Symposium on ASEAN socio-cultural relations slated in Davao City

A Buddhist temple in Vientiane, Laos, one of the many in this Southeast Asian capital that attracts tourists from all over the world. MindaNews File Photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 August) – Strategies that will enhance understanding of the socio-cultural relations among the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be tackled in s symposium in Davao City on Thursday.

Titled “Public Symposium on ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and Nation Building,” the event will bring the analyses and perspectives of eminent academic and government officials in the region on building ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) and nationbuilding, a briefer released by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Tuesday said.

It said agencies such as the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), MinDA, ASEAN Society, and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Department of Foreign Affairs-Philippine Mission to ASEAN will spearhead the symposium at the Marco Polo Hotel.

The forum aims to enhance understanding of the ASCC and its interaction with national policies and development in the member countries, generate insights and recommendations on moving ASCC into 2025 and beyond, and to have better understanding and appreciation of, greater emotional attachment to, and deeper engagement with ASEAN and the region, along with Japan’s commitment over the years together with ASEAN.

Pampanga second district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who served as president from 2001 to 2010, will deliver the keynote message.

ASEAN is composed of Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei. The Philippines is chairing the 50th anniversary of the regional bloc this year.

The briefer added that the “ASEAN has come a long way from its beginnings” when it was founded on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, from being “unstable ‘Balkans of the East’ and poor” to a vibrant and increasingly integrated economic region.

It said the ASEAN is fast becoming an increasingly stronger socio-cultural community, and a significant force in international diplomacy especially in the East Asia region.

The speakers include Civil Service Commission chairperson Alicia Bala, ASEAN Deputy secretary-general for ASCC Larry Maramis, ERIA communications director Lydia Ruddy, PIDS research information director Dr. Sheila Siar, PIDS president Gilberto Llanto;

Jakarta-based Habbie Center associate fellow Dr. Alexander C. Chandra, ASEAN secretariat Dr. Kiran Sagoo.ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity executive director Atty. Roberto V. Oliva, ERIA senior economist Dr. Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, MinDA executive deputy director Romeo Montenegro;

Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy and board of regents at Mindanao State University president Amina Rasul-Bernardo, former foreign affairs secretary and ASEAN Society chairperson Delia D. Albert, and Initiatives for International Dialogues executive director Augusto Miclat, Jr. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)