Today, ASEAN conferred the ASEAN Prize, its annual regional premier award, to the Singapore-based ASEAN Studies Centre (ASC) of ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute for promoting greater understanding and awareness of ASEAN, and contributing towards regional cooperation and integration.

The ASEAN Prize 2020 recipient was officially announced today at the 37th ASEAN Summit Opening Ceremony. In his keynote speech, Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute for being awarded this year’s Prize.

Now in its third year, the ASEAN Prize honours the outstanding achievements of individuals ororganisations who foster the ASEAN identity, promote the ASEAN spirit, champion the ASEAN way and have significantly contributed towards ASEAN community building efforts.

In his congratulatory remarks, Secretary-General Dato Lim highlighted that “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.

The Director of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Choi Shing Kwok, who is also Head of ASC, expressed his appreciation in receiving the award. “The accolade is a recognition of the collective efforts of the entire 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 said.

The ASEAN Prize, administered by the ASEAN Secretariat, is sponsored by Temasek Foundation of Singapore and Yayasan Hasanah of Malaysia. The Prize recipient will receive a trophy and a cash prize of US$20,000. This year’s award ceremony will be convened separately, following COVID-19 safety protocols.

Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation Connects, noted that “Temasek Foundation is honoured for the opportunity to support the ASEAN Prize since its beginning in 2018. We are heartened to see the ASEAN Prize take root as a premier regional platform, celebrating outstanding work that shapes our shared ASEAN landscape. We would like to congratulate ASC as well as all past recipients whose community building efforts continue to resonate with and impact many in ASEAN!"

Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Managing Director of Yayasan Hasanah, remarked: “At Hasanah, we meet and work with inspiring individuals and organisations every day, and every little feat towards building a better ASEAN is a step forward to building a better world. By supporting the ASEAN Prize, we recognise and celebrate the importance and meaningful work done by individuals and organisations like ASC, towards building the ASEAN Community. Congratulations to ASC for being awarded the ASEAN Prize 2020."

Established in 2008, ASC conducts policy research and analysis on ASEAN’s development as an institution in support of ASEAN integration and community-building. Under this objective, ASC studies the political-security, economic and socio-cultural trends in ASEAN through a range of research programmes, publications, events as well as institutional engagement. ASC also provides a regular platform for policy-makers, 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.

ASC is the first ASEAN-based organisation to receive the Prize. In 2018, Erlinda Uy Koe, adedicated community leader and advocate of families with autism from the Philippines, received the inaugural ASEAN Prize for her contribution to foster an inclusive ASEAN community. In 2019, Malaysian humanitarian leader Dr. Jemilah Mahmood was selected as the ASEAN Prize recipient for her dedication in providing emergency needs and humanitarian response to affected population in the region.