The Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) is a multilateral organization consisting of 35 Asian Countries; the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, The Republic of Korea, the State of Kuwait, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Sultanate of Oman, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, the State of Qatar, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Singapore, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the State of Palestine. The ACD was inaugurated in June 2000 in Cha-Am, Thailand, where 18 Asian Foreign Ministers met together for the first time.
The ACD is a continent-wide forum, the first of its kind in Asia. ACD aims to constitute the missing link in Asia by incorporating every Asian country and building an Asian Community without duplicating other organizations or creating a bloc against others. A key principle is to consolidate Asian strengths and fortify Asia’s competitiveness by maximizing the diversity and rich resources evident in Asia. The main objectives are as follows:
- To promote interdependence among Asian countries in all areas of cooperation by identifying Asia’s common strengths and opportunities which will help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for Asian people whilst developing a knowledge-based society within Asia and enhancing community and people empowerment;
- To expand the trade and financial market within Asia and increase the bargaining power of Asian countries in lieu of competition and, in turn, enhance Asia’s economic competitiveness in the global market;
- To serve as the missing link in Asian cooperation by building upon Asia’s potentials and strengths through supplementing and complementing existing cooperative frameworks so as to become a viable partner for other regions;
- To ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community, capable of interacting with the rest of the world on a more equal footing and contributing more positively towards mutual peace and prosperity.
The 20 Area of Cooperation is being consolidating into the following 6 priority pillars namely:
- Science, Technology and Innovation
- Education and Human Resource Development
- Interrelation of Food, Energy and Water Security
- Culture and Tourism
- Promoting Approaches to Inclusive and Sustainable Development
The ACD University Network (ACD-UN) was successfully established at the 14th ACD Ministerial Meeting and endorsed during the 2nd ACD Summit Meeting in Bangkok, 2016 through the secretariat of ACD. The ACD UN has identified FIVE key activities, namely:
- ACD University Network Coordination Committee (ACD-UNCC),
- ACD Research Network (ACD-RN),
- ACTS Task Force,
- ACD MBA, and
- ACD Student Leadership Institute (ACD-SLI).
ACD-UN act as a common collaborative and flexible platform to facilitate the Academic Exchange Collaboration on innovation among proactive focused universities in ACD countries, can strengthened the transnational educational activities between the participating universities. Through this collaboration, opportunities will be open and made available to the participating institutions to strengthen transnational educational activities in building a common platform. The ACD-UN attracted participants from 19 countries, namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Kuwait.