Feature: Understanding ASEAN and its three pillars

  • March 17, 2017
  • Rachel Joy Camar-Gabrido

CALAMBA CITY, 17 March (PIA) – During the Kapihan at the Philippine Information Agency Region IV-A (PIA IV-A), Regional Director (RD) Ma. Cristina C. Arzadon discussed the three pillars of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Understanding these three pillars and what they represent will be helpful to fully understand what ASEAN.

RD Arzadon stated that the ASEAN Community consists of three pillars namely: the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) which is chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) led by the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

A short AVP for each of the three separate pillars was presented in the event summarizing the core purpose and mandate of each community.

Defined

The ASEAN member states assigned a unique blueprint for each community.

According to asean.org, along with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint 2025, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025 form part of the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

The AEC Blueprint 2025 will lead towards an ASEAN that is more proactive, having had in place the structure and frameworks to operate as an economic community, cultivating its collective identity and strength to engage with the world, responding to new developments, and seizing new opportunities. This will not only ensure that the 10 ASEAN Member States – Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia – are economically integrated, but are also sustainably and gainfully integrated in the global economy, thus contributing to the goal of shared prosperity.

On the other hand, APSC was established with a goal to ensure the member states within the region shall live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment. It ought to verge into peaceful processes in resolving intra-regional differences and to regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives.

Lastly, ASCC aims to contribute to realizing an ASEAN Community that is people-oriented and socially responsible with a view to achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the peoples and Member States of ASEAN. It seeks to forge a common identity and build a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced. (asean.org)

History

According to the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Thailand website, the idea of establishing an ASEAN Community consisting of these three pillars was formed and agreed upon during the 9th ASEAN Summit at Bali, Indonesia in 2003.

The ASEAN realized that evolving international order presented to them many new challenges such as emerging infectious diseases, terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, environmental issues, disasters and geo-political transformations in the region. Thus, the situation calls for cooperation to address these challenges.

Moreover, in the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the ASEAN marked another milestone when the Leaders announced the formal establishment of the ASEAN Community on 31 December 2015, as well as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025 for the next decade (2016-2025), namely APSC, ASCC, and AEC. (mfa.go.th)

ASEAN to the People

As the Media leg of the Philippine Government in CALABARZON, PIA IV-A aims to be instrumental in delivering to the people timely, accurate and relevant information about ASEAN. This is to build awareness in all strata of the society on what ASEAN is truly all about.

In line with this mandate, aside from the recently launched ASEAN Hub and conducted Kapihan last 15 March,  the agency has planned a number of year-round activities such as putting up ASEAN kiosks and conducting youth forums around the CALABARZON region in partnership and/or coordination with the three ASEAN pillar agencies – DFA, DTI, and DSWD. (GG/ R. Gabrido, PIA4A)


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