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PIA Press Release
2006/11/24

ASEAN eyes common front vs. terrorism

Quezon City (24 November) -- Driven by common fear of terrorism, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to raise the ramparts against security threats when they hold the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu City on Dec. 11-13.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, this year's ASEAN chair, is expected to lead the push for tighter regional cooperation against terrorism at the summit of the heads of state of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Like some of its ASEAN partners, particularly Indonesia, the Philippines has had its share of terrorist attacks from the Al-Queda linked Muslim terrorist cell Abu Sayyaf. Operating out of Mindanao, the Abu Sayyaf has teamed up with Jemaah Islamiya," the terrorist group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombing.

The President had set the tone of the anti-terrorism agenda of the 12th ASEAN leaders' summit in her recent official visit to China, where she raised regional security concerns in her dialogues with Chinese leaders and other ASEAN heads of state at the 15th ASEAN + China Commemorative Summit in Nanning, China.

Dr. Wilfredo Villacorta, former deputy secretary general of the ASEAN said in a television interview that a committee of the ASEAN in charge of security and transnational crime is crafting a convention on counter-terrorism.

The convention will "involve different forms of cooperation like information exchange to combat terrorism, particularly international terrorism," he said.

Saying that the proposed ASEAN convention was "three years in the making," Villacorta added that the expected summit action would be "more of a formalization of the consensus of the 10 ASEAN member-countries with respect to specific measures to combat international terrorism."

In 2002, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines forged an agreement in Kuala Lumpur calling for cross border sharing of information on terrorism and other security concerns, but it contained no specific measures to implement the accord.

Villacorta said the tri-nation accord was "more of a multilateral agreement not within the framework of ASEAN because any AEAN document must be adopted by all 10 member-countries."

A convention on counter-terrorism, if it gets the nod of the 10 ASEAN member-countries, will be signed at the Cebu Summit, ending three years of painstaking work to forge a consensus on the issue, he said.

Driven by common fear of terrorism, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to raise the ramparts against security threats when they hold the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu City on Dec. 11-13.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, this year's ASEAN chair, is expected to lead the push for tighter regional cooperation against terrorism at the summit of the heads of state of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Like some of its ASEAN partners, particularly Indonesia, the Philippines has had its share of terrorist attacks from the Al-Queda linked Muslim terrorist cell Abu Sayyaf. Operating out of Mindanao, the Abu Sayyaf has teamed up with Jemaah Islamiya," the terrorist group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombing.

The President had set the tone of the anti-terrorism agenda of the 12th ASEAN leaders' summit in her recent official visit to China, where she raised regional security concerns in her dialogues with Chinese leaders and other ASEAN heads of state at the 15th ASEAN + China Commemorative Summit in Nanning, China.

Dr. Wilfredo Villacorta, former deputy secretary general of the ASEAN said in a television interview that a committee of the ASEAN in charge of security and transnational crime is crafting a convention on counter-terrorism.

The convention will "involve different forms of cooperation like information exchange to combat terrorism, particularly international terrorism," he said.

Saying that the proposed ASEAN convention was "three years in the making," Villacorta added that the expected summit action would be "more of a formalization of the consensus of the 10 ASEAN member-countries with respect to specific measures to combat international terrorism."

In 2002, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines forged an agreement in Kuala Lumpur calling for cross border sharing of information on terrorism and other security concerns, but it contained no specific measures to implement the accord.

Villacorta said the tri-nation accord was "more of a multilateral agreement not within the framework of ASEAN because any AEAN document must be adopted by all 10 member-countries."

A convention on counter-terrorism, if it gets the nod of the 10 ASEAN member-countries, will be signed at the Cebu Summit, ending three years of painstaking work to forge a consensus on the issue, he said. (PIA) [top]

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