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New Secretary-General highlights six key priorities of ASEAN

Dr. Kao Kim Hourn has affirmed six key priorities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as he officially took office as the new Secretary-General in Jakarta on January 9.

At the ceremony, the ASEAN chief, who was appointed at he 40th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh last November, said the priorities, dubbed the ‘Six Ps’, include maintaining PEACE, stability and security in the region; and building on PROSPERITY that ASEAN, both collectively and individually, has achieved up to now.

He said it is also necessary to focus on the PLANET, especially the environment, climate change and the green economy, which has gained great momentums in recent years; and to empower the PEOPLE, especially the youths, through the further strengthening of the ASEAN Community building, ASEAN integration and the people- to-people ties.

The fifth and sixth priorities are to enhance PARTNERSHIPS within ASEAN as well as between ASEAN and its external partners; and to transform the remaining various areas of the bloc’s POTENTIALS into real benefits and advantages, he noted.

Addressing the ceremony, former Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi stressed ASEAN’s achievements over the past five years, particularly the signing and entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and efforts for post-pandemic recovery via improving the region’s health systems and human capital development.

According to him, the bloc has invested in its youth and future leaders, as well as enhanced the region’s digital transformation through the implementation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap and the Consolidated Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will position ASEAN to be future ready. 

ASEAN has also undertaken several measures in further enhancing the region’s capacity and preparedness in responding to the possibility of future emergencies and disasters, as well as in pursuing sustainable development, green technology and energy transition reflected in the adoption of the Framework for Circular Economy for the ASEAN Economic Community./.