Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and Narrowing the Development Gap (NDG)
Narrowing the Development Gap
Narrowing the Development Gap in ASEAN refers to reducing various forms of disparities among and within Member States where some pockets of underdevelopment persist.
Measures in the ASEAN Political Security, Socio-Cultural and Economic Community Blueprints are targeted at policy reforms for narrowing the development divide to foster regional cooperation, greater social and economic integration, consistent with the objective of building an ASEAN Community in 2015.
Initiative for ASEAN Integration
The ASEAN Heads of State at their Summit in 2000 launched the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) with the objectives of Narrowing the Development Gap (NDG) and accelerating economic integration of the newer members of ASEAN, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV).
IAI Work Plans
The efforts to narrow the development gap will be driven mainly by the IAI Work Plan (IAI-WP). The six-year IAI-Work Plans have been developed to assist the CLMV countries as well as ASEAN's other sub-regions to ensure that the economic wheels of their economies move at an accelerated pace. The first phase of the Work Plan covered the years 2002 to 2008. The current Work Plan (IAI-WP II) is based on key programme areas in the three Blueprints for the ASEAN Community: ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint, ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint.
IAI Development Cooperation Forum (IDCF)
To accelerate the pace of implementing the IAI, the IAI Development Cooperation Forum (IDCF) was established to serve as the main venue for engaging ASEAN's Dialogue Partners and other donors in a collective dialogue on the IAI Work Plan. Four Forums have been organized since 2002.
IAI Task Force
The IAI Task Force, comprised of representatives of the Committee of Permanent Representatives and its working group from all ten ASEAN member states, is in charge of providing “general advice” and policy guidelines and directions in the design and implementation of the IAI Work Plan. All 10 ASEAN Member States are represented in the IAI Task Force, with the Task Force chaired by representatives of the four CLMV countries. Chairmanship is rotated annually in alphabetical order. The chair for 2014 is Cambodia.
ASEAN Secretariat - IAI and NDG Division
The ASEAN Secretariat, in particular through the IAI and NDG Division, supports the implementation and management of the IAI Work Plan and activities of other sub-regional frameworks. This includes servicing meetings, assisting in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting of projects, resource mobilization and overall operational coordination among the various bodies working on IAI. A key activity of the Division is initiating closer cooperation with the Dialogue Partners and international agencies as well as the private sector in ASEAN to develop strategies and programmes to assist in implementing IAI and NDG projects.