RRI.MY.ID, Jakarta – At the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits, Mekong Institute was awarded the ASEAN Prize 2021 for its contributions to promoting ASEAN awareness and strengthening regional cooperation towards sustainable development.
The intergovernmental organisation was founded in 1996 and is based in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Mekong Institute’s commitment to promoting ASEAN Community building has been continuously articulated through a range of capacity development programmes, research studies, publications, and multi-institutional engagements and has become a leading light in advancing regional cooperation and integration, particularly in responding to priority needs of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
It implements cross-sectoral projects in agricultural development and commercialisation, trade and investment facilitation, and sustainable energy and environment, thereby reflecting the immense support to the core tenets of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) 2030 vision.
Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Mekong Institute Executive Director, stated that the Prize was received with great honor on behalf of those who have tirelessly advanced GMS development and cooperation for a stronger ASEAN. He added that the recognition strengthens Mekong Institute’s resolve to work even harder in empowering people, bridging partnerships, and advocating positive change, particularly during these uncertain times.
“Mekong Institute remains a steadfast partner in helping people emerge safely from the pandemic, so they may thrive in the new normal, where new levels of growth, trust, well-being, and a deeper sense of belonging will endure for many years to come,” he said.
The role of ASEAN Prize in promoting public awareness on the core values and principles of ASEAN based on the ASEAN Charter was recognised by the ASEAN Leaders at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summit, chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on 26 October 2021.
In the Chairman’s Statement issued, the Leaders congratulated the Mekong Institute, a research institute and community development centre based in Khon Kaen, Thailand, as recipient of the ASEAN Prize 2021, recognising its work in promoting a prosperous and harmonious sub-regional development, and contribution to a wider regional cooperation and integration, particularly in agricultural development and commercialisation.
In his congratulatory remarks, Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi acknowledged the Mekong Institute’s aspiration in fostering sustainable development and how they have created a pivotal strength and driving force for regional economic growth, especially for mainland ASEAN.
“Their key role in community development and capacity building, publication as well as research and training programmes have helped bridge the gap in the region, accelerating equitable growth towards an inclusive, cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community,” said Dato Lim. “ASEAN appreciates Mekong Institute’s 25 years of dedication towards realising this objective and hopes the Prize will encourage and support their work going forward,” he concluded.
The ASEAN Prize is an annual regional premier award, administered by the ASEAN Secretariat, honouring individuals or organisations based in ASEAN that have demonstrated outstanding work with significant contribution to community building efforts. The recipient will receive a trophy and a cash prize of US$20,000 sponsored by Temasek Foundation of Singapore and Yayasan Hasanah of Malaysia.
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