As the Chair of the ASEAN Ministers responsible for Culture and Arts Meeting 2020-2022, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom of Cambodia held the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (the 9th AMCA) and Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners including the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (the 9th AMCA Plus Three), the 5th Meeting of ASEAN-China Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (the 5th AMCA Plus China), the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN-Japan Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (the 4th AMCA Plus Japan) and the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (the 4th AMCA Plus ROK) online via Video Conference on October 22nd, 2020. The meetings were chaired by H.E Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts and attended by leaders responsible for culture and arts from ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China (China), Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and ASEAN Secretary General H.E Dato Lim Jock Hoi. The Viet Nam delegation was led by H.E Mr. Ta Quang Dong, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Under the theme of “Impact of COVID-19 & Way Forward for the Culture and Arts Sector”, the 9th AMCA and Related Meetings focused on discussing responses of the ASEAN culture and arts sector to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; the Narrative of ASEAN Identity; ASEAN Cultural Heritage List; the progress of the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Culture and the Arts 2016-2025; the selection of Siem Riep as the ASEAN City of Culture 2020-2022; cooperation on culture and arts between ASEAN and Dialogue Partners. The meetings also heard reports of the 15th and 16th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Culture and Arts chaired by the Republic of Indonesia in 2019 and the Kingdom of Cambodia in 2020 respectively and of cooperation on culture and arts between ASEAN and Dialogue Partners.
At the 9th AMCA, the Ministers conveyed their oneness with the ASEAN Community in responding to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shared concrete ways to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at the national level and exchanged views on best practices that could be adapted at the regional level, emphasizing the importance of digital technologies in connecting ASEAN and implementing cultural and arts cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Phoeurng Sackona reiterated her commitment to collaborate with the ASEAN Ministers responsible for culture and arts to find a way forward for the culture and arts sector during and after the outbreak of COVID-19, and continue to promote the implementation of the milestones set out in the ASCC Blueprint 2025, ASEAN Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016-2025, and other AMCA statements to further enhance cooperation and strengthen partnerships with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, including with the ASEAN Plus Three, China, Japan, and ROK.
H.E Deputy Minister Ta Quang Dong, at his speech, shared the challenges and difficulties the culture and arts sector in Viet Nam had faced due to COVID-19 and the success of Viet Nam in controlling the pandemic, so that the sector had been able to gradually recovered and resumed its activities in responsive manner. Viet Nam has hosted various international cultural activities including the ASEAN Film Week and ASEAN cultural and arts exhibition to celebrate Viet Nam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship. These activities demonstrate active cooperation on culture among ASEAN member countries and the role of cultural cooperation in connecting ASEAN Member States in solidarity and collective strength to overcome this difficult time.
The Deputy Minister proposed to the meeting that ASEAN member countries jointly organize ASEAN cultural and arts programs on digital platforms in responding to the adverse impacts of COVID-19; and develop work plans in cultural cooperation against the new circumstance to implement right after the pandemic is tamed, as a way forward for the culture and arts sector.
The year 2020 had been chosen as the Year of ASEAN Identity. Living up to it, the 9th AMCA finalized the Narrative of ASEAN Identity which was developed based on mutual inherited and constructed values; and looked forward to the adoption of the Narrative of ASEAN Identity at the 37th ASEAN Summit by the ASEAN Leaders in Ha Noi.
With regard to the Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts (2016-2025), the Ministers noted the development of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the culture and arts sector. The Ministers welcomed the progress made on the ongoing discussion to develop the ASEAN Cultural Heritage List as part of the implementation of the Vientiane Declaration on Reinforcing Cultural Heritage Cooperation in ASEAN.
Based on Cambodia’s nomination, with absolute consent, the 9th AMCA selected Siem Riep as the ASEAN Culture City 2020-2022.
In cooperation with Dialogue Partners, the Ministers noted the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Work Plan on Cooperation in Culture and Arts 2019-2021 especially in the areas of cultural exchange, cultural heritage management, and human resource development. The Ministers were of the view that the establishment of the APT Culture Cities Network laid solid foundation for the long-term partnership between ASEAN and China, Japan and ROK for advancing and expanding city-level cultural exchange. The 9th AMCA Plus Three proposed ways to further deepen cooperation of friendship under the ASEAN City of Culture and the East Asian Cultural Cities for the prosperity of culture in Asia.
The ASEAN Ministers expressed their appreciation of China, Japan and ROK for their support in efforts to raise awareness on ASEAN through cultural cooperation programs and projects. Apart from recognizing results of the cooperation with China through the ASEAN-China Cultural Forum and welcoming Japan’s initiatives, among them the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive project, the ASEAN Ministers agreed to further discuss the proposals from ROK on establishing an ASEAN-ROK Visual Arts Organisation and an ASEAN-Korea Cultural Heritage Cooperation Organisation, as well as the proposal from ROK for 10 ASEAN Member States and ROK to jointly plan and cooperate on developing the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit through close cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat and considered the request for cooperation on expanding opportunities in the region to learn the Korean language.
In conclusion of the meetings, the Ministers adopted the Joint Media Statement of the 9th AMCA and its Related Meetings, endorsed reports of the 15th and 16th Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Culture and Arts and agreed to convene the 10th AMCA and its Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners in Vientiane, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 2022.
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