MANILA, 18 September 2020 – The Philippines, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will host the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) and Related Meetings on September 21 to 24, 2020.

Three important virtual meetings will be conducted as part of this main gathering of ASEAN officials. These are the 15th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development, the 16th SOMSWD Meeting, and the 15th SOMSWD Plus Three Meeting wherein the SOMSWD meets the Plus Three countries namely Japan, China, and Republic of Korea.

The annual gathering of the SOMSWD provides a venue for focused discussions on matters under the purview of social welfare and development, including status of implementation of the SOMSWD Strategic Framework 2016-2020. The meeting also provides a platform to foster partnerships and cooperation among the ASEAN Member States, civil society organizations and development partners contributing to the advancement and realization of ASEAN Community particularly in areas along social welfare and development.

With the theme, “Strengthening Family Resilience and Solidarity: Braving the Adversity and Adapting to the New Normal,” the activities will focus on promoting family resilience and strengthening of relationships among ASEAN communities as the world adapts to the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through these activities, the Department hopes that the deep cultural link shared by ASEAN member states will continue to grow and nurture family resiliency and solidarity in order to build a cohesive and stronger ASEAN community. ###