The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is emerging as an indispensable global partner and role model - it has a vital and growing role to play in ensuring peace and stability in the Asian region and beyond.
The ASEAN-UN partnership continues to grow, especially since the adoption of the “Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the United Nations” in November 2011 and the adoption of the first ASEAN-UN Plan of Action for 2016-2020. The Plan of Action sets out strategic priorities, activities and measures to be undertaken by both sides to further enhance their political-security, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation, including on cross-sectoral issues, as well as Secretariat-to-Secretariat collaboration.
Following the successful completion of the first Plan of Action, the 2nd ASEAN-UN Plan of Action (2021-2025) was adopted by the Secretary-General and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in October 2020, which includes new cross-cutting areas on climate action, gender mainstreaming, and cyber-security, including hate-speech. Under the lead of the DPPA-DPO Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, as the UN’s senior official on ASEAN, more than 30 UN departments and UN regional agencies in New York, Bangkok and Jakarta work closely with ASEAN across all areas of technical cooperation to implement the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership. Regular meetings are held to discuss progress in the partnership at the Secretariat-to-Secretariat-, Senior Official-, and Ministerial-levels. Since 2000, ASEAN-UN Summits have been held regularly, bringing together ASEAN leaders and the United Nations Secretary-General. The Chairman’s Statement of the 11th ASEAN-United Nations Summit held in November 2020 via videoconference, is available here.
In addition to supporting the UN system in its engagement with ASEAN through the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) Liaison Officer to ASEAN, DPPA is working directly with ASEAN in the areas of sustaining peace, preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. Among the joint activities, the ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue (AURED) series provides a regular annual Track 1.5 forum for discussion of regional peace and security challenges. The fourth ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue was held in Malaysia in December 2017 and focused on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) -- the Role of Women in the Prevention of Violent Extremism. In late 2017, DPPA also co-organized the first ASEAN-UN Electoral Observation training in the Philippines and the first ASEAN-UN Training on the Law of the Sea, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in Indonesia. In December 2019, the 5th AURED was jointly organized with and hosted by Viet Nam and focused on support to the ASEAN-Institute for Peace and Reconciliation toward the goal of developing a ‘pool of experts’ to assist in conflict management and conflict resolution through governments, UN officials, academics, civil society and other experts sharing of knowledge and comparative experiences from the UN, regional organizations and experts. A sixth AURED is being planned for 2021 to focus on advancing the Youth, Peace and Security agenda in ASEAN.