The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community aims to contribute to realising an ASEAN Community that is people-oriented and socially responsible with a view to achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the peoples and Member States of ASEAN (ASCC). It seeks to forge a common identity and build a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced. ASCC is focused on nurturing the human, cultural and natural resources for sustained development in a harmonious and people-oriented ASEAN.
The ASCC Blueprint was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit on 1 March 2009 in Cha-am/Hua Hin, Thailand. The ASCC Blueprint represents the human dimension of ASEAN cooperation and upholds ASEAN commitment to address the region’s aspiration to lift the quality of life of its peoples. The goals of the ASCC are envisaged to be achieved by implementing concrete and productive actions that are people-centred and socially responsible. This set of cooperative activities has been developed based on the assumption that the three pillars of the ASEAN Community are interdependent and interrelated and that linkages are imperative to ensure complementarity and unity of purpose.
ASCC has five characteristics:
1) Engages and benefits the people
a. Engaged Stakeholders in ASEAN processes
b. Empowered People and Strengthened Institutions
a. Reducing Barriers
b. Equitable Access for All
c. Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
a. Conservation and Sustainable Management of Biodiversity and Natural Resources
b. Environmentally Sustainable Cities
c. Sustainable Climate
d. Sustainable Consumption and Production
a. A Disaster Resilient ASEAN that is able to Anticipate, Respond, Cope, Adapt, and Build Back Better, Smarter, and Faster
b. A Safer ASEAN that is able to Respond to all Health-related Hazards including Biological, Chemical, and Radiological nuclear, and Emerging Threats
c. A Climate Adaptive ASEAN with Enhanced Institutional and Human Capacities to Adapt to the Impacts of Climate Change
d. Strengthened Social Protection for Women, Children, Youths, the Elderly/Older Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Ethnic Minority Groups, Migrant Workers, Vulnerable and Marginalised Groups, and People Living in At-risk Areas, including People Living in Remote and Border Areas and Climate Sensitive Areas, to Reduce Vulnerabilities in Times of Climate Change-related Crises, Disasters and other Environmental Changes
e. Enhanced and Optimised Financing Systems, Food, Water, Energy Availability, and other Social Safety Nets in Times of Crises by making Resources more Available, Accessible, Affordable and Sustainable
f. Endeavour towards a “Drug-Free” ASEAN
a. Towards an Open and Adaptive ASEAN
b. Towards a Creative, Innovative and Responsive ASEAN
c. Engender a Culture of Entrepreneurship in ASEAN
In addition, ASCC focuses on multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagements, including Dialogue and Development Partners, sub-regional organisations, academia, local governments in provinces, townships, municipalities and cities, private-public partnerships, community engagement, tripartite engagement with the labour sector, social enterprises, government organisation, non-governmental organisation, civil society organisation (GO-NGO/CSO) engagement, corporate social responsibility (CSR), inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue, with emphasis on raising and sustaining awareness and caring societies of ASEAN, as well as deepening the sense of ASEAN identity.