conversation between ASEAN and the key stake-holders, including the private sector and multilateral development institutions involved in ASEAN’s Connectivity agenda. In his opening remarks, the Chair of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) Ambassador Tan Hung Seng reiterated that the fundamental objective of MPAC 2025 is to establish a seamlessly connected ASEAN that will deliver tangible benefits to ASEAN citizens. He also highlighted that MPAC 2025 is designed to ensure better delivery of results by having: (i) focussed targets, and clear governance and ownership; (ii) a robust performance management system; and (iii) proactive stakeholder engagement. Using the analogy of a triathlon, Ambassador Tan highlighted the multi-year, cross-cutting nature of MPAC 2025, and encouraged ASEAN and the stake-holders to adopt a strategic and long-term approach towards ASEAN Connectivity.
The Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN met the President and Chairman of Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB’s) Jin Liqun on Wednesday, 29 August 2018. ASEAN briefed Jin on the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, in particular the Initiatives related to infrastructure , while Jin informed the meeting about AIIB’s operations and strategy in the region. They also discussed possible avenues of cooperation on infrastructure-related initiatives, and agreed to enhance lines of communication between the AIIB and the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee in order to effectively implement the MPAC 2025.
Her Excellency Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, was in Singapore on a working visit from 19 to 22 August 2018. PM Lee and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had a wide ranging discussion on regional and global
developments including the economic challenges faced by both countries. PM Lee highlighted the need for greater cooperation within ASEAN to manage and cope with the increased occurrences of natural disasters due to the effects of global climate change. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also delivered the 43rd Singapore Lecture organised by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on 21 August 2018, titled “Myanmar’s Democratic Transition: Challenges and Way Forward”. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who moderated the Singapore Lecture, prior to the event. They discussed developments in ASEAN and efforts to enhance regional economic cooperation. Read more about her Working Visit to Singapore here.
In an uncertain world, ASEAN is all the more important to us. We have to strengthen ASEAN and work on our relationships with all our ASEAN partners, especially our two closest neighbours, Indonesia and Malaysia – PM Lee Hsien Loong, National Day Rally 2018, 19 August 2018. View PM Lee’s National Day Rally here.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the National Day Reception organised by the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta held at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta on 14 August 2018. The theme for this year’s National Day “We are Singapore” serves as a reminder for Singaporeans abroad of our roots back home. Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia Anil Kumar Nayar and Indonesia Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto gave opening remarks at the event. From left to right: Head of BNPT (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Terorisme; National Agency for Combating Terrorism) Suhardi Alius, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs AM Fachir, Minister of Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo, PR Tan Hung Seng, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto, Ambassador Anil Kumar Nayar, Minister of Agriculture and Land Planning Sofyan Djalil, Vice-Speaker of DPR (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat; People's Representative Council) Utut Adianto, Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi.
Min (FA) Vivian Balakrishnan spoke at the Alibaba Cloud Summit in Singapore on 15 August 2018. He encouraged Alibaba Cloud and the industry to look at cross-border possibilities such as the opportunities opening up across ASEAN, and emphasised the importance of developing systems that are open and interoperable. Alibaba has launched the ASEAN Partner Alliance Program, which aims to develop a sustainable ecosystem of technology vendors, service providers, system integrators, independent software vendors and startups in the region. Read more about it here.
The Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) met Rt. Hon. Mark Field, the UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Tuesday, 14 August 2018, at the ASEAN Secretariat. Discussions at the meeting focussed on the UK’s relationship with ASEAN Member States, and potential avenues for future engagement between the UK and ASEAN.
In conjunction with the 51st ASEAN Day, Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi officiated the launch the official website of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR). The Website was developed with the generous support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. FM Retno also witnessed the launch of ASEAN-IPR’s publication entitled “Strengthening Convergences for Humanitarian Action in ASEAN”. The publication chronicles the results and recommendations of the ASEAN-IPR Symposium on International Humanitarian Law, held in October 2017 in Manila, Philippines. You may visit ASEAN-IPR’s website here to learn more about the Institute.
On 8th August, we celebrated ASEAN’s 51st Anniversary with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN Ambassadors and friends of the diplomatic community. Watch the celebrations and opening remarks by FM Retno and ASG Dato Lim at ASEAN Secretariat here!
Read more about the 51st ASEAN Day here.
Singapore’s Permanent Representative to ASEAN Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, in Singapore’s new capacity as coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, spoke at the Opening of the first ASEAN-EU Cooperation and Scholarships Day and Blue Book Launch at the ASEAN Secretariat on Wednesday, 8 August 2018. The event coincided with the ASEAN Secretariat’s celebration of the 51st anniversary of ASEAN’s founding. The ASEAN-EU Cooperation and Scholarships Day is meant to raise awareness of the breadth and depth of the EU’s cooperation and development programmes with ASEAN, as well as showcase opportunities for intra-ASEAN scholarships and scholarships to study in Europe. The 2018 edition of the Blue Book compiling ASEAN-EU cooperation and development programmes was launched by ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Representative Tan Hung Seng, and the EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan.
"The Joint Communique reflects ASEAN's commitment to work together on issues of common concern, including terrorism, violent extremism, non-traditonal security threats, environmental challenges such as transboundary haze, and tapping the opportunities afforded by new technologies and innovation arising from the digital revolution." - Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Read more on the Joint Communique here.
8th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, 4 August 2018, Singapore. From left: Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Myanmar SOM leader, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, Cambodian Senior Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, PRC State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi.
19th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, 4 August 2018, Singapore. From left: Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Myanmar International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin, Philippine SOM leader, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, PRC State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi.
25th ASEAN Regional Forum Retreat Session, 4 August 2018, Singapore. From left: (Row 1) Timor Leste Foreign Minister Aurelio Sergio Guterres, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, PRC State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Erywan bin Pehin Yusof. (Row 2) Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Cambodian Senior Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. (Row 3) Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Mongolian State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Davaasuren Damdinsuren, Myanmar International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin, Pakistani Additional Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters, Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Janaka Marapana and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers pose for a group photo together with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the Opening Ceremony of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM). From left: Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Myanmar International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi
Courtesy Call on Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, 2 August 2018, Singapore.
Watch PM Lee give the opening address and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan give the welcome remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here.
In this edition of ASEAN Focus, published by the ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shares his views on the genesis of ASEAN and the role it plays in anchoring the region’s peace, stability and prosperity. It also covered ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi’s reflections on ASEAN’s achievements and assessement of its future. Read the full article here.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcomed his ASEN counterparts to Singapore ahead of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 1 August 2018. He also met with representatives from the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Commission, and the foreign ministers of two of ASEAN’s Sectoral Dialogue Partners – Norway and Turkey. Read more here.
The ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) is envisioned as a collaborative platform where cities from the ten ASEAN Member States (AMS) work towards the common goal of smart and sustainable urban development. Its primary goal will be to improve the lives of ASEAN citizens, using technology as an enabler. By focusing on our people, it will adopt an inclusive approach to smart city development that is respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms as inscribed in the ASEAN Charter. The networking of Smart Cities across ASEAN would also contribute to enhancing better mutual understanding across cultures. Explore the interactive map here to learn out more about the pilot cities and their priority projects.
FM Vivian Balakrishnan attended the official launch of the ASEAN Judiciaries Portal on 27 July 2018 in Singapore. The first of its kind, the AJP is a “one stop shop” that allows easy access to information on the laws and judicial systems of ASEAN Member States, and provides a platform for ASEAN Judiciaries to communicate and share knowledge. Read more here.
The 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings (AMM) will commence on 29 July 2018, in Singapore. Here’s a quick guide to the main ASEAN Groupings for the 51st AMM.
The 15th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication was hosted in Singapore on 17 July 2018. At the meeting, ASEAN senior officials in the rural development and poverty eradication sector reaffirmed the importance of their collaborative work with other sectors on critical issues such as climate change, social protection, gender mainstreaming, and food security. They also met with their counterparts from China, Korea and Japan and highlighted the partnership between ASEAN and these three dialogue partner countries on rural development and poverty eradication, particularly through the exchange of policies and good practices. Read more about it here.
The Chulabhorn Graduate Institute (CGI) and the ASEAN Foundation (AF) have entered into an agreement to develop highly qualified human resources in the area of science and technology within ASEAN Member States through the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute – ASEAN Foundation Post-graduate Scholarship Programme in Science and Technology (Phase 2: 2016 – 2022). For more information, click here.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the ASEAN-US Cooperation Programme’s closing event entitled, 'Reflecting on U.S. Government Support to ASEAN through ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS' held on 16 July 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC). The objective of the event was to reflect upon the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (PROGRESS)’ five-year programme. PROGRESS has brought direct benefits to the people of ASEAN with key contributions spanning across the seven work streams: (i) Trafficking in Persons (TIP); (ii) Human Rights; (iii) Rights of Women and Children; (iv) Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Networks; (v) Science-Based Policymaking; (vi) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; and (vii) Public Outreach, Youth Engagement and Strengthening ASEAN Institutions. Read more about the USAID PROGRESS event here.
The Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (SAMCA) and the Expanded-Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (E-SAMCA) was initiated and hosted by the Government of Singapore on 10 July, opened by Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change DPM Teo Chee Hean, respectively. Organised in the context of a broader Urban Sustainability Week in Singapore, the meetings brought together ministers responsible for climate change or their representatives from ASEAN Member States for constructive dialogue on the region’s efforts and commitments towards climate change. The meetings were an initiative by Singapore, as the 2018 ASEAN Chair, to provide ASEAN and the Plus Three countries a platform to: (a) engage one another on their climate action plans in a regional “Talanoa” dialogue setting; (b) reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement; and (c) galvanise regional action to address climate change. Read Minister Masagos’ address here. Read DPM Teo’s address here.
ASEAN has released the third issue of the ASEAN Economic Integration Brief (AEIB) to provide an update on progress in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in the first half of 2018, and other developments relevant to the region. The key messages in this issue of the AEIB dovetail with the theme of Singapore’s 2018 ASEAN Chairmanship of “resilient and innovative,” signalling the region’s commitment to foster its collective future-readiness as well as recognition of the need for closer cooperation across sectors in the AEC and across ASEAN Community Pillars. Read the third issue of the AEIB here.
Singapore Permanent Representative to ASEAN Tan Hung Seng attended the 12th ASEAN-Japan Joint Cooperation Committee meeting on Tuesday, 17 July 2018, which was co-chaired by Brunei Permanent Representative to ASEAN Faezah Rahman, and Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN Kazuo Sunaga. The meeting reviewed the close cooperation between ASEAN and Japan across the three ASEAN community pillars. Read more about the AJJCC here.
PR Tan Hung Seng, in his capacity as co-chair of the Jakarta Ambassador Golf Association (JAGA), attended the inauguration of the Bridge of Diplomacy in Bandung by Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Retno Marsudi on 13 July 2018. The ceremony was jointly organised by KEMLU and the ASEAN Secretariat. The construction of the Rp 800 million Bridge was funded by proceeds from the annual ASEAN Charity Golf Tournament organised by JAGA. In his remarks to Kompass, PR Tan stated that the Bridge of Diplomacy was the diplomatic community’s contribution to Indonesia, and that the diplomatic community had also provided assistance to a school in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara in the last three years. PR Tan urged local government institutions to actively support and work with diplomats stationed in their host countries for a more effective diplomacy. One of JAGA’s objectives was to build networks in Indonesia, and in this connection, JAGA had previously visited Bandung, Surabaya, Bali, Makassar, Batam, and Bintan.
The Singapore Permanent Mission to ASEAN, in collaboration with the PRC Mission to ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat, held a commemorative reception for the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership in the ASEAN Secretariat on Thursday, 12 July 2018. Singapore Permanent Representative to ASEAN Tan Hung Seng and PRC Ambassador to ASEAN Huang Xilian delivered the opening remarks, while ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi gave the keynote speech. Amb Tan and Amb Huang also opened the ASEAN-China Photo Exhibition “Living in Harmony”, which is open to the public at the ASEAN Secretariat from 13 to 27 July 2018. We look forward to seeing you there! Click here for Amb Tan’s remarks.
PR Tan Hung Seng delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Economic Corridor Development for Competitive and Inclusive Asia Training on Monday, 9 July 2018. The training was jointly organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ADB Institute, and the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Facilitation Centre. It will introduce the concepts of economic corridors, and facilitate exchange of ideas through case studies from ASEAN to approximately 30 middle to senior-level government officials from ASEAN’s sub-regional arrangements. In his address, PR stressed the imperative for ASEAN, and sub-regional programmes, to not only enhance logistics and transport infrastructure, but also strive to achieve greater synergy between sub-regional and regional efforts. PR Tan’s speech is appended:
PR Tan Hung Seng delivered the introductory remarks at the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy Forum on Saturday, 7 July 2018 at the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. The Forum is part of ASEAN’s efforts to develop a regional strategy of sustainable urbanisation, and provided an opportunity to participants to learn more about the prioritised areas and provide feedback in those areas. Participants also shared their existing urbanisation plans, future priorities and best practices. In his remarks, PR highlighted the connection between sustainable urbanisation and ASEAN Connectivity, emphasising that: (i) ASEAN would only be able to realise ASEAN Connectivity if ASEAN cities were able to respond effectively to the negative effects of urbanisation; (ii) ASEAN cities played a critical role in the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Connectivity was a critical enabler; and (iii) ASEAN Member States could leverage on each other’s experiences and comparative advantages to overcome the challenges of urbanisation.
See what Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has to say about Singapore's Smart Cities Network initiative and the upcoming World Cities Summit this weekend! Watch the interview here. Read the transcript here.
The Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) made a working visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) from 23 to 29 June 2018. The CPR had meetings with senior-level government officials and politicians; and working visits to the ASEAN-Korea Centre, ASEAN Culture House in Busan, the Korean Demilitarised Zone, as well as other public and private sector engagements. Above: Photo of the CPR’s courtesy call on ROK FM Kang Kyung-wha at the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, 25 June.
The 6th ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting was held on Monday, 2 July 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC). New Zealand became ASEAN’s Dialogue Partner in 1975, with the partnership being elevated to a strategic level during the Commemorative Summit to mark the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Relations. The Meeting took stock of current cooperation, including initiatives undertaken through New Zealand’s People and Prosperity Strategies, and discussed possible avenues for future cooperation.
The 43rd ASEAN Audit Committee (AAC) Meeting, chaired by Singapore’s Auditor General Office (AGO) Assistant Auditor-General Rina Chua Pheck Kiang, was held from 27 to 28 June 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the 18th ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting (AIJCC) at the ASEAN Secretariat on Friday, 22 June 2018. The AIJCC was co-chaired by Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to ASEAN and Ambassador Suresh Reddy, Ambassador of India to ASEAN. At the AIJCC, both sides noted the good progress in the implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2016-2020) and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen cooperation. India also expressed its continued support for ASEAN centrality.
The 40th Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation was held earlier today at the ASEAN Foundation premises. Established by ASEAN Leaders in December 1997, the Foundation’s key goals are to promote greater awareness of ASEAN and greater interaction among the peoples of ASEAN through participation in ASEAN's activities. The Meeting discussed the Foundation's efforts to engage ASEAN's youth and its other stakeholders, and future programmes ultimately aimed to foster a stronger ASEAN identity. The next Meeting of the BOT will be held in December 2018.
Ambassador Barry Desker [Singapore’s Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental
Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)] attended the Interregional Dialogue: Sharing Good Practices on Business and Human Rights, convened by AICHR, on 4-6 June 2018. This Dialogue was part of the AICHR’s continued efforts to elevate business and human rights in ASEAN and marked the first occasion that the AICHR convene a dialogue among regional human rights mechanisms and NHRIs from the Asia-Pacific region. The Dialogue provided an avenue for the participants to discuss challenges as well as good practices on the implementation of the UNGPs in the region and beyond. This Dialogue was organized by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, the Representative of Thailand to the AICHR, with support from UNDP Asia-Pacific, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Department of Rights and Liberty Protection of the Ministry of Justice Thailand, the Australian Human Rights Commission, ASEAN CSR Network, UNESCAP, and OECD. Read more about the AICHR Interregional Dialogue here.
FM Vivian Balakrishnan gave the opening remarks at the 2018 Southeast Asian Young Leaders Programme at the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue on 3 June 2018. He spoke about the strategic imperatives for ASEAN in an uncertain and rapidly changing world. “First, we need to double down on free trade and economic integration. Second, we need to ride on the digital revolution and harvest opportunities for our people so that no one gets left behind. Third, we must uphold ASEAN Centrality and unity in the face of an evolving regional architecture.” – FM Vivian Balakrishnan.
Read the full transcript of the speech here.
Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities and Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-organised the inaugural ASEAN Smart Cities Governance Workshop (SCGW) in Singapore from 22 to 25 May 2018. Over the course of the four-day workshop, the ASCN’s pioneer batch of cities made good progress on developing city-specific Action Plans for smart city development till 2025, had robust discussions on the draft ASEAN Smart Cities Framework, and networked with global partners from both the public and private sectors
to discuss potential collaboration on commercially viable projects. Read the Information Paper here.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the Inaugural ASEAN-Turkey Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AT-JSCC) Meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat on 30 May 2018. The JCC Meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Political-Security Community Department, Hoang Anh Tuan and Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to ASEAN Mehmet Kadri Şander Gürbüz. At the meeting, Terms of Reference of the AT-JSCC was adopted and both sides discussed several initiatives to move forward ASEAN-Turkey cooperation. Read more here.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the 3rd Meeting of the ASEAN-Norway Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AN-JSCC) at the ASEAN Secretariat on 28 May 2018. The JCC Meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community Department Hoang Anh Tuan and Ambassador of Norway to ASEAN Morten Høglund. At the meeting, both sides suggested a number of possible areas for future collaboration including marine environment and blue economy, climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity and the narrowing of the development gap in ASEAN. Read more here.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the Meeting between ERIA, Ambassadors of ERIA Member States and Dialogue Partners to give the closing remarks as Chair of ASEAN. The governing board of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) has re-appointed Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura as President and appointed Mr Atty. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. as the new Chairperson of ERIA at the meeting.
Singapore Permanent Representative to ASEAN, Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, chaired the interface between the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Vice Foreign Minister Choe Hui Chol on Wednesday, 23 May 2018. During the meeting, the CPR welcomed the recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula and hoped that the meeting would contribute towards lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. DPRK’s Vice Foreign Minister Chol also shared with the CPR the latest domestic developments in the DPRK during the interface. Both sides also exchanged views on how to strengthen ASEAN-DPRK relations.
The ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) Governing Council held a Retreat in Sentul, Indonesia on Saturday 19 May 2018. During the Retreat, the Governing Council reviewed the objectives of the ASEAN-IPR, what more the ASEAN-IPR could do to achieve these objectives and how to achieve these objectives effectively. Discussions were informal, free-flowing and fruitful during the Retreat which was also attended by the Executive Director of the ASEAN-IPR Rezlan Ishar Jenie.
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its 27th Meeting from 13 to 17 May 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Barry Desker, Representative of Singapore to the AICHR. At the annual meeting between the AICHR and CPR both ASEAN bodies exchanged views on enhancing ASEAN agenda in the promotion and protection of human rights in line with ASEAN’s principles. During this four-day meeting, the AICHR was updated on the implementation of the AICHR Priority Programmes/Activities in various thematic areas, and adopted the concept note on Article 14 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration to be conducted in 2018. Read more about the meeting here.
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its 27th Meeting from 13 to 17 May 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Barry Desker, Representative of Singapore to the AICHR. PR Tan Hung Seng attended the annual meeting between the AICHR and CPR where both ASEAN bodies exchanged views on enhancing ASEAN agenda in the promotion and protection of human rights in line with ASEAN’s principles. During this four-day meeting, the AICHR was updated on the implementation of the AICHR Priority Programmes
/Activities in various thematic areas, and adopted the concept note on Article 14 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration to be conducted in 2018. Read more about it here.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan opened the ASEAN Street at the Wisma Geylang Serai’s Hari Raya Bazaar on 17 May 2018. The ASEAN Embassies and High Commissions have set up stalls to showcase the different products from across our diverse region. “We want Singaporeans to experience the products, the culture of ASEAN right in the centre of the community,” - Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Dr Maliki Osman Be sure to drop by and enjoy the bazaar with your family and friends before it closes on 14 June 2018. Read more about the bazaar here.
Singapore Permanent Representative to ASEAN Tan Hung Seng delivered a speech at the "ASEAN-China Belt and Road Business Forum: the first E-Commerce Cooperation Dialogue” on Wednesday, 16 May 2018. The event, which was organised by the Chinese Mission to ASEAN and the ASEAN-China Centre was well attended by officials, businessmen, and academics from ASEAN and China. Ambassador Tan highlighted the importance of enhancing cooperation in e-commerce, which has expanded significantly in ASEAN. Ambassador Tan also noted that during Singapore’s Chairmanship, ASEAN is pursuing three key initiatives related to e-commerce: (a) ASEAN Agreement on E-Commerce; (b) ASEAN Digital Integration Framework; and (c) ASEAN Innovation Network. His remarks are attached.
Trade & Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing was the Guest-of-Honour for the SME Technology and Innovation Day 2018, jointly organised by Agency for Science,
Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Enterprise Singapore, on 15 May 2018. He highlighted the role SMEs play in maintaining a dynamic economy, and the importance of supporting their transformation journey to drive innovation of products and services that appeal to the ASEAN market and the world. Read his full speech here.
Click here to find out the 5 Economic Priorities that have been set out under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Pillar to guide the collective efforts in creating opportunities in the region and fostering innovation in the digital economy.
FM Vivian Balakrishnan delivered the IISS Fullerton Lecture on "ASEAN: 2018 & Beyond" on 14 May 2018. He spoke about Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship, what ASEAN hopes to achieve by year end, and the importance of reinforcing a vision to make ASEAN future-ready. Read his full speech here.
The Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) met the EU’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, led by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) David McAllister, and the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of Southeast Asia and ASEAN led by MEP Werner Langen, which visited Jakarta from 7 to 8 May 2018 to strengthen ASEAN-EU partnership. The hour-long meeting was co-chaired by Thai PR Ambassador Phasporn Sangasubana, in her capacity as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, and EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan. The meeting, attended by Singapore PR to ASEAN Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, discussed developments in ASEAN and the EU, and areas of potential cooperation between the two sides.
PR Tan Hung Seng attended the 8th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat on 8 May 2018. The JCC Meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Min Lwin, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEAN, and the Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, Jane Duke, and attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States as well as representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat and the Australian Mission to ASEAN. At the meeting, both sides reviewed the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Statement for ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership (2015-2019) and highlighted progress made in the implementation the Plan of Action across all the three ASEAN Community pillars. Australia reaffirmed their continued support for ASEAN centrality and highlighted the importance of ASEAN unity in maintaining peace and stability in the region. The meeting also noted the convening of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit held on 17-18 March 2018 and discussed the follow up to outcomes of the Special Summit. In this regard, ASEAN and Australia looked forward to the swift implementation of the new 15 initiatives arising from the Special Summit.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan attended IBM’s Think ASEAN conference on 8 May 2018 and witnessed the signing of two MOUs - one between IBM and AI Singapore, and the other between IBM and Temasek Polytechnic. Such partnerships symbolise the collective commitment of both the public and private sectors to embrace the digital revolution. He also shared the three key outcomes of the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore. “We have to look for open standards, open source, and interconnectivity; and learning how to share and yet gain competitive advantage. So these new models for cooperation, competition and sharing - something I think we are just feeling our way through, but we need to evolve. If we can do this, then certainly from the point-of-view of Singapore as a city state - as one of the most hyper-connected nodes in a global network, and with a hyper-educated and motivated population - that gives us a second wind for our sails in this digital revolution. And because Singapore is in the centre of Southeast Asia, we want to use this position to enable, empower and collaborate with our neighbours in ASEAN. That gives ASEAN a chance to captialise on our already significant advantages of size, of a population in which 60% are below the age of 35, of the ability in the next 20 to 30 years to invest in infrastructure - certaintly in digital infrastructure, to make ASEAN a leading region in the world. Then, by bringing down barriers, ensuring interoperability and sharing, we will achieve win-win paradigms both politically and economically.” – FM Vivian Balakrishnan. Read the full transcript of FM’s speech here.
PRC Premier Li Keqiang visited the ASEAN Secretariat on Monday, 7 May 2018. Premier Li had a meeting with ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, and delivered a keynote speech at the launch ceremony of the 15th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership. He also presented the painting "Greeting Pine of Huang Shan" (黄山迎客松) by famous painter Fan Yang to ASEAN Secretary-General Lim. Amb Tan Hung Seng in his capacity as Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives also gave remarks (See link attached).
The 9th ASEAN-U.S. Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting was held on Friday 4 May 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat, where both sides took stock of cooperation across a wide range of areas and noted the positive progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-U.S. Plan of Action (2016-2020). Both sides also expressed their commitment to further deepen cooperation. Read more here.
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