The culture, arts and creative industry sectors was not spared from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has prompted ASEAN to adapt to the situation and adopt new normals, leveraging on technology with strong determination to be more cohesive in its responses. This was highlighted by Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports at the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts, AMCA and related meetings with dialogue partners held via Video Conference, 22nd October. The meeting was chaired by Her Excellency Dr Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom of Cambodia and attended by ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and the Arts and Dialogue Partners, People's Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea as well as the Secretary General of ASEAN. The meeting agreed on the importance of continuing ASEAN's efforts in combatting the effects of COVID-19, particularly towards cultural practices, cultural industries and creative industries. The ministers also agreed to continue to work together in the culture and arts sector.
During the meeting, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports shared the initiatives implemented by Brunei Darussalam in various aspects. This includes the government's efforts to minimize risks of transmission in public spaces through closure of museums, galleries and libraries. The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also shared the efforts made by the creative sector to increase public awareness and encourage public support for frontliners and public health measures through social media campaigns, songs and videos, and spread through the use of hashtags, #bruneicovid and #teranahdirumah.
Also shared was the way forward for ASEAN in the culture and the arts sector, which are Leveraging on technology to bridge ASEAN people, artists, artisans and cultural practitioners; Engaging discussions through online consultation between policy makers, professionals, practitioners and institutions to strengthen cultural heritage management; and tapping the benefits of e-commerce to spur the development of Creative Industries. The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also highlighted the importance of greater synergy between relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies and strategic partners to develop the digital capabilities of micro, small and medium enterprises in the creative sector.
During the meeting, the AMCA ministers issued a Joint Statement which among other matters stated their support and commitment to promote and mainstream the Narrative of ASEAN Identity in its anticipation for its adoption by the ASEAN Leaders in the 37th ASEAN Summit. The Ministers also welcomed the progress of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016 to 2025. They also noted the development of the Key Performance Indicators for Culture and Arts Sector and looked forward to the operationalization of the KPI which is approaching its mid-term implementation.
In their meeting with dialogue partners, the Ministers expressed their appreciation on the implementation of the respective Plans of Action and stressed the importance of the cooperation in the areas of cultural exchange, cultural heritage management, and human resource development. The Ministers were of the view that the establishment of the ASEAN +3 Culture Cities Network has laid a solid foundation for the long-term partnership between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries for advancing and expanding city-level exchanges. In the meeting, Siem Reap was declared as the ASEAN City of Culture, 2020 to 2022. The meeting was also attended by Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary for Community and Culture, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.