Posted by: mensab | September 11, 2008

Second Progress Report on ASEAN Internship

This narrative report follows immediately the previous report submitted on August 7 and covers the period of August 10 – September 5, 2008. 


This second progress report consists of three parts; 1.) My activities in the period indicated; 2.) Lesson/s learned; and 3.) Latest updates on the internship schedule.



I.                   My Activities


Right after the stint in the preparation and assistance in the Best of ASEAN Performing Arts under the supervision of Cultural and Information Unit (CIU), I and Binaya were briefed on the next tasks by Dr. Roy, Director of Bureau for Resources Development (BRD). Also present in the briefing were Alex Lim, Head of the Coordination Unit (CU), and Emir Rio Krisna of Science and Technology Unit (STU). Two similar tasks were given to us. We will help in the documentation of two ASEAN meetings on September. One meeting will be on September 16-17 and the other will be on the 22nd and 23rd of the same month. 


To familiarize with the development and minutes of the previous meetings, I received an email containing the working draft of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) blueprint. It was quite a long document, but I patiently went through it.


My activities could be summed up into two categories, namely, fellowship with ASEAN staff and research and writing.


  1. Fellowship with ASEAN staff and citizens


On August 10, the ASEAN Secretariat had its whole-day institutional outing in Bogor City, just outside Jakarta City, in celebration of ASEAN’s 41st anniversary. It was called ASEAN CAREnival Day for a caring community. Hundreds of ASEAN citizens showed up coming from friends and families of ASEAN staff and embassies of the ten member-countries. There were games, singing, dancing, raffle, and of course food for all. I participated in the variety of outdoor games. I met fellow Filipinos, Vietnamese, Thais, Cambodians, Singaporeans, and Burmese in the games. I saw that everyone was having fun that day. Although I did not win in the raffle, I won many friends and acquaintances from ASEAN staff and citizens.


Another opportunity to be with ASEAN staff was on August 29, 2008. It was the last working day before Ramadan would start. ASEAN staff held a “Munggahan,” a Javanese word for gathering or feast, in ASEAN Secretariat. I was informed that they had been doing this kind of gathering for years. And I was privileged to be part of the whole proceedings, from eating lunch, raffle (again), and honoring new and retiring staff. With training in Anthropology, I performed what is called “participant-observation” or doing what locals do. Interestingly, I noticed that I was sitting in the group of female colleagues while the male ASEAN staff chose to form one big group for male staff. I asked a female colleague if I should move to the circle of male staff, she said that I did not have to move. It was perfectly fine, according to her. I heeded her advice, but there was uneasiness on my part to see myself in the female group while there was another circle composed of all-male staff. Even so, I was glad to be part of the event.


Both activities provided me opportunities to be part of ASEAN community and family. Aside from the professional aspect of work, there is always a bond beyond the hours and structure of work among ASEAN staff and families.


  1. Research and writing


From August 12 to September 5, 2008, I was allowed to work on my own while waiting for the two meetings to take place. Although I had an orientation with Mr. Emir Rio Krisna of STU on the background and history of the working drafting of ASCC blueprint, most of the time I was reading the blueprint and researching on current issues, sustainable development and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


This initiative and effort of mine resulted to three articles published in Jakarta Post. Here are the links for the published articles;


Supposedly, one of the tasks of my internship is to do a research on MDGs. It was shelved to give way to the two upcoming ASEAN meetings. Nonetheless, I have written something on MDGs and Sustainable Development –


On Power sharing deals and election –


On Indonesia’s Independence –



Another essay was published by Peace and Conflict Monitor of University for Peace (UPEACE). It is about the relationship between democracy and peace. In the light of the recent war between Georgia and Russia and the continuing war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, my article discusses and problematizes the concept of democratic peace. Here is the link –


An article about our internship in ASEAN and the Best of ASEAN Performing Arts II will be included in the next issue of UPEACE Newsflash.




II.                Lesson/s Learned


This is what I learned in this period of internship. Internship is not only about gaining professional experience and exposure to a certain organization and job. It is also about finding a community where an intern can join and be part of. It is also about building friendships outside the rigors of work. The ASEAN Secretariat has become a community for me. It is not a place and building that I routinely go to every morning to perform some tasks and activities. Rather it is a community of friends, colleagues, and mentors whom I find myself learning, enjoying and growing together.




III.             Latest Updates


Changes are inevitable, so they say. I have learned to embrace changes in life, even in my internship schedule. The latest update is that there is a big possibility of going to Myanmar to support the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force operation in the country. The tentative schedule for departure is on September 19, 2008. I am informed that interns will stay in Myanmar for 2 weeks.


With this development, I will be able to attend one ASEAN meeting slated on September 16-17, 2008 before I depart to Myanmar. This meeting is significant because I will be able to witness an ASEAN meeting and its proceedings. I will also help in the documentation of the said meeting.


The Myanmar’s trip is going to be the highlight of my internship. Every student of peace and conflict studies who attended courses on peacebuilding and humanitarian operations will be thrilled and excited to see for themselves and extend support to the situation on Myanmar and Irwaddy Delta, the area where cylone Nargis hit the hardest. I am looking forward to the trip. And in that case, you will have more stories from me.




  1. Seems like your August 10, 2008 was by far more memorable than mine!

    Glad to hear about it… cheers!

  2. hi, i am dita. i read your article in the jakarta post about 9/11
    i’m quite interesting with that,then i try to open your blog.i’ve just known that you are an intern in ASEAN
    I wonder if you want to give me some informations about internship in ASEAN, how to apply there, when the open recruitment is, requirements, etc.

    I really want to be an intern in internatinal organizations before i graduate from international relations
    i’m sorry for bothering you
    thank you….

  3. Hi there. My case is the same as dita’s. If you dont mind, I’d like to know some informations about doing an internship in ASEAN. Thanks for your help!

  4. Hallo,

    thanks for sharing, I enjoy reading your report. At the moment, I’m trying to find an opening for internship in ASEAN.

    I’ve been sending some email to ASEAN Evn & Disaster unit and ASEAN Youth for SD, none of them replied yet. Perhaps, you can help me with some information on whose to contact regarding the internship?

    Thank you

  5. hi there!

    your posts make me interested in interning for the ASEAN. My questions is similar to that of the people above. How did you go about finding the internship? Who should I contact regarding the internship.

    Thank you very much!

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