Support for the ASEAN Secretariat
Title: Strengthening the capacities of the ASEAN Secretariat and the integration process within the framework of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
Lead executing agency: ASEAN Secretariat
Overall term: 2018 to 2021
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967. Its core ambitions are to maintain peace and stability within the region and to promote political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation. The ratification of the ASEAN Charter on 15 December 2008 led to the institutionalisation of ASEAN, as well as to the organisational structuring and strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat.
Today, ASEAN is among the most prominent and relevant regional organisations in Southeast Asia. The Secretariat has significantly improved many work processes in recent years and is becoming increasingly attractive as an employer for highly skilled regional staff.
With the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together Community Vision, adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit in November 2015, ASEAN is striving for new reforms. The vision is to realise an economically integrated, socially responsible, and truly people-oriented and rules-based ASEAN. This includes enhancing institutional capacity through improved ASEAN work processes. A strengthened ASEAN Secretariat and increased connectivity between people, institutions and with infrastructure, as outlined in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, is crucial for this.
ASEAN has further deepened its regional cooperation and integration process, and the institutional capacity and outreach of the ASEAN Secretariat are strengthened.
GIZ supports the ASEAN Secretariat in implementing the ASEAN 2025 Community Vision. This builds capacity and strengthens the institution along three key components:
1. Optimisation of the organisational processes of the strategic administrative departments and key functional units of the ASEAN Secretariat
The project works together with a variety of departments on a broad range of issues. This includes the Community Relations Division and the Culture and Information Division to develop strategies on how to better engage and communicate with cooperation partners, media, civil society and the more than 640 million inhabitants of ASEAN.
Furthermore, the project cooperates with the Legal Services and Agreements Directorate to strengthen ASEAN dispute settlement procedures and legal instruments to guarantee trade rights between ASEAN members.
Together with the Corporate Affairs Directorate and the Internal Audit and Evaluation Division, the project works on strategic HR development and on corruption prevention within the ASEAN Secretariat.
2. Strengthening the capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat to effectively implement the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity
The project supports the ASEAN Connectivity Division and its staff to coordinate the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. In particular, the support focuses on sustainable urbanisation and how to strengthen internal and ASEAN-wide coordination structures for implementing the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy.
3. Support the ASEAN Secretariat in becoming a more inclusive and diverse workplace
ASEAN and the Secretariat are expected to become role models in the area of diversity and inclusion. ASEC is striving to become a more inclusive workplace. The project supports the Secretariat with strategies for including cross-cutting topics such as gender equality and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in its regulations and processes in a holistic and comprehensive way.
- Together with the Secretariat, the project has established the annual ASEAN Media Forum, bringing together media leaders from the ten ASEAN member countries for a dialogue with the region’s opinion leaders on vital economic issues affecting ASEAN. The relevance of the event was further emphasised through financial support from businesses.
- The project also supported the launch of the ASEAN Communication Master Plan II. The plan introduced outreach strategies for effectively communicating the benefits of regional integration and developments within ASEAN to ASEAN citizens.