SECTORAL ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2020
Adopting Digital Culture
The culture sector launched the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA) portal in February 2020. The site stores and showcases the 3D images of over 160 cultural artefacts from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, the three participating Member States in the first phase of the ACHDA project.
The portal provides visitors a virtual cultural journey, a timely initiative that promotes greater inclusiveness and accessibility of culture to the people of ASEAN. At the same time, it serves as an important conduit for promotion and perseveration of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the region.
To capitalise on the available digital technology, the culture sector is proceeding with the second phase that entails the 360 Virtual Reality and 4K capture of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites of ASEAN Member States. Immersive experiences of the Angkor Wat, Borobudur Temple, and Bagan can now be enjoyed at the ASEAN Culture House in Busan, South Korea. More cultural sites of ASEAN will be showcased in the future.
Fostering ASEAN Identity
To foster ASEAN Identity and awareness, the culture sector has led to the development of the Narrative of ASEAN Identity. The narrative espouses the region’s shared values that are transmitted to the ASEAN people from generation to generation as well the institutional values and practices put in place over the past f ive decades since the founding of ASEAN. Recognising the pivotal role of ASEAN Identity in community building, the ASEAN Leaders adopted this narrative at the 37th ASEAN Summit in November 2020.
Fighting Fake News
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news has been surging through cyberspace, spanning from claims of preventive remedies and bogus cures to misinformation that downplays the risks of the disease. If left unchecked, the proliferation of fake news and misinformation creates a climate of distrust, intolerance, fear, and discrimination. In response, the information sector issued a Joint Statement to Minimise the Negative Effects of COVID-19. The joint statement issued by the ministers responsible for information reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to address the proliferation of fake news and misinformation and underscored the important roles of the media, society and individuals in transmitting timely and accurate information.
SECTORAL PRIORITIES FOR 2021
Promoting Cultural and Creative Digital Economy
Recognising the digital and cultural convergence we are witnessing today; the culture sector is further enhancing regional cooperation in promoting and developing small and medium creative and cultural enterprises (SMCEs). To this end, the culture sector is planning to convene a regional discussion on the digital creative economy to better coordinate and leverage ASEAN mechanisms to develop an inter-pillar, cross-sectoral approach towards building a vibrant and robust ecosystem for SMCEs to thrive. The ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 37th ASEAN Summit, has also identified the digital creative economy as a potential contributor to the region’s economic recovery.
Deepening Partnerships in Culture, Arts, and Films
With the culture and information sectors playing pivotal roles in building a vibrant and cohesive ASEAN community, both sectors are deepening partnerships with the dialogue partners. Both sectors will be convening various discussions with the dialogue partners in several areas, including film development and organisations, promotion of cultural heritage, and the development of visual arts. Both sectors will also contribute towards the regional discussion to foster greater understanding, tolerance, and regional agendas among ASEAN peoples. The deliberations are expected to culminate with a strategic framework to support Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN with its theme on “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper” in 2021.
Building ASEAN Awareness
In ongoing efforts to promote ASEAN as a Community of Opportunities for All, the information sector will launch various high impact and engaging communication offerings. These digital offerings include a new series of podcasts, “ASEAN Champions,” In ongoing efforts to promote ASEAN as a Community of Opportunities for All, the information sector will launch various high impact and engaging communication offerings. These digital offerings include a new series of podcasts, “ASEAN Champions,” where ASEAN citizens can share their inspirations and hopes for the region. In the pipeline, too, are a series of webtoons and animations to turn the spotlight on ASEAN developments and ASEAN 101 videos that aim to better inform ASEAN citizens on what ASEAN stands for, its achievements, and priorities.
To build greater inclusiveness and deepen the sense of regional belonging and community-building, the information sector will also be driving efforts to ensure that information is accessible to all. To this end, the sector will discuss ways to better promote information accessibility for all, especially in digital broadcasting, and to encourage digital readiness among the people of ASEAN.