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DELGOSEA and ASEAN: How to Connect

DELGOSEA and ASEAN: How to Connect
03/07/2013

The work of the DELGOSEA Standing Committee has begun in earnest: During an in-depth session at the recent dialogue workshop of the DELGOSEA Standing Committee in Jakarta, the network members discussed in what way DELGOSEA’s interests and activities are represented in the current structure and priorities of ASEAN.

Where is ASEAN in terms of encouraging democratic local governance? How can DELGOSEA approach the complex and large organization, where is an entry point for advocacy efforts? These were the questions that occupied the network participants.

A wide-ranging presentation gave some insight into the structure of ASEAN, looking at the way ASEAN is dealing with regionalism and focusing especially on the ‘ASEAN social-cultural community’ (ASCC) and the ‘ASEAN political security community’ (APSC). Particularly important: Promoting good governance is one of the key priorities in the new programme of APSC 2015.

Encouragingly, it was also pointed out that many of the other issues that are important for DELGOSEA are a priority within ASEAN, too. These include: Cooperation on disaster management and emergency response, infrastructure development, sustainability of water resources and building civil service capacities, to name just a few.

Looking more closely at how good governance will be promoted, it became clear that the implementation of programmes for ASEAN community building and regional integration depends largely on efficient, competent and professional civil service agencies in the region. The action plan to achieve that includes the collection and sharing of best practices in local governance – one of DELGOSEA’s core strengths. However, promoting good governance in ASEAN looks beyond improving institutions and processes; the development of human resources is also seen as an integral component.

It looks, though, as if there are a number of challenges for DELGOSEA when dealing with ASEAN: The concept of good governance of ASEAN needs to be adopted and addressed at the national level in the ASEAN Member Countries; there are varying levels of economic and political development among the ASEAN Member Countries, as well as different socio-cultural reference points; and, last but not least, there is a general reticence on the part of the civil servants to engage the public.

The participants were positive, however, that these challenges can be tackled successfully over the coming months and are in the process of developing the DELGOSEA advocacy strategy.

For more information on the DELGOSEA Standing Committe on www.delgosea.eu:

http://www.delgosea.eu/cms/News/Inaugural-Meeting-of-the-DELGOSEA-Standing-Committee

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