ASEAN 'One Community' drive peaking in SE Asia
Manila (5 August) -- The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is determined to pursue the "one caring and sharing community" identity.
Aside from the ratification of its Charter by ASEAN's ten member countries, another demonstration of the collective decision is the Common Effective Preferential Tariffs- ASEAN Free Trade Area (CEPT-AFTA) which is now in effect.
One of the goals of ASEAN is to create a single market and production base in the region by eliminating trade barriers and allowing the free flow of goods, capital, workers and investments.
Likewise, ASEAN is banking on the mutual assistance and cooperation among member countries will spur economic developments, establish regional stability, reduce poverty and promote respect for human rights.
Summits, based on the ASEAN Charter, will be the venues to resolve disputes and charter violations.
Recent developments at the ASEAN included the enhancement of roles of the Secretary General and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the establishment of new bodies like the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) which was tasked to prepare the meetings of the ASEAN Summit and the implementation of its agreement and decisions.
Current ASEAN Secretary General is former Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Surin Pitsuwan.
On Friday, August 6, 2010, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the ASEAN Affairs, in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency and the National Broadcasting Network, will host a media forum at the Manila Hotel to share the on-going activities and issues at the ASEAN.
Ambassadors from ASEAN countries were invited to participate: HE Malai Hajah Halimah Malia Haji Yussof (Brunei Darussalam); HE Hos Sereythonh (Cambodia); HE Yohanes Kristiarto Soeryo Legowo (Indonesia); HE Leuane Sombounkhan (Lao PDR); HE Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad(Malaysia); HE Aung Khin Soe (Myanmar); HE A. Selverajah (Singapore); HE Kulkumut Singhara Na Ayudhaya (Thailand) and HE Nguyen Vu Tu (Vietnam).
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo (for the ASEAN Political Security Community), Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo (for the Economic Community pillar)and Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Alicia Bala (for the ASEAN Social Cultural Community) were invited as resource persons.
Likewise, Philippine Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Ambassador Rosario Manalo and Dr. Sheila Vergara of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity were also invited to participate. (PIA) [top]