MANILA, January 12, 2017 (PNA) — President Rodrigo Duterte will officially launch the Philippines chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Davao City on January 15.
In a press briefing Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said under the chairmanship of the Philippines, ASEAN will also formally mark 50 years of existence in August 2017.
A lot of countries will be looking at the Philippines for its leadership as we spearhead commemorative activities and face present and future challenges of ASEAN’s integrated efforts amid significant geopolitical shifts in our region and the rest of the world,” Yasay told reporters.
He said ASEAN has come a long way since it was founded in 1967, from a small group of five founding members — Malaysia, Singapore Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines — motivated by a common desire to preserve an advance mutual peace and economic prosperity amongst themselves.
Yasay said ASEAN has transformed itself into a 10 member community that stands on three pillars, namely political security, economic community, and socio-cultural community.
While the three community pillars are accorded with the same importance, the political security pillar has impact on the success or failure of the two others,” he said.
Without peace and stability, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for our community to firmly establish the other two pillars,” he added.
Yasay for these reasons, the Philippines has included regional peace and stability and maritime security and cooperation in its systematic priorities for each chairmanship of ASEAN.
As we aimed at further strengthening an integrating ASEAN as a regional force, the Philippines as chair will spearhead efforts to solidify even more as well as enhance the standing, goodwill and credibility of ASEAN in the international community,” he said.
As we pursue this goal, the Philippines will work closely with fellow ASEAN members states to ensure ASEAN speaks with a unified voice in the international fora especially on matters related to regional, political and economic security,” he added.
(Sammy F. Martin/PNA)