ASEAN Foundation Multimedia Presentation 2012
Building a Brighter Future for the Southeast Asian People
In recognition of the fundamental importance of improving the livelihoods and well-being of the peoples of Southeast Asia, and the need to promote ASEAN awareness as well as people-to-people contact through scholarships, fellowships and other exchanges, the Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to establish the ASEAN Foundation on 15 December 1997 in Kuala Lumpur during the Association’s 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit. The ultimate aim was to help bring about shared prosperity and a sustainable future to all ASEAN countries which comprises of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
On the same day, the ASEAN Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to this purpose with the ASEAN Vision 2020 which foresees “ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies, as well as a community conscious of its history, aware of its cultural heritage and bound by a common regional identity." The ASEAN Vision 2020 also stipulated to “use the ASEAN Foundation as one of the instruments to address issues of unequal economic development, poverty and socio-economic disparities.”
The two-fold objectives of the ASEAN Foundation as reflected in the Memorandum of Understanding establishing it are as follows:
It shall promote greater awareness of ASEAN, and greater interaction among the peoples of ASEAN as well as their wider participation in ASEAN’s activities inter alia through human resources development that will enable them to realize their full potential and capacity to contribute to progress of ASEAN Member States as productive and responsible members of the society.
It shall also endeavor to contribute to the evolution of a development cooperation strategy that promotes mutual assistance, equitable economic development, and the alleviation of poverty.
In order to realize Vision 2020, the Hanoi Plan of Action (1998-2004) was adopted at the ASEAN Summit in December 1998, which advocates to “use the ASEAN Foundation to support activities and social development programmes aimed at addressing issues of unequal economic development, poverty and socio-economic disparities” and to “support the activities of the ASEAN Foundation and other available resources and mechanism to promote ASEAN awareness among its people.”
Subsequently, the Vientiane Action Programme (2004-2010) adopted at the ASEAN Summit in November 2004, pursued the comprehensive integration of ASEAN towards the realization of an open, dynamic and resilient ASEAN Community by 2020. It specifically called for strengthening the role of the ASEAN Foundation under the political development section of the respective documents in the context of increasing the participation by various ASEAN bodies in moving forward ASEAN political development initiatives through promotion of more people-to-people contacts.
Moreover, at the ASEAN Summit held in November 2004, the leaders adopted the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Plan of Action (ASCCPoA), which outlined the priority areas to be undertaken by concerned bodies to advance ASEAN’s social agenda that is focused on poverty eradication and human development. In this regard, the ASEAN Foundation has been mandated to play an active role in supporting the implementation of the ASCCPoA which includes promoting access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) resources of differently advantaged groups (youth, women, persons with disabilities and rural communities), promoting ASEAN awareness through language training and mass media; and youth exchange activities (such as through volunteer programmes and youth camps) with the view of facilitating greater awareness among ASEAN youth of the region’s vision of a cohesive community of caring societies.
ASEAN's 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Kuala Lumpur in December 1997
The ASEAN Foundation was established by the ASEAN Leaders in December 1997 during ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit to help bring about shared prosperity and a sustainable future to all 10 ASEAN Member Countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.