Recalling the importance of the upcoming ASEAN Community, ASEAN Studies Center UGM (ASC UGM) in collaboration with ASEAN Studies Center Chulalongkorn University, Thailand conducted a two-day conference called ICONAS (International Conference on ASEAN Studies). With the theme of “Inner and Outer Look of Southeast Asia in 2015: Championing ASEAN Community”, this conference aimed to disseminate the information in order to “champion” the ASEAN Community—including the opportunities and challenges that might occur. The conference itself was held on 1-2 October 2014.
Taking place in the Inna Garuda Hotel, the conference was opened by a speech from Danny Lee, Director for Community Affairs Development at the ASEAN Secretariat. In his speech, Mr Lee emphasized on the importance of preparations regarding ASEAN Community, which sees only one more year to commence.
Five other speakers from different ASEAN countries also gave their lectures in this conference. They are I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Director General for ASEAN Cooperation, MOFA of the Republic of Indonesia; Mochtar Masoed from the ASEAN Studies Centre, Gadjah Mada University; Suthipand Chirathivat from the ASEAN Studies Centre, Chulalongkorn University; Farish Noor from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore; Ponciano Intal from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia; and Rahimah Abdurrahim from the Habibie Center.
This conference also included a panel discussion session, in which several researchers—including students, practitioners, and lecturers—on ASEAN studies were given chance to present their working paper on Southeast Asian contemporary issues. The papers were previously selected through a strict reviewing process by the committee. The discussions were divided into several topics, such as ASEAN and human security, rethinking ASEAN identity, and the cultural aspects of ASEAN. [Ario Bimo]