Posted by admin On February 15, 2017

The first ASEAN Inter-Secretariat Retreat was held on February 13-14, 2017 in Bali, Indonesia with the support from German Government through GIZ. It was attended by representatives from the following ASEAN agencies, namely: ASEC, AIPA, ASEANSAI, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), ASEAN Institute for Green Economy (AIGE), ASEAN Foundation (AF), ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre), ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

In 2012, the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) and AIPA Secretariat convened its first “retreat” in Bali, to explore intensifying inter-secretariat cooperation and opportunities, particularly in sharing of best practices on communication and information/promotional materials. ASEC delegation was led by the then Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) Bagas Hapsoro, while the AIPA delegation was led by then AIPA Secretary-General, PO Ram. The Retreat was supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

After a four-year interval, the two secretariats held a follow-up informal meeting in ASEC in November 2016. The meeting was to welcome the newly appointed AIPA SG, Isra Sunthornvut, and to discuss prospects to resume the forum of cooperation initiated during the Bali Retreat in 2012. Considering the AIPA’s close working relations with the ASEAN Supreme Auditors Institution (ASEANSAI), an entity accredited to ASEAN, the meeting also invited ASEANSAI representatives to join the discussion.

The exchange of views and sharing of information among ASEC, AIPA and ASEANSAI at this informal meeting was considered useful. Participants felt it would be beneficial to share the same with other ASEAN-related institutions and entities, in particular, those based in Jakarta. From here, the idea for an inter-secretariats retreat involving greater number of ASEAN-related institutions and entities was thus born.

The Retreat discussed and exchanged views on ways and methodologies to:

  1. “Lower the fences” between and among centres/secretariats to forge mutual understanding and knowledge of each other’s roles and mandates;
  2. Strengthen partnership between centres/secretariats e.g. through corporate cooperation to lower operational and administrative costs;
  3. Synergise communication efforts to build up the ASEAN brand, and
  4. Plan joint-activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.

The results of the meeting are as follow:

  1. Participants appreciated the initiative for such an inter-secretariat meeting/retreat and look forward to synchronising the communication strategies and enhancing cooperation in corporate affairs matters. It was expressed to sustain and institutionalise such gathering on a regular basis.
  2. Participants agreed on the sharing of communications materials, such as publications, photo databases, press releases or media bulletins. ASEC also encouraged ASEAN institutions to have common elements in the front page of each web-site, such as the ASEAN emblem, the three ribbons, same colour scheme, and a link to the ASEAN website.

Participants further agreed to share the contact list of their communication and publications focal points. ASEC will manage the coordination of the focal persons.