IFACCA participates in ASEAN Culture and Arts Cooperation Dialogue

ASEAN Foundation,
15 May 2016, Indonesia

Delegates at the 2016 ASEAN meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Last week IFACCA’s Executive Director, Sarah Gardner, participated in the Culture and Arts Cooperation Dialogue, hosted by the ASEAN secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia from 12–13 May. The ASEAN Culture and Arts Cooperation Dialogue was designed as an initial step in exploring partnership opportunities with wider stakeholders in the arts and culture sector in ASEAN.

The Dialogue was attended by a range of inter-government and non-government institutions, and was opened by Dr AKP Mochtan (Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Community and Corporate Affairs) and Mr Hilmar Farid (Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information and the Director-General of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia).

Also represented at the Dialogue were: UNESCO, Asia-Europe Foundation, ASEAN-Japan Centre, ASEAN-Korea Centre, ASEAN-China Centre, Indian Cultural Centre, Japan Foundation, Instituto Italiano, and the Goethe Institute, as well as festivals and other civil society organisations.

The following is an extract from the ASEAN Concept Note:

At a time when ASEAN is promoting the establishment of its Community, efforts need to be strengthened to pursue further community building. Culture and the arts are some of the most potent elements in solidifying a sense of belonging among the peoples in the community. Through culture and the arts, people can explore their shared traditions and values and exchange views on ways forward.

Culture and the arts have a significant role in building a cohesive and culturally vibrant ASEAN Community. The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025 envisions an ASEAN Community that engages and benefits the people and aims to realise a dynamic and harmonious community that is awareand proud of its identity, culture and heritage. In addition, the ASCC Blueprint 2025 is pushing for a culture of tolerance, understanding and mutual respect. Culture and the arts also effectively communicate the identity of the ASEAN peoples to the rest of the world.

Primarily through the regional culture and art cooperation platforms, the ASEAN Ministers on Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) have been taking significant strides in broadening ASEAN awareness and a sense of belonging in support of ASEAN community-building. As ASEAN pushes ahead with realising a people-centred and people-oriented community, it will build closer cooperation and dialogue with other stakeholders in the culture sector.

This Dialogue was organised to provide a venue for discussions among nongovernment and inter-government institutions and private entities working for the development of the culture sector. In addition, the Dialogue exchanged views on how best to further instil cultural awareness and inter-cultural understanding in the ASEAN region through multi-stakeholder engagement.

The objectives of the ASEAN Culture and Arts Cooperation Dialogue were to provide a venue for conversation, stock-taking and brainstorming between ASEAN and stakeholders in the culture sector.  The Dialogue aimed to: 

a.Introduce ASEAN’s initiatives on culture and the arts;
b.Introduce stakeholders’ initiatives on culture and the arts; and
c. Explore opportunities for partnership in pursuing shared objectives.

During the discussion, participants identified potential collaborative activities in culture for the mutual benefit of their programmes and for the ASEAN region.

The intended outcomes of the Dialogue included:
- a better understanding of the ASEAN Community
- ideas on how to improve the impact of culture and art activities on ASEAN community building
- enhanced coordination and collaboration mechanisms amongst stakeholders
- improved information dissemination about ASEAN, and|
- suggestions on how to pool resources and widen networking opportunities.