Political parties as instruments for global peace

Published November 21, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Former House Speaker Jose C. De Venecia Jr.



Former Speaker of the House Jose C. De Venecia Jr.

(Remarks on Nov. 8, 2021 at the 20th founding anniversary celebration of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), which is composed of some 350 ruling, opposition and independent political parties from 52 countries in Asia, including the major political parties in the Philippines.)

We face continuing violence from extremist ideology and, across our continents, the unfinished wars and conflicts, so deep in their historical and cultural roots that they seem beyond any workable or acceptable solutions to the parties in conflict.

We must isolate and defeat those who espouse intolerance and hatred – – those who advocate terrorism, extremism, and bloodshed in the name of ideology and religion.

Another most serious threat is the harmful effect of global warming and the longer-term spectre of climate change.

Against this threat, our organization can and must become a political force and a moral force for mobilizing peoples and nations – – and getting them to act together.

Climate change has become a clear and present danger to our fragile planet and to the longevity of the human race.

Then there’s the still raging deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed millions of lives and devastated communities, economies and livelihoods around the world.

Embracing ICAPP’s original vision

Dear friends: Twenty one years ago in September 2000, when 40 Asian parties responded to our invitation to inaugurate the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Manila, we laid out a vision in our opening remarks.

“To meet these challenges,” we said, “Asia’s leaderships must raise strong political will.

“And this political will only the political parties can provide. For, while governments come and go, political parties remain.”

For emphasis we said, “By just agreeing to talk about shared solutions to problems that we have in common is already a major achievement in itself.”

We, the political parties of Asia gather here in this same spirit, a spirit that will drive our endeavours and that our peoples will understand and, in the future, perhaps even acclaim.

For, together, we constitute an instrument for global peace, a vehicle for development, and a force to help solve the festering conflicts in our Asian region.

There are much more protracted conflicts in Asia and the international community, and they are occurring in our seas and in our land borders.

A political and moral force for the future of man

Leaders of the political parties in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the two Americas:

There will be a great need for transnational, transcultural groupings like ours – – since the problems that face us more and more transcend national, regional and even hemispheric boundaries.

We cannot turn away from the pursuit of peace because the alternative, conflict and war, would be immeasurably costly and make all of us losers.

We must all then strive together to achieve the multicultural understanding, which is the only basis for the long-term security of our Asian region and the global community.

For understanding among the great civilizations is the only basis for global peace to endure.

Strength in unity and a sense of shared purpose

Dear friends: The U.S. and Europe provided the world a historic, great, and inspiring lesson on how to lift a destroyed continent from the ashes of war.

In Asia, Japan and 10-nation ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, and the rise of China led to an incredibly great period of economic recovery and modernization after World War II, the Korean War and the Indo-China wars.

We commend these great lessons and great moments in history to say that never again should we allow geo-political conflict, nationalist passions and false ideologies, and inordinate great power ambitions to once again threaten Asia, and the other countries of the world.

In an increasingly globalized world, we seek strength in unity – – and a sense of shared purpose born out of our common history.

Thank you and good day.