On April 2, 2019, SPRI Global and Thammasat University in Bangkok signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on developing a set of professional capacity building courses and academic programmes on Social Policy and Social Protection. The collaboration is set up as part of the ASEAN Centre for Social Work and Social Welfare as conceived by ASEAN and the Thai government.
SPRI Global and Thammasat will collaborate with other universities in the ASEAN region to design and implement academic and professional training programmes and social protection research to be delivered in the countries of the region. After a formal signing ceremony, representatives of SPRI Global, public and private universities in Thailand and Indonesia, ministries, NGOs, UNICEF and the ILO held a first explorative meeting about the way forward towards delivering the first programmes.
ASEAN, founded half a century ago in 1967 by the five Southeast Asian nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, aims to promote collaboration and cooperation among member states, as well as to advance the interests of the region as a whole, including economic and trade growth. It has negotiated a free trade agreement among member states and with other countries such as China, as well as eased travel in the region for citizens of member countries.
In 2015, it established the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a major milestone in the organization’s regional economic integration agenda. The AEC envisions the bloc as a single market with free flow of goods, services, investments and skilled labour, and freer movement of capital across the region.
True to its original mission, the organization strives towards peace and stability in the region: members have signed a treaty pledging not to develop nuclear weapons, and most have agreed to a counter-terrorism pact, which includes sharing intelligence and easing the extradition process of terror suspects.