JAKARTA, Indonesia – Ms. Elaine Tan, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation (AF), shared the Foundation’s priority on projects that support the ASEAN integration and community building process with program heads of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). Ms. Tan received Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, Acting Program Head, Research and Development; and Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz, Program Head, Knowledge Management, SEARCA during the latter’s visit to the Foundation on 2 July 2014.
Ms. Tan elaborated that the Foundation will work closely with the different sectoral bodies and technical working groups of the ASEAN. It is expected to articulate the priorities of the different ASEAN bodies, each having their specific workplans until 2015. Building capacity of ASEAN nationals remains a priority of the ASEAN Foundation. The Foundation puts high importance in getting civil society organizations involved in ASEAN affairs, e.g., through ASEAN Corporate Social Responsibility networks that link private sector with community development.
Dr. Burgos and Dr. Cadiz took the opportunity to visit the AF in Jakarta, Indonesia and meet its new Director after participating in a Partners’ Dialogue organized by the Steering Committee of the ASEAN Multisectoral Framework on Climate Change (AFCC): Focus on Agriculture and Forestry for Food Security in the morning of that same day.
In the light of AF’s and SEARCA’s common mandates of capacity building in ASEAN and focus on supporting the thrusts of the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Member States (AMS), Dr. Cadiz and Dr. Burgos recommended in their travel report to SEARCA to further pursue partnership with the ASEAN Foundation in developing and implementing relevant programs for ASEAN. At the same time, SEARCA should find small areas of cooperation with the Foundation, like in offering webinars as an avenue for sharing the Foundation’s experience in development practice to SEARCA’s publics.
The Foundation was established in 1997 by the ASEAN Leaders to promote greater awareness of ASEAN, and greater interaction among the peoples of ASEAN as well as their wider participation in ASEAN's activities, among others through human resources development that will enable them to realize their full potential and capacity to contribute to progress of the AMS as productive and responsible members of society. In addition, the Foundation endeavors to contribute to the evolution of a development cooperation strategy that promotes mutual assistance, equitable economic development, and the alleviation of poverty (http://www.aseanfoundation.org/index2.php?main=about.htm). (Maria Celeste H. Cadiz)