Role of non state actors in fostering greater asean.ppt paper for presentation
Musni Umar, Ph.D
Role of Non-State Actors in Fostering
Greater ASEAN Integration
By Musni Umar
Sociologist and Researcher
Since the establishment of ASEAN on 8th
1967 which was initiated by five ministers of foreign
affairs from Southeast Asia, namely Adam Malik
from Indonesia, Tun Abdul Razak from Malaysia,
Thanat Koman from Thailand, Narcisco Ramos from
the Philippines, and S. Rajaratnam from Singapore,
ASEAN has been developing progressively in terms
of contributing positively in several aspects such as
security, trade and investment, and so on.
In entering its 46th
anniversary on the coming 8th
2013, ASEAN still has many paradoxical issues. Some of
them are migrant labor, exported toxic waste,
corruptors hiding site, illegal logging, child sex tourism,
terrorism, boundary issues , genocide in Miyanmar. The
most current issue is haze from forest fires in Sumatra.
However, in October 2004, the leaders of ASEAN
countries made an agreement on ASEAN integrated
economy in 2015. The agreement has been
progressive, in spite of facing resistances. In addition
to the integrated economy which is considered to be
elitist, there is also global trade in the mainstream,
which is historically regarded as re-incarnation of neo-
colonialism and neo-imperialism. The latter were once
indicated by Bung Karno, the first President of the
Republic of Indonesia. Therefore, globalization has not
yet fully accepted by civil society worldwide including
ASEAN integration in economy and social aspects on
one hand has been giving positive value, such as
incoming investments, trade transactions, and labor
traffic, but on the other hand trans-national social
problem appears, for instance abuse issues
experienced by migrant workers from Indonesia and
the Philippines in Malaysia and Singapore.
In the economy side, as indicated above, there are
issued on illegal logging and children and young female
trafficking. In legal cases, a certain ASEAN country has
become one of the safest places to hide or escape for
Indonesian corruptors. So is the terrorism issue, which
has not yet been resolved completely, and the actual
issue being a matter of humanity, namely genocide in
Miyanmar and also actual issue is haze from forest fires
Therefore, in entering the 46th
ASEAN anniversary, it
is important to overcome the indicated regional
issues, to make changes and to improve
cooperation between Government-to-non state
actors) and People-to-People as constructive and
integrative efforts to succeed the ASEAN
Community and the ASEAN Economic Community
well-being. Those efforts are also aimed to build
equal social advances and peaceful, fair, stable and
prosperous living conditions. All of those goals
have to be united by dynamic cooperation and
concern among ASEAN countries.
Non-State Actors Participation
In order to realize ASEAN’s various objectives, it is impossible
to be carried out by the government of ASEAN countries
themselves. Active participation and involvement of non-
state actors will be definitely required.
Establishment of ASEAN has six goals, namely:
1) To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and
cultural development in the region.
2) To promote regional peace and stability.
3) To promote cooperation and mutual assistance in sciences
and technology for the well-being of the ASEAN nations.
4) To promote cooperation in agriculture, industry, trade,
transportation, and communication.
5) To promote joint research about issues in Southeast Asia.
6) To maintain closer cooperation with international and
other regional organizations.
All of the six ASEAN objectives require regional community participation.
It can be said that the successfulness of the above indicated goals depends
on how big the participation is. The bigger participation of non-state
actors in ASEAN countries, the better opportunity for the successful
implementation of ASEAN aims. As well as for the successfulness of
“Towards ASEAN Community in 2015” program.
Participation from the entire community in ASEAN region is indeed vital in
relation to the realization of the six ASEAN goals, especially in Socio-Cultural
Community Blueprint (SCCB), namely:
a. Human Development
b. Social Welfare and Protection
c. Social Justice and Rights
d. Ensuring Environmental Sustainability
Building the ASEAN Identity
Narrowing the Development Gap.
The implementation of SCCB definitely requires community participation
from the ASEAN countries. Without their participation, certainly the SCCB
will not be as successful as it is expected.
Participation and Cooperation Form
Community participation in ASEAN region through cooperation
amount non-state actors is very much needed to strengthen
ASEAN countries integrity. It can be carried out by:
1. Strengthening People-to-People Contact and Communication
It is important to strengthen people-to-people relationship and
communication in order to support the ASEAN integrity. However,
it is not easy to carry it out due to inequalities in social economy,
education, and languages.
To create people-to-people contact and communication among
600 million people in ASEAN region is not an easy task, too. In
spite of that, a great deal of effort should be made to strengthen
the ASEAN integration.
To facilitate realization of strengthening people-to-people contact
and communication, among other things, is by improving non-
state actors’ role, e.g. NGOs should be given opportunities to
initiate various meetings of NGO leaders from ASEAN countries to
discuss actual issues in Southeast Asia region.
EPG was Launched on the 7th
of the July 2008 in KL
Religious organizations should be given chances to
arrange a number of meeting agendas and to hold
routine inter-religious dialogue meetings in the
framework of improving mutual understanding and
social religious cooperation in order to bring social
integration in ASEAN countries into reality.
Apart from those, social organizations should be given
opportunities to improvise dialogue meetings,
seminars, symposiums, and routine discussions to
examine social agenda especially the increasingly
social-economy imbalance in ASEAN countries
Besides that, business organizations in ASEAN countries
are expected to increase their cooperation to improve
industries, trade, and investments.
Also, youth and student organizations as non-state actors,
are taking very important role, too, in improving
communication relationship as part of people-to-people
contact, because they are future leaders in their respective
If strengthening people-to-people contact and
communication can be carried out by the youth and students
of all ASEAN countries, then when they become leaders in
their countries, they already have good relationship, so that
good cooperation among leaders of ASEAN countries will be
better and better, which means the ASEAN Community will
become a reality.
Last but not least in relation to people-to-people contact and
communication is cooperation among culture-bearer,
academics, members of parliament, and so forth, in order to
build the bonds of friendship and mutual understanding
among non-state actors in ASEAN region.
2. Media Cooperation
Media is also a vital instrument for dissemination of goals of
ASEAN, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Community, as
well as information on community development, cooperation, and
advancement of the ASEAN countries. Therefore, contact and
communication among journalists and reporters of ASEAN
countries need to be held regularly by:
2.1. Providing regular briefings and information on current issues
and developments regarding each other’s countries to journalists
and media reporters
2.2. Promoting exposure to each country of ASEAN through the
regular exchange of visits between media representatives, editors
and especially young journalist, and
2.3. Encouraging collaboration the media of each country in the
area of training, and the attachment of journalists.
Those are my recommendations which are strongly required to
make the Role of Non-State Actors in Fostering Greater ASEAN
3. Cooperation in Culture
Each country in ASEAN share many similarities and
differences in term of history, culture and religion. In
the many similarities and differences in each of the
ASEAN member countries, it is possible and should be
done in cooperation in culture.
There are so many forms of non-state actors of
cooperation that can be done from each ASEAN
member countries such as:
3.1 Encourage collaboration in the field of culture and
promote a greater awareness of each other’s culture
through regularly held cultural festival and art exhibitions.
3.2 Consolidate expertise and coordinate facilitators needed
to tutor the younger generation in the transmission of
3.3 To promote interaction, networking, and exchange visits
between NGOS, private sector and government authorities
involved in culture affairs, between cultural institutions,
museums, archives, libraries, as well as practitioners in theatre,
music, dance, folk art, and cinematography.
3.4 Promote interaction, exchange of visits and experience, and
other mutual assistance for the protection, preservation, and
restoration of cultural and historical heritage, both tangible and
intangible, in accordance to the laws, regulations and customs of
3.5 To encourage the production and screening of members of
ASEAN countries films through television and other means
throughout of each country of ASEAN members, as well as the
holding of films festivals to promote cultural understanding, and
3.6 To promote joint publications and research on history and
By knowing the culture of each ASEAN member states, it will
grow the spirit of togetherness, solidarity, unity and integrity
4. Cooperation in Education and HRD
Cooperation in education and human resources development is a
very important role in fostering understanding and build
togetherness, unity and integrity between people of ASEAN
Communities of ASEAN member countries, is still very much a
difference in education. There are member states of ASEAN are
very high education level of society, there are still predominantly
poorly educated, only finished elementary school and had not
completed secondary school.
To bridge the gap of education of the majority society ASEAN
members, I propose to do several things:
4.1 Enhance cooperation in the field of cooperation, including
primary, secondary and higher education for poor children and
youth from ASEAN member countries. They were housed
dormitory supervised and nurtured well as well as technical
education and vocational training. So that they can learn well,
they should be given sufficient scholarship from each ASEAN
Sebumi Conference UI and UKM in Malaysia, October, 2010
ASEAN Conference of Higher Education Research Clusters
4.2. Encourage investment by the private sector in education
and training especially for poor children and youth from
ASEAN member countries to accelerate learning
opportunities for out-of-school children and youth and to
upgrade the quality of educational institutions, including
those for teacher training.
4.3 To set up a joint foundation, funded equally by each
ASEAN member countries to offer prestigious scholarship for
students who are poor but smart, good character, and eager
to get ahead in the future.
4.4 Enhance cooperation in human resources development,
including the preservation of human creative and cultural
diversity in respect of teacher and lecturers, through
fellowship programmers, educational exchange
programmers, training courses and exchange of visits.
5.5 Cooperate in the development of prestigious institutions
of higher learning and joint curriculum like in education,
culture, technology and so on.
5. Cooperation in Tourism
Tourism businesses are part of the small and medium enterprises
and very important to be developed to advance and promote the
ASEAN community and the ASEAN economic community.
Tourism is very important built jointly by ASEAN member
First, many attractions in the member of ASEAN countries.
Second, some countries of ASEAN members have been successful
in the tourism business. Should be successful in tourism of
member countries of ASEAN transmitted to other ASEAN
Third, the tourism industry creates economic equality to the
people in a country, because tourists need hotel in all sizes, from
five star hotels to hotel without stars. In addition, travelers who
need to eat of the food is very expensive to the most simple food.
Also need a guide, buy souvenirs and purposes while in a State.
Fourth, many small and medium enterprises engaged in the tourism
industry because this business actually includes labor-intensive businesses,
which absorb energy for all sorts of activities.
My recommendation is important to enhance linkage and cooperation
between tourism industries and authorities of each country from ASEAN
member countries. Also to promote cooperation in marketing tourism.
The activities proposed to be conducted by members of the ASEAN
5.1 Developing tourism package like eco tourism, cultural tourism
5.2 Cooperation between tourism schools and tourism agencies.
5.3 To promote cooperation in marketing tourism products, very
important to do cultural performance, festival, bazaars, and
exhibitions to strengthen tourism industry.
5.4 Exchange of expertise among the member countries of ASEAN
between travel agents, tour guides in order to promote capacity
5.5 Joint website, film, and other publication on tourism.
5.6 Exchange of information and visits on how to promote tourism
5.7 Workshop on eco-tourism.
To realize the role of non-state actors in fostering greater ASEAN
integration, like it or not to do activities that directly benefits can
be felt by people who live in the ASEAN region.
That respect, it is the role of non-state actors is very important
First, to facilitate enhanced people-to-people contact and
communication, to realize the ASEAN Community and ASEAN
Economic Community 2015.
Second, to cooperate in media as the fourth institution in a
democratic country, to spread about the progress of member
countries of ASEAN, ASEAN community goals, and the ASEAN
economic community 2015.
Third, to work together to promote, preserve and maintain the
culture in each country of ASEAN. This is very important because
culture can be an important instrument to accelerate the rise and
progress of each country of ASEAN members.
Fourth, encourage the education of children of poor people
in all levels of education from elementary school, junior high
school and high school and university in order to prepare
future generations are more qualified to succeed the ASEAN
Community and ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.
Fifth, encourage cooperation in various institutions in the
development of tourism in each country of ASEAN members.
The goal is to promote community economic down through
the business activities related to tourism activities. This
includes the trading of goods and services among member
countries of ASEAN, in efforts to achieve equality and
economic justice for all people in the ASEAN region.
By doing the above things, then through the role of non-state
actors, are expected to be realized in fostering greater ASEAN
* This paper was prepared for presentation in the
Roundtable Conference held by FPSG on July 1-2, 2013, in