When Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi took on the mantle of leadership in 2018, his goals for the ASEAN Secretariat were clear: to be proactive, provide better support to Member States, and move along the implementation of the ASEAN Community blueprints.
He ends his 5-year tenure with these goals fulfilled.
ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council Chair Hang Chuon Naron said, “Dato Lim Jock Hoi’s tenure as Secretary-General of ASEAN coincided with an exceptional and challenging time for ASEAN and the world as countries navigate difficult internal conditions, major geopolitical shifts, demographic challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These developments presented opportunities for ASEAN to foster dialogue and to lay out solutions to prepare for a strong post-pandemic emergence and a more stable ASEAN socio-cultural future. Dato Lim’s interventions and guidance have shaped the development of many important ASCC outcomes.”
Secretary-General Dato Lim’s skilful management of ASEAN during the COVID-19 pandemic—and the unprecedented challenges it caused—has been particularly noteworthy. He mobilised resources, supported the rapid and coordinated response, and helped prepare for the post-pandemic recovery of Member States without compromising the safety of the ASEAN Secretariat.
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASCC Ekkaphab Phanthavong noted, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and work, Secretary-General Dato has been an anchor for ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat. He ensured that our work remained effective in supporting our Member States. At the same time, he also showed the utmost care and support to ensure that our families and all of us remain safe and healthy.”
Secretary-General Dato Lim also provided a steady hand in dealing with crises affecting the ASEAN population. As the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator, he steered the emergency and humanitarian response to Member States devastated by climate-related and other natural disasters, led efforts to support the repatriation of Rohingya Communities in Rakhine State since 2018, and coordinated humanitarian aid to Myanmar since 2021.
Through Secretary-General Dato Lim’s guidance, the ASCC is also closer to achieving its vision of a people-centred, socially responsible, inclusive, and resilient community. He attended meetings in all ASCC sectors, and he has been instrumental in creating more responsive regional health mechanisms, improving cooperation on climate and environmental challenges, prioritising future of work readiness, promoting quality and inclusive education, supporting women and youth empowerment, and stronger awareness of ASEAN identity.
Deputy Secretary-General Phanthavong said, “Beyond these achievements, Dato Lim has left an indelible imprint on ASEAN. His clarity of thought, precision in communication, and the discharge of his duties with thoroughness, distinction and quiet dignity are hallmarks of his leadership and contributions, which will remain with us for many years to come.”