SINGAPORE - The Asean Studies Centre (ASC) of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore has been awarded the Asean Prize for promoting greater understanding and awareness of Asean and contributing to regional cooperation and integration.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated the regional policy research institution in his keynote speech announcing the win at the opening ceremony for the 37th Asean Summit in Hanoi on Thursday (Nov 12).
The ASC will receive a trophy and a cash prize of US$20,000 (S$27,000). It is the first organisation to win the annual regional prize, which is now in its third year, the Asean said in a statement.
The Asean Prize is administered by the Asean Secretariat and is sponsored by Singapore's Temasek Foundation and Malaysia's Yayasan Hasanah foundation.
It recognises individuals or organisations that have significantly contributed to Asean community-building efforts.
The first winner in 2018 was Ms Erlinda Uy Koe, an autism advocate from the Philippines who was honoured for her contributions to "fostering an inclusive Asean community", the statement said.
Last year, Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the founder of the Malaysian humanitarian organisation Mercy Malaysia, was awarded the prize for her "dedication in providing emergency needs and humanitarian response to affected populations in the region".
Mr Benedict Cheong, chief executive of Temasek Foundation Connects, and Ms Shahira Ahmed Bazari, managing director of Yayasan Hasanah, both congratulated the ASC on winning the prize this year.
Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi also congratulated the ASC in the statement, adding: "ASC's insights and analyses on developments and trends in the region through research, publications, media engagement and outreach activities, have helped policymakers, scholars and business leaders in their efforts in building and advancing the Asean Community".
ASC head Choi Shing Kwok, who is also the director of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, said the accolade is a recognition of the collective efforts of the ASC team, past and present.
"I am sure this will further inspire ASC to continue building on our efforts and mission of promoting research and understanding of Asean from a regional perspective," he added.
Established in 2008, the ASC conducts policy research and analysis on Asean's development. It studies politico-security, economic and socio-cultural trends in Asean through its research programmes, publications and events, as well as institutional engagement.
The ASC also provides a regular platform for policymakers, scholars, public intellectuals and business leaders to discuss constructive ideas that will help shape the development of the region and foster a better understanding of Asean.