Cambodia joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 30 April 1999. Since then, Cambodia
has held ASEAN Chairmanship twice, once in 2002 and again in 2012. ASEAN Economic Community is to be realized on 31 December 2015. There is a need for Cambodia to tap into potentials offered by a regional market and to be prepared for ASEAN economic integration. To facilitate Cambodia’s integration into the ASEAN Economic Community, the University of Cambodia (UC), one of the leading higher education institutions in Cambodia, established the ASEAN Study Center.
The University of Cambodia ASEAN Study Center (ASC) serves as a policy and academic think tank, conducting research and engaging in discussion on specific issues related to ASEAN, and the further development of the three ASEAN pillars (political, economic, and socio-cultural). The center encourages efforts to promote greater ASEAN awareness in Cambodia, contributes to Cambodia’s integration into ASEAN by 2015 and post 2015, as well as obtains support for ASEAN related projects to provide crosscutting research and analysis on ASEAN related matters.
Fully endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia the Center’s objectives are:
1. to promote awareness and understanding of ASEAN within Cambodia; and
2. to promote awareness and understanding of Cambodia amongst other members of ASEAN as well as the dialogue partners.
The Center’s secondary objective is to provide perspectives from interested stakeholders, for feedback and recommendations to the Royal Government of Cambodia and to the ASEAN Secretariat and other member states on the impact of existing policies and other initiatives in the pipeline. Thus the overarching aim is to provide an essential channel
to enhance regional integration and cooperation for the benefit of all member-states, so as to better ensure that ASEAN develops as a cohesive regional organization of continuing relevance in a fast-changing world.
I. Promoting awareness and understanding of ASEAN within Cambodia
This will be through four main avenues.
1. The local media In the first instance, this would be through the writing of articles for the Southeast Asia weekly and
other newspapers and periodicals; as well as various types of radio and television programs for SEA Radio and SEATV and other local broadcasters.
2. Undergraduate degree programs and component courses at the University of Cambodia Apart from introducing a
General Education course to be taken by all Bachelor’s students, an undergraduate degree program on ASEAN Studies would be prepared and run by members of the ASC in collaboration with Colleges, with courses to be shared with other degree programs in the Colleges of Management and Social Sciences.
3. Graduate degree programs and component courses at the University of Cambodia With the proposed opening of
a School of Government and International Relations, a graduate degree program on ASEAN Studies would be prepared and run by members of the ASC in collaboration with the School, with courses to be shared with other graduate degree programs in the School and in the Colleges of Management and Social Sciences.
4. Seminars, workshops and diploma courses at the University of Cambodia These would mainly focus on the practical implementation of policies and other initiatives required by ASEAN member countries and their consequences for the future.
II. Promoting awareness and understanding of Cambodia amongst other members of ASEAN.
This will be through four main avenues:
1. Media - seeking to air perspectives and opinion pieces by ASC members in the traditional media in other countries in the region and beyond;
2. Publication - publication of other analyses of issues and trends by ASC members and others in the on-line Journal of Cambodian Studies and other academic journals, together with circulating information digests to targeted interested parties (the business community, NGOs, etc.);
3. Seminars and fora - regional and international meetings on ASEAN-related topics to better develop networking with
the ASEAN Secretariat, representatives of other governments and international agencies, the ASEAN Foundation and other foundations and NGOs, the Asian Development Bank, and other institutes and think-tanks including the ASEAN-ISIS;
4. Disseminate information - the publication and dissemination information of these through special issues of an on-line Journal of Cambodian Studies, together with circulating information digests to targeted interested parties (the business community, NGOs, etc.).
The Center shall compose of three supporting units: Unit for Administration and Publication; Unit for Study and Research; Unit for Project Development, Coordination and Management. The Center is overseen by a director and the management team, and is supported by the Advisory Board.