The development of the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 was proposed by the Philippines in support of the thematic priority of a People-Oriented People-Centered ASEAN under its Chairmanship.
This is a landmark Declaration highlighting the important role of the civil service in making the different sectors and pillars of ASEAN work towards ASEAN Community building and in providing support to furthering regional integration in accordance with ASEAN Vision 2025.
Civil servants or public servants are people who are employed in the public sector to work in a government department or agency based on their merit and fitness.
Civil servants play two important roles: First, they make sure that government policies are implemented well for the benefit of the people; and second, they help make sure that government agencies are stable and secure.
Civil servants who work for international organizations and whose functions transcend geographic borders are also included in the scope of the Declaration.
There are five important things the Declaration hopes to achieve to empower and promote the welfare of civil servants:
- Promote collaboration and cooperation
One of the main thrusts of the Declaration is to make different sectors and areas of expertise work together in the creation of programs that will improve the capacity of ASEAN to address issues affecting ASEAN citizens such as environment promotion and climate change adaptation and mitigation; disaster management, mitigation and response; health management; and gender equality in the workplace to name a few.
- Develop high-quality civil servants and professionals
People power ASEAN’s prosperity. As such, the Declaration hopes to harness the strength of ASEAN’s population by raising the professional standards and the capabitlity of civil servants across different sectors, and to build a collaborative community of professionals representing different fields of expertise.
- Build resilient government institutions
For ASEAN to continue to develop into a major global player, government institutions must be resilient, trusted and future-ready, and capable of addressing new challenges and complexities brought about by a rapidly changing world.
In order to build government institutions that will thrive in the midst of change, ASEAN aims to equip its civil servants with good governance principles such as putting people at the center of its programs and policies and in ensuring that economic growth is felt by all and built on the backbone of innovation.
- Protect the welfare of civil servants
Civil servants play a critical role in upholding the rights and protecting the welfare of the people in ASEAN. Many of ASEAN’s civil servants go beyond borders in trying to create a region that is safe and secure.
The Declaration will uphold and protect ASEAN’s civil servants, including those engaged in intra-regional commitments and those who play critical roles in times of disaster and other hazardous situations.
- Strengthen regional collaboration
ASEAN is one of the world’s most diverse regions yet it draws strength from this diversity and from the abundance of best practices among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Dialogue Partners.
The Declaration aims to strengthen the partnership among ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Dialogue Partners, regional and multilateral organizations, civil society, private sector, and other stakeholders to make sure that the commitments and plans reflected in the Declaration will be implemented effectively and that its impact can be felt by every one in ASEAN.
In the ASEAN Community, civil servants play an important role in making sure that ASEAN’s integration efforts will be successful and progress will be sustained over the years. The Declaration aims to empower, enable, and promote the welfare of ASEAN’s civil servants so they can work in a more enabling and secure environment.