ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC)

The ASCC contributes to the realisation of an ASEAN Community that is “people-centred and socially responsible with a view to achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the nations and peoples of ASEAN by forging a common identity and building a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and harmonious where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced.” 

Areas of cooperation in this community include culture, arts and information, disaster management, education, environment, health, labour, rural development and poverty eradication, social welfare and development, youth and civil service cooperation.

Embedded in the ASEAN Vision 2020, Declaration of ASEAN Concord I (1976), Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (2003) and the Hanoi Plan of Action (HPA) is ASEAN’s goal of a community of cohesive, equitable and harmonious societies, bound together in solidarity for deeper understanding and cooperation. Its key features are:

  • Equitable access to opportunities will be universal, rising above the barriers of religion, race, language, gender and social and cultural background;
  • Human potentials are nurtured to the fullest so that all individuals can participate meaningfully in a competitive world in a manner that gives paramount importance to their welfare and dignity;
  • Norms of social and distributive justice are upheld by addressing issues of poverty and equity, and special care is given to vulnerable groups – children, youth, women, the elderly, and persons with disabilities – who could be the subject of abuse, neglect and discrimination;
  • The environment and natural resources are protected and managed to sustain development and as a legacy for future generations;
  • Civil society is engaged in providing inputs for policy choices;
  • People are healthy in mind and body and living in harmony in safe environments; and
  • ASEAN citizens interact in a community conscious of its historical ties, aware of its cultural heritage and bound by a common regional identity.