Princess Masna sees need to prioritise areas of cooperation

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday attended the first Asean Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC) meeting, which took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

The meeting was chaired by Kasit Piromya, Foreign Minister of Thailand, as the Chair of Asean, and was attended by ministerial representatives of the ASCC from Asean member states and the Secretary-General of Asean.

At the meeting, Her Royal Highness acknowledged the valuable work done by the various Asean bodies to carry out the activities under the socio-cultural community blueprint, which was adopted by the Asean heads of states/government in March 2009.

The blueprint aims to establish an Asean Community by 2015. Her Royal Highness emphasised the need for Asean to prioritise areas of cooperation in order to effectively implement the blueprint. In this regard, Her Royal Highness highlighted that education, health, the protection of the environment and social issues were important priority areas.

The meeting exchanged views on how the council can address the concerns of the people and contribute towards building the Asean community. The meeting agreed to recommend that education, the protection and promotion of the rights of women and children and the response to the social impact of the financial crisis be deliverables of the 15th Asean Summit in October 2009.

The meeting further agreed that the second Asean Socio-Cultural Community Council meeting will be held in Thailand, in October 2009.

Last night, Her Royal Highness attended a welcome dinner for the ministerial representatives of Asean member states, hosted by Madam Chompoonute Narkornthap, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, at the Four Seasons Hotel, Bangkok. - Borneo Bulletin (25th August 2009)