PH calls for ‘bold’ ASEAN vision

Published September 14, 2022, 2:45 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The Philippines has called on its fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be “bold” in their vision for the region, particularly by considering the “cataclysmic” changes happening around.

During the recent Third Meeting of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision in Indonesia, Philippine Ambassador to ASEAN Elizabeth Buensuceso said members of the regional bloc “should not be afraid to look boldly into the future” as she also called on them to “consider all the winds of change that are sweeping into ASEAN.”

Photo courtesy of DFA

“We might be swept into oblivion if we do not pay attention to all these megatrends and cataclysmic changes that are happening around us,” she said.

“Let us view our responsibilities with this in mind—ASEAN is not immutable to change and must serve the people it represents,” she added as she called for the delivery of “our responsibility with gravity and courage.”

In light of the meeting, the Philippines incorporated in the initial draft of the core elements several issues and concerns that will “serve the people,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said. These included human rights, rules-based international order, digital economy and connectivity, climate change, and pandemic response and many others.

The Philippines, during the meeting, also advocated for institutional reform, such as strengthening ASEAN’s capacity and effectiveness, streamlining ASEAN’s decision-making process, strengthening the role of the various mechanisms of ASEAN especially the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), and enhancing the role of the ASEAN Secretary-General.