Plan of action to implement the ASEAN-United Kingdom Dialogue Partnership (2022 to 2026) | #education | #technology | #training


This Plan of Action (POA) guides the implementation of the goals and objectives of the ASEAN-United Kingdom (UK) Dialogue Partnership.

Building on the UK’s longstanding relations with ASEAN, the conferment of ASEAN Dialogue Partnership to the UK in August 2021 will further complement efforts to strengthen the ties between ASEAN and the UK. ASEAN and the UK are committed to further deepening relations in all pillars of cooperation through the implementation of this POA. The UK will also continue to support ASEAN integration as well as efforts in realising the ASEAN Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, and a truly people-oriented, people-centred and rules-based ASEAN, including by narrowing the development gap within and between ASEAN Member States, enhancing ASEAN Connectivity and enhancing the UK’s engagement with ASEAN in various existing fora and mechanisms.

A shared commitment to uphold principles such as ASEAN Centrality and unity, openness, transparency, inclusivity, cohesiveness, resilience, rules-based frameworks, respect for sovereignty and international law, and good governance, should also guide cooperation between ASEAN and the UK. ASEAN and the UK are also committed to strengthen cooperation and coordination in addressing emerging regional and global challenges of common interest over the next five years, including tackling the urgent challenge of climate change.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia to which UK acceded on 3 July 2012 and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), adopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, can serve to guide the cooperation between ASEAN and the UK through the existing ASEAN-led mechanisms in the four key areas outlined in the AOIP, namely (i) maritime cooperation, (ii) connectivity, (iii) UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, and (iv) economic and other possible areas of cooperation to contribute to peace, prosperity and development in the region.

ASEAN and the UK hereby endeavour to pursue cooperation in the following priority areas through the corresponding activities, in conformity with their obligations under international law and in accordance with their respective domestic laws, regulations and policies.

1. Political and security cooperation

1.1. Political-security cooperation and dialogue

1.1.1. Promote shared values and norms as well as principles of international law governing the friendly conduct of relations among states; including those enshrined in the ASEAN Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), to contribute towards maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.

1.1.2. Support the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), and its principles while noting the UK’s tilt towards the Indo-Pacific, a key outcome of the 2021 UK Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

1.1.3. Develop and strengthen the mechanisms for consultation and cooperation between ASEAN and the UK, including convening regular ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with the UK (PMC+1), ASEAN-UK Senior Officials’ Meeting, and the ASEAN-UK Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting.

1.1.4. Promote two-way Ministerial visits and encourage inter- Parliamentary dialogue and cooperation to raise the profile of ASEAN-UK relations.

1.1.5. Strengthen cooperation and mutual support in regional and multilateral fora, including the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and G20.

1.1.6. Deepen cooperation at the United Nations on issues of mutual interest and common concern, inter alia, UN reform, matters affecting international peace and security, promotion of good governance, human rights and democracy, counter-terrorism, environment and climate action, and on the Sustainable Development Goals.

1.1.7. Deepen defence and security relationships between ASEAN Member States and the UK whilst supporting ASEAN Centrality through regular exchanges and dialogue, identify mutually beneficial capacity building opportunities, and explore UK engagement with ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), including where UK can add value to ADMM-Plus Expert Working Groups through proposed observer programmes.

1.1.8. Promote shared values and norms, including those enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, through our defence and security partnership.

1.1.9. Support the open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based ASEAN– led regional architecture and welcome the interest of the UK in furthering engagement with the region through all ASEAN-led processes.

1.2. Peace and reconciliation

1.2.1. Enhance cooperation to support ASEAN’s efforts in peace and reconciliation in the region including the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, through relevant mechanisms, and support ASEAN Member States in the implementation of their respective Women, Peace and Security national action plans where appropriate.

1.2.2. Collaborate to support women as peacebuilders and mediators, as well as support women’s rights organisations to engage in peace efforts including through exploring cooperation with the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) consistent with its terms of reference.

1.2.3. Explore cooperation with the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR), in accordance with its Terms of Reference (TOR).

1.2.4. Promote the meaningful participation and leadership of young women in peace and security efforts, including peace processes, and explore cooperation on the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda in the region.

1.2.5. Encourage sharing of best practices and experiences amongst ASEAN Member States and the United Kingdom on the topics of gender-sensitive peace-building conflict resolution and reconciliation by peaceful means, based on shared interest, constructive engagement, and mutual benefit, including through workshops, seminars and other consultations in relation to the said topic.

1.3. Transnational crime and other non-traditional security issues

1.3.1. Explore cooperation with the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), such as through regular consultations as well as cooperation projects and activities which support the implementation of existing Work Programmes and Work Plans.

1.3.2. Continue to support ASEAN, including through the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (Bali Work Plan) 2019-2025 in the implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (ACCT) to disrupt terrorist activity through capacity building, exchanging best practice and information sharing.

1.3.3. Continue to support ASEAN in the implementation of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP).

1.3.4. Work together to strengthen partnerships to prevent slavery and human trafficking in supply chains and prosecute offenders, strengthen public outreach, preventive measures, and identification, protection and reintegration of victims of slavery and human trafficking, including through the participation of non-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders in society.

1.3.5. Encourage training centres in ASEAN and the UK to enhance the development of human, institutional, and forensic capacities of law enforcement, investigation and financial intelligence agencies through technology transfer, training programmes, and exchange of best practices.

1.3.6. Enhance regional cooperation and build ASEAN Member States’ capacities to detect, prevent and repress illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber pursuant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and other relevant convention and agreements.

1.3.7. Promote cooperation to address humanitarian aspects of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) issues in the region, including supporting landmine and ERW clearance, the delivery of explosive ordinance risk education, and the development of national capacity to manage mine action, as well as recognising the work of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) on these matters.

1.3.8. Work together to strengthen understanding of the transnational organised crime threats; build domestic and regional capabilities, and enhance ASEAN-UK cooperation in mutual priority threat areas to prevent and tackle these threats.

1.3.9. Promote joint cooperation on addressing the irregular movements and criminal facilitation of people, while also identifying opportunities to promote legal routes and best practices for migration.

1.3.10. Work together to strengthen responses to child sexual exploitation and abuse – including by law enforcement and the private sector – through policy, operational and programmatic channels, at bilateral and multilateral levels.

1.3.11. Commit to strengthening INTERPOL against abuse and promote robust, transparent governance of INTERPOL systems to support law enforcement objectives and shared public safety.

1.4. Maritime cooperation

1.4.1. Underline the importance of the respect for the rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the relevant standards and recommended practices by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

1.4.2. Promote deeper understanding of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) including through workshops, seminars and dialogues, while emphasising that UNCLOS is the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in respect of maritime zones, and UNCLOS provides the comprehensive legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out.

1.4.3. Promote maritime security capacity building efforts, including on multilateral maritime law enforcement, through the delivery of regional courses, workshops and other knowledge exchange mechanisms to strengthen maritime cooperation, including on combating transnational crime.

1.4.4. Encourage collaborative activities/programmes between ASEAN and UK maritime institutions and other related institutions on the area of marine science.

1.4.5. Promote cooperation and dialogue in areas such as safety of navigation and communication at sea, maritime security, increasing resilience and capacity to promote the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), maritime domain awareness, building regional networks of maritime expertise and encouraging maritime cooperation in multilateral institutions, in consultation with the relevant sectoral bodies.

1.4.6. Support the protection, restoration and sustainable management of the marine environment by supporting the development and implementation of an ambitious and transformative post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity, including the target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030, and promoting concerted international action to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

1.4.7. Promote cooperation and dialogue in areas such as conservation of the marine environment, and encourage exchange of experience, knowledge and expertise in the sustainable management of marine resources.

1.4.8. Explore opportunities to collaborate on maritime security within the framework of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

1.4.9. Promote cooperation in maritime safety and search and rescue (SAR), including by exchanging best practices on the implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on Cooperation in Search and Rescue of Persons and Vessels in Distress at Sea, through activities such as exchange of information, technological cooperation and exchange of visits of relevant ASEAN and UK officials.

1.5. Good governance and human rights

1.5.1. Support efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in ASEAN in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of AHRD, and relevant regional and international human rights instruments to which all ASEAN Member States are Parties.

1.5.2. Promote cooperation and information sharing between the UK and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW).

1.5.3. Support the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in ASEAN through regional dialogues, seminars and workshops, education and awareness raising activities, exchange of best practices, and other capacity building initiatives.

1.5.4. Promote the cooperation between ASEAN and the UK through sharing of experience, knowledge, and best practices and other capacity building initiatives to promote and support efforts in strengthening democracy, good governance, and rule of law.

1.5.5. Support the promotion of good governance principles and innovation in public service management towards resilient, citizen-centric, accountable and future-ready government institutions, including through cooperation with ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM).

1.5.6. Promote dialogue, consultations, and partnership among relevant stakeholders in government and society to foster and enable new ideas, concepts and methods with a view to enhancing transparent, accountable, participatory and effective governance.

1.5.7. Promote cooperation in the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, promote dialogue on implementing beneficial ownership transparency (BOT) in the region and ensure that corruption prevention is integrated into sector priorities including climate, energy, extractives, health and humanitarian.

1.6. Disarmament and non-proliferation

1.6.1. Support ASEAN’s efforts to preserve Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty) and the ASEAN Charter.

1.6.2. Enhance cooperation with the ASEAN Member States and the UK on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as arms control issues. Explore opportunities to deepen collaboration within the frameworks of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

1.6.3. Continue the efforts of States Parties to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and the NPT Nuclear Weapon States to resolve the outstanding issues relating to the signing and ratifying of the Protocol to that Treaty.

1.6.4. Enhance our cooperation on matters related to the peaceful uses of nuclear technology and on enhancing nuclear safety, security and safeguards, in line with IAEA standards and guidelines.

1.6.5. Work together to reinforce the regimes that regulate the transfer of conventional weapons and ammunition, preventing illicit transfers, diversion or destabilising accumulations, and increase the safety and security of stockpiles.

1.6.6. Promote responsible behaviour and transparency in order to increase confidence and to promote non-proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

1.6.7. Explore ways to shape the global debate on responsible civilian and military use of new technologies.

1.6.8. Further enhance efforts to combat the risk of non-state actors acquiring Chemical, Biological, Radiological and/or Nuclear (CBRN) technology for the purposes of terrorism and malicious activities.

1.6.9. Explore opportunities for collaboration between UK and ASEAN on countering CBR threats, such as the UK’s Defence CBRN Centre and the Network of ASEAN CBR Defence Expert, as well as to explore collaboration on export control policies and promoting efforts to counter malicious activities aimed at financing the development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

2. Economic cooperation

2.1. Regional economic integration

2.1.1. Support the implementation of the ASEAN-UK Joint Ministerial Declaration on Future Economic Cooperation in order to enhance ASEAN-UK economic engagement and support the ASEAN Economic Community’s goals, including the ASEAN Economic Ministers-UK Consultation.

2.1.2. Continue cooperation to enhance regional development and prosperity by promoting an open, free, inclusive, non-discriminatory, rules-based, transparent, predictable, and stable multilateral trading system that operates in line with WTO rules and agreements.

2.1.3. Continue to support ASEAN economic integration and capacity building initiatives, including on financial integration through initiatives that promote greater financial stability and strengthen the capacity of financial regulators, as well as the full and effective implementation of the second phase of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025 and preparation for the Post-2025, as well as the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its Implementation Plan.

2.1.4. Explore support in implementing the ASEAN Sectoral Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Inspection and Certification Systems on Food Hygiene for Prepared Foodstuff Products through technical assistance and capacity building programmes.

2.1.5. Strengthen coordination and cooperation on G20 priorities, including, where appropriate, supporting the continued participation of the ASEAN Chair in G20 Summits and its related Meetings.

2.1.6. Support ASEAN’s efforts on regulatory improvement through technical assistance, economic cooperation, exchange of best practices, information sharing and capacity building and training.

2.1.7. Continue strengthening ASEAN-UK supply chains, particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth between ASEAN and the UK.

2.1.8. Work cooperatively on the operationalisation of the ASEAN-UK Digital Innovation Partnership to promote greater digital connectivity, cross-border digital trade, and inclusive economic growth by supporting the development, adoption and use of international standards.

2.1.9. Enhance technical assistance to the Customs Working Groups including through trainings and/or workshops to strengthen the capacity of customs officers.

2.1.10. Promote ASEAN-UK cooperation in standardisation to facilitate the trade and investment between ASEAN Member States and the UK.

2.1.11. Support the ASEAN Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Action Plan 2016-2025 that identifies strategic goals and initiatives that will contribute to the collective transformation of ASEAN into an innovative and competitive region through the use of IP.

2.1.12. Explore establishing an ASEAN-UK dialogue on women’s empowerment for social and economic inclusion.

2.2. Trade and investment

2.2.1. Continue regular dialogues and consultations between ASEAN Economic Ministers and the UK Secretary of State for International Trade and their Senior Officials to explore and realise ways to further deepen trade and investment ties in areas of mutual interest.

2.2.2. Continue strengthening cooperation in areas of mutual interest at the regional and multilateral levels to create more trade and investment opportunities.

2.2.3. Explore opportunities to build on two-way trade and economic engagement, and in line with COP26 commitments, facilitate trade that promotes sustainable and inclusive development and a just transition, including by enhancing private sector engagement between ASEAN Member States and the UK and setting up appropriate frameworks for mutual prosperity through a deeper trade and investment relationship, including by promoting regular exchange of information between relevant institutions.

2.2.4. Jointly work to maintain and strengthen trade links through the opening of our markets and facilitating the smooth flow of goods and services, including through the removal of unnecessary trade barriers that are inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

2.2.5. Exchange information on the investment environment and investment opportunities between ASEAN and the UK, and share experiences and best practices in investment promotion.

2.2.6. Strengthen the role of public-private sector partnership to encourage the increase exports of goods and services as well as promote trade and investment between ASEAN and the UK which includes supporting collaboration, for example between the UK-ASEAN Business Council and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and active participation in the Joint Business Council, in the priority areas specified in the ASEAN-UK Joint Ministerial Declaration on Future Economic Cooperation including supply chains, digital innovation, sustainable growth, infrastructure development and MSME development.

2.2.7. Cooperate to better understand and strengthen the resilience, sustainability and diversification of supply chains between our respective economies.

2.3 Finance

2.3.1. Support regional financial development and integration, and resilience of the overall financial system, through deepening the understanding of capital market development in ASEAN Member States including the use of green and transition bonds, and strengthening the capacity of ASEAN financial regulators in the areas of financial inclusion, sustainable finance, digital finance, and cross border payments and remittance services.

2.3.2. Promote an increased flow of high-quality sustainable finance, including private sector investment, to support green, clean, inclusive growth and resilient infrastructure, including to reduce the vulnerability of low-lying and coastal regions.

2.3.3. Expand use of internationally-recognised investment standards to ensure that infrastructure pipelines attract international investors, while continuing engagement to improve the quality and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards of investment decisions.

2.3.4. Support the financing of sustainable infrastructure projects involving UK content in the ASEAN region by using sovereign backed lending and guarantees offered by the UK Export Finance (UKEF).

2.3.5. Strengthen the cooperation including through knowledge sharing and capacity building, on aspect of digital economy including FinTech and financial inclusion.

2.3.6. Provide support to develop capacity in sustainable financial services sectors in ASEAN.

2.3.7. Exchange information and support capacity building in financial services digitalisation.

2.3.8. Support the preparation of sustainable infrastructure project pipelines, such as scoping studies, pre-feasibility studies, and project preparation, including through the ASEAN-UK Sustainable Infrastructure Course.

2.3.9. Work cooperatively with Asian Development Bank to enhance the effective operation of the ASEAN Green Recovery Platform and ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, and strengthen support of the UK to ASEAN on mobilising green finance for climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects and green energy transformation in ASEAN, to promote implementation of the UN Sustainable Goals 2030.

2.4. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

2.4.1. Support the implementation of the strategic goals identified in the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on SME Development (SAP SMED) 2016-2025 and integrate inclusive business approaches in its implementation, and engage the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSMEs (ACCMSME) for dialogues, projects and activities in areas of mutual interest.

2.5. Information communications technology (ICT) and digital integration

2.5.1. Support ASEAN in the acceleration of ASEAN’s digital transformation agenda as espoused in the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Advancing Digital Transformation in ASEAN, and the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration (BSBR).

2.5.2. Promote digital cooperation and share best practices and information on data protection, emerging digital technologies and digital connectivity in support of the implementation of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025) and its successor documents.

2.5.3. Promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and prosperity through increasing digital trade, entrepreneurship, preparing MSMEs for digital transformation, promoting interoperability and security across digital services in ASEAN and developing a digital- ready workforce equipped for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

2.5.4. Enhance cooperation on digital integration, including e-commerce and digital trade, in support of the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce, the ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan (DIFAP) 2019-2025, ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADMM2025), and the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration (BSBR).

2.5.5. Explore the exchange of best practices and possible discussion about the possibility of interoperability of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) with UK’s National Single Window, which will reduce trade transactions costs by enabling the exchange of digital trade documents.

2.5.6. Deepen cooperation with ASEAN through our ASEAN-UK Digital Innovation Partnership to support our shared economic recovery, digital inclusion, and digital transformation ambitions.

2.6. Tourism

2.6.1. Explore capacity building and exchanges in the field of tourism and hospitality especially in the area of Digital Tourism, eco-tourism and the development of other tourism-related services, to facilitate the implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP).

2.6.2. Promote the tourist flows and explore joint tourism cooperation between ASEAN and the UK through sharing of best practices in the development of sustainable tourism, exchange of information on tourism statistics and investment opportunity.

2.6.3. Encourage the participation of business communities and other tourism segments in travel marts; MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions); and tourism festivals both in ASEAN and the UK.

2.6.4. Enhance cooperation between ASEAN and the UK and its travel industry to promote safe tourism and security.

2.7. Energy

2.7.1. Explore cooperation to promote a just energy transition and security through regional power integration, technology transfer, collaboration to stabilise volatile energy market to ensure affordability and security and the development of affordable, environmentally sustainable, renewable, alternative, and low-carbon energy sources as well as promotion of clean and low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency and conservation practices.

2.7.2. Explore the application of emerging decarbonisation technologies including low carbon hydrogen, advanced civil nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies as some of the key enablers to Net Zero transition plans, which will reduce environmental and climate change impacts.

2.7.3. Support ASEAN in implementing the key strategies of the seven (7) Programme Areas of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase II: 2021-2025 and its successor, as well as the actions identified in the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration of the 39th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting on Energy Security and Energy Transition, in order to facilitate ASEAN’s goals on decarbonisation and energy transition in the region, underpinning effective delivery of relevant international agreements and declarations, including the Glasgow Climate Pact.

2.7.4. Explore collaboration to realise the ASEAN Power Grid (APG) multilateral power trade and greater integration of renewables into the grid.

2.7.5. Collaborate on just transition policies to ensure that workers and communities are not left behind, in line with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Guidelines for a Just Transition.

2.7.6. In accordance with ensuring a just transition and the ILO Constitution and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the UK and ASEAN Member States shall respect, promote, and realise in its laws the fundamental principles and rights at work.

2.8. Agriculture and forestry

2.8.1. Promote closer cooperation in key areas of mutual interest in agriculture sector including food security and food safety, climate smart agriculture, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and promoting the use of digital technologies in agricultural production.

2.8.2. Explore collaboration to promote the implementation of the Vision and Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016-2025 and other regional initiatives, as well as relevant international commitments and declarations, including COP26 commitments.

2.8.3. Support initiatives and relevant activities under the ASEAN Network for Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (AN-IUU) including through capacity building in relevant areas.

2.8.4. Build capacity to promote nature-based solutions, ecosystem-based approaches, and investment in natural capital which will provide entry points to resilient livelihoods and sustainable adaptation.

2.9. Science, technology and innovation

2.9.1. Encourage cooperation and cross-sectoral collaboration between ASEAN and the UK in science, technology and innovation, including but not limited to developing connections between researchers and innovators and joint research projects; support implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025.

2.9.2. Strengthen engagement on science and technology on regional priorities such as health, climate adaptation, resilience, energy transition and agriculture to drive development impact.

2.9.3. Seek opportunities to strengthen research and innovation systems and support researchers and entrepreneurs, improve the mobility of scientists, and collectively build the capacity of institutions and national ecosystems.

2.9.4. Exchange knowledge on standards, regulations and norms around science and technology.

2.9.5. Encourage cooperation and cross-sectoral collaboration in multilateral environmental agreements and involvement in intergovernmental science-policy panels.

3. Socio-cultural cooperation

3.1. Disaster management and humanitarian assistance

3.1.1. Support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme for 2021-2025 and its successor document, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre)’s ongoing initiatives, and explore other areas of collaboration.

3.1.2. Strengthen humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) cooperation through ASEAN-led mechanisms to promote effective HADR in the region and beyond.

3.2. Education, vocational training and labour

3.2.1. Strengthen engagement between UK and ASEAN education institutions, staff and students, including through scholarships, such as the Chevening scholarships and the British Council.

3.2.2. Support the expansion of access to quality English language, science, and mathematics instruction in basic education, including through training teachers, developing English language, science, and mathematics curriculum, and sharing of best practices in teaching and assessment practices.

3.2.3. Explore development of professional qualification recognition arrangements by learning from international best practices.

3.2.4. Explore initiatives that seek to promote information sharing, information and digital accessibility for all, and capacity building to enhance media and information literacy, promote peace education, and combat disinformation.

3.2.5. Enhance inclusiveness and quality of early childhood care and development (ECCD), primary, secondary, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) and higher education through policy forums, research, and sharing of best practices with regard to education curricula and syllabuses, teaching pedagogies and competency assessment, resource development, including child protection systems and measures.

3.2.6. Explore cooperation between the ASEAN TVET Council and the UK to support ASEAN’s efforts in harmonising TVET and human resource development initiatives in the region.

3.2.7. Provide support for training activities, in cooperation with ASEAN digital education platform providers, to reskill and upskill the relevant workforce to help them take advantage of the digital transformation.

3.2.8. Encourage the exchange and mobility of scientists and researchers and encourage conducting joint research projects in ASEAN and the UK.

3.2.9. Work collaboratively to exchange information and technical expertise on the development of occupational standards to meet the demand of local and regional labour markets.

3.2.10. Convene policy dialogues and fora on improving the capacity of the higher education sector on industry engagement, exchange information and best practices on strengthening industry-academe and government linkages, and explore cooperation on international higher education and industry partnerships.

3.2.11. Enhance policy cooperation and dialogue on basic and tertiary education, contributing to the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2021- 2025, focusing on: providing inclusivity and raising education standards so that all young people are prepared with the knowledge, skills and academic qualifications they need, and improving the skills pipeline.

3.2.12. Strengthen and support the development of lasting partnerships across the breadth of the education sector, and closer collaboration in international mobility and exchange.

3.3. People-to-people exchanges, sports, arts and culture

3.3.1. Promote greater cultural understanding and awareness between ASEAN and the UK. Strengthen cooperation on heritage, sport and creative entrepreneurship and global competitiveness, including the exchange of public policy experience and expertise.

3.3.2. Encourage ASEAN-UK youth dialogue, exchange, entrepreneurship and leadership.

3.3.3. Promote deeper people-to-people linkages, including through media, sports for development and peace (SDP), and training programmes, arts and cultural exchange, including through the ASEAN Foundation.

3.3.4. Promote greater participation of the youth in development through volunteering, including the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme, and other community building activities in ASEAN Member States or in the UK.

3.3.5. Support the development of statistical reports and other evidence-based references on the state of youth development and sports’ contribution to development outcomes in ASEAN.

3.3.6. Support development in sports through collaborative and ethical research, knowledge-exchange and other relevant activities.

3.3.7. Encourage cooperation and collaboration on policies governing arts and culture, including tangible and intangible heritage to foster understanding, appreciation, and appropriate management and preservation of culture, history and literature.

3.3.8. Promote the exchange of expertise and best practices among innovative artists and cultural personnel to stimulate their creative and entrepreneurial skills to support the development of a creative economy.

3.3.9. Explore opportunities to support ASEAN’s implementation of the Declaration on a Culture of Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society, including through youth engagement.

3.3.10. Strengthen creative entrepreneurship and global competitiveness by building networks, supporting collaboration and developing markets in creative industries.

3.3.11. Deepen cooperation and public awareness in sports including by sharing best practice, expertise and research.

3.4. Social inclusion and gender

3.4.1. Promote cooperation and engage relevant stakeholders to support social inclusion and promote cohesive and multicultural societies.

3.4.2. Support, where appropriate, the implementation of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and its corresponding action plan through cooperation with the ACMW, the implementation of the ASEAN Roadmap on Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2025, the Regional Plan of Action on Implementing the ASEAN Declaration on the Rights of Children in the Context of Migration as well as the Regional Plan of Action for the Protection of Children from all Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN.

3.4.3. Collaborate across the breadth of ASEAN’s pillars, to promote and protect the rights of women and children, promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, including through gender-responsive governance and leadership to increase women leadership and meaningful participation in policy and decision-making at all levels.

3.4.4. Raise the profile of women’s economic empowerment as a strong driver of economic growth, including through “Women in Business”, entrepreneurship, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), social enterprises, creative economy and in digital economy.

3.4.5. Integrate gender equality in relevant activities and promote gender mainstreaming in ASEAN-UK cooperation to support the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) Work Plans and Strategic Framework.

3.4.6. Provide technical assistance to support programmes and projects for vulnerable and marginalised groups.

3.4.7. Promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities via activities in line with the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community and the work of the Network of Experts on Inclusive Entrepreneurship for ASEAN.

3.4.8. Engage relevant stakeholders and exchange best practices to support the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection and its Regional Framework and Action Plan and the Ha Noi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work Towards Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community and its Roadmap towards strengthening social service workforce in the region.

3.4.9. Explore cooperation in promoting and protecting the welfare of older persons, and eliminating all forms of maltreatment on the basis of old age and gender including through the equitable access of older persons to public services, income generation, health care services, and effective support systems in line with relevant regional and international documents such as the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.

3.5. Global and regional public health

3.5.1. Collaborate and share information on priority health issues, under the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda (2021-2025) including but not limited to: promoting healthy lifestyles, responding to all hazards and emerging threats, strengthening health systems and access to care, and food safety, in coordination with relevant international and regional agencies.

3.5.2. Promote coordination and collaboration in sectors involved in One Health i.e., human, animal and environmental health in addressing antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic diseases or other emerging diseases.

3.5.3. Seek to promote collaboration in research and development on priority health issues identified by ASEAN and the UK through its global research programmes, including by undertaking joint research to address growing health challenges such as the changing burden of disease, strengthening of health systems, and better preventing, detecting and responding to novel infectious diseases.

3.5.4. Exchange understanding of and experience in development, evaluation and approval of new vaccines and therapeutics including through public-private partnerships, subject to commercial and legal agreements with third parties, especially in the case of pandemic situations.

3.5.5. Promote cooperation between ASEAN and the UK health systems and coordination on shared efforts to support Universal Health Coverage and advance equitable health outcomes.

3.5.6. Commit to sustain and consolidate partnerships to prevent, detect and respond to global health security threats, such as Antimicrobial Resistance and future epidemics, including by building stronger disease surveillance systems, integrating learning from COVID-19 and developing public health capabilities.

3.6. Environment and climate change

3.6.1. Promote biodiversity conservation and management in the region, including strengthening collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and ASEAN Member States and support the development and implementation of an ambitious and transformational post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

3.6.2. Support conservation and sustainable management, including the mitigation of and adaptation to the negative impacts of climate change on ASEAN’s terrestrial and marine environment focusing on the restoration of degraded, fragile, and vulnerable ecosystems, such as forests.

3.6.3. Promote cooperation and mutual support on issues of air quality and on the strengthening of support for ASEAN’s efforts in the full and effective implementation of ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, including through exploring possible support on the establishment and operationalisation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control.

3.6.4. Advance cooperation in capacity building and knowledge sharing on environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and management and the implementation of MEAs (UNFCCC, including the Paris Agreement, CBD, SDGs, among others).

3.6.5. Strengthen collaboration with ASEAN Member States on integrated water resources management through high-quality infrastructure development and capacity building to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of water resources management.

3.6.6. Explore opportunities for regional coordination and cooperation to address waste-related issues covering circularity approach, and the entire stages of value chain, including chemical waste, plastic waste and efficient waste management.

3.6.7. Promote regional collaboration with an effective holistic approach to combat marine debris, in line with the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region, the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris, as well as the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States.

3.6.8. Promote regional cooperation to implement the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC) Action Plan, including through the ASEAN Centre for Climate Change, once it is established, and further enhance cooperation in the core areas identified in the action plan.

3.6.9. Pursue regional cooperation to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation, including through supporting communities and ecosystems to be adaptive and resilient, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to transition into low carbon development, among others by building on the UK’s ASEAN Low Carbon Energy programme.

3.6.10. Promote high quality, climate-resilient and green infrastructure development including through investments with participation by the private sector, as appropriate, such as through public-private partnership (PPP) mechanisms.

3.6.11. Provide support towards ASEAN decarbonisation initiatives for the transition to Net Zero, for instance, development and implementation of the ASEAN Strategy for Carbon Neutrality.

3.6.12. Strengthening support, capacity-building and cooperation to tackle growing global challenges associated with climate change, including pollution, extreme weather events such as storms and slow onset events.

3.6.13. Explore opportunities for collaborating on research and development in climate mitigation and adaptation, supporting innovation and exchanging technical expertise, including to enable effective implementation of relevant international commitments.

3.6.14. Build government-to-business and business-to-business links to drive up private sector participation in our respective green economies, and its transition to carbon neutrality and net zero emission.

3.6.15. Include the use of nature-based solutions in cost effective mitigation and adaptation measures, including to enable the effective implementation of relevant international commitments such as COP26 commitments.

3.7. Civil service

3.7.1. Support the development of competencies, abilities, and skills of ASEAN civil servants, including through seminars and capacity building activities.

4. Cross-pillars cooperation

4.1. Connectivity

4.1.1. Promote cooperation to advance ASEAN Connectivity through the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and its successor documents and promote links and synergies between MPAC 2025 and other relevant connectivity strategies, including through the “Connecting the Connectivities Initiative”.

4.1.2. Undertake regular consultations between ASEAN and the UK on connectivity through the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and other relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, as appropriate.

4.1.3. Strengthen sustainable infrastructure cooperation in ASEAN to promote infrastructure development and resilience, including sharing of experiences and best practices, as well as capacity building activities.

4.1.4. Deepen cooperation on upstream infrastructure planning and pre- procurement, including regulatory and business environment, and project financing to support clean and green growth.

4.2. Smart cities

4.2.1. Support the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS) to achieve smart and sustainable urban development towards building communities that are inclusive, green, resilient, innovative and connected.

4.2.2. Forge partnerships with ASCN, including in the implementation of the Smart City Action Plans (SCAPs).

4.2.3. Encourage more cooperation through various projects and/or activities which aim at the achievable realisation of e-governmental system.

4.3. Cybersecurity

4.3.1. Promote responsible state behaviour in cyberspace and provide wider cyber capacity building to ensure everyone can benefit from an open, secure, stable, accessible, interoperable, and peaceful ICT environment, including through collaboration with the UK’s ASEAN Regional Cyber Lead, with the aim of increasing collaboration and engagement on a range of areas including cyber education, gender equality in cyber, promoting cyber awareness across all aspects of society, and strengthening our links on good cyber governance at a national and regional level.

4.3.2. Promote a rules-based cyberspace based on international law, and enhance cooperation on cyber-related issues, including cyber- security, combating cybercrime and voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace adopted by consensus in the relevant UN Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) and further elaborated in the Open-ended Working Group processes, through information exchange, capacity building, confidence building and dialogue, including through relevant ASEAN-led mechanisms.

4.3.3. Strengthen cooperation on tackling cyber threats and the impact of cyber attacks, including cyber enabled crime and threats to critical national and digital infrastructure and supply chains, including by working with the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence and the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre.

4.3.4. Support ASEAN’s capacities and capabilities to ensure the implementation of the norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

4.3.5. Support ASEAN’s capacity to improve online safety for individuals.

4.3.6. Cooperate on international cyber and internet governance policy dialogues, including the implementation of the UN cyber norms framework and on the drafting of the UN Treaty on Cybercrime.

4.4. Initiative for ASEAN integration/narrowing the development gap (IAI/NDG)

4.4.1. Further explore opportunities for cooperation, through practical projects and activities, in support of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV (2021-2025) and its successor documents as well as sub-regional frameworks in the ASEAN region, which would contribute to narrowing the development gap and promoting sustainable and equitable development and inclusive growth across the ASEAN Community by aligning sub-regional growth with the comprehensive development of ASEAN.

4.4.2. Enhance educational support across the breadth of education and provide technical assistance in CLMV countries aligned to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan to narrow the development gap and increase students’ learning outcomes.

4.5. Development cooperation

4.5.1. Strengthen dialogue and cooperation on sustainable development to promote complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including through exchange of best practices and capacity building in areas of poverty eradication, sustainable infrastructure and connectivity, tackling climate change and conservation of biodiversity, strengthening health systems, sustainable management of natural resources, circular economy, green growth, sustainable consumption, production and supply chain resilience.

4.5.2. To promote complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through cooperation with relevant ASEAN centres, institutions and mechanisms under the ASEAN Charter that facilitate sustainable development cooperation in the region, as well as the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD).

5. ASEAN institutional strengthening

5.1.1. Support ASEAN’s efforts to implement measures aimed to build capacity in the ASEAN Secretariat, including in the areas of analysis and monitoring, results-based project management, among others.

6. Implementation mechanisms

6.1.1. This Plan of Action will be taken forward with the support, where appropriate, of funding mechanisms available through the UK and ASEAN governments.

6.1.2. Review of this Plan of Action will be made through appropriate mechanisms comprising ASEAN and UK officials, including through the ASEAN-UK JCC Meeting, with the assistance of the ASEAN Secretariat.

6.1.3. Submit a summary progress report of the implementation of the POA to the PMC+1 Session with the UK.



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