DFA, PCOO launch book on ASEAN achievements under PH hosting

MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Friday launched a book highlighting the achievements made by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the Philippines' chairmanship in 2017.

The coffee table book, "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World: The Philippines' Chairmanship of ASEAN's Golden Year, was introduced during the 51st ASEAN Day Diplomatic Reception hosted by the DFA at the Marquis Events Place in Taguig City.

As President Rodrigo Duterte said during his State of the Nation Address last month, the 2017 Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN has shown the world what we are capable of when we work together, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

Among ASEAN's achievements under Manila's watch as chairman are the signing of the landmark ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, and the adoption of a framework for a Code of Conduct of Parties (COC) in the South China Sea.

The coffee table is a product of collaboration between the DFA, through the Office of ASEAN Affairs, and the PCOO.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Secretary Martin Andanar and his team at PCOO for making this book project possible," Cayetano said. "PCOO has always been a partner of the DFA in efforts to increase public awareness of ASEAN and the benefits that Filipinos reap as citizens of ASEAN.

Representing PCOO during the launch was PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy.

In an interview, Cayetano said the ASEAN has gone a long way since it was established 51 years ago.

"While there are still sensitive issues to resolve, we were able to push forward the COC. We've signed documents but there are still more, although these revolve around issues we always avoid in the past, we can say we're moving forward since they're now at the front and center," he told reporters.

Among the issues on the frontline are migration concerns and the crafting of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

The ASEAN was established on Aug. 8, 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration -- later on referred to as the ASEAN Declaration -- by the five founding members of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

The bloc has since grown into an intergovernmental organization composed of 10 countries of Southeast Asia with several dialogue partners.

For this year's ASEAN Day celebration, the DFA has adopted the theme, Towards a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN", in support of Singapore's 2018 chairmanship theme of Resilience and Innovation". (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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