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Laos’ Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry (fourth left), on Friday gathers with representatives from other Asean countries in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Asean ministers agree to strengthen socio-cultural ties

Ministers and delegates from Asean member countries met at the 21st Asean Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council meeting held on May 17 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The aim of the meeting was to strengthen cooperation by Asean member states, dialogue partners and development partners towards fulfilling the Asean Community Vision 2025 and the ASCC Blueprint 2025.
The meeting was chaired by Thailand’s Minister of Culture, Mr Vira Rojpojchanarat and attended by the Deputy Secretary General of Asean, Mr Kung Phoak. 
Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, led the Lao delegation taking part in the meeting.
A statement delivered by Mr Savankhone on behalf of the ministry informed participants that as head of the Lao delegation he noted with appreciation the report on the outcome of the Senior Officials’ Meeting for the Asean Socio-Cultural Community (SOCA).
He supported the views of the Chairman as well as those of ASCC ministers regarding activities in building the Asean Community. A number of important documents under the Asean Chairmanship of Thailand with the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” had been submitted for adoption and notation by Asean leaders at the 34th and 35th Asean Summits, he noted.
Since the last ASCC Council meeting under the Chairmanship of Singapore in 2018, Laos has actively followed up the strategic directions and position of Asean. Laos is committed to working closely with other Asean Member States, dialogue partners and development partners to fulfill the Asean Community Vision 2025 and the ASCC Blueprint 2025.
As part of its engagement with Asean, Laos highly values the Asean Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which calls for the provision of specific services and care for disabled persons and injured veterans, including those disabled in UXO-related accidents.
Every year more than 300 Lao people lose their lives or are disabled in UXO accidents. However, the Lao government has made important progress among other efforts in the establishment of the National Secretariat and a committee that will be responsible for planning and delivering more concrete implementations, Mr Savankhone said.
In addition, a newly approved Law on Persons with Disabilities was announced on January 22, 2019, after being proposed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. This legal instrument will further facilitate and serve persons with disabilities, injured veterans, and elderly persons, through sustainable and equitable implementation across the country.
“To further support sectoral bodies under the ASCC’s efforts to implement their work plans, which will contribute to the realisation of the Asean Community Vision, I would like to share some thoughts and suggestions as follows: firstly, we should put more effort into the implementation of the Asean Community Vision 2025, especially encouraging our sectoral bodies to come up with concrete actions, and comprehensive and result/outcome-based work plans,” Mr Savankhone said.
“Secondly, we should encourage the sectoral bodies to fully implement all the Asean documents adopted by our leaders with effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and, lastly, we should avoid creating new initiatives or mechanisms that duplicate existing ones. However, we fully support initiatives that complement one another,” he added.

Times Reporters
(Latest Update
May 20,

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