Director-General Cristobal (second from left) with dignitaries from ASEAN Member-States during ASEAN Week

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) co-sponsored ASEAN Week of the University of the Philippines (UP) Asian Center at the GT-Toyota Center, UP Diliman, on 25-28 August 2015.

During the opening ceremonies, Director-General Claro S. Cristobal discussed the Philippines’ role in ASEAN and the lofty ambition that is ASEAN Community-Building and why the Philippines should follow this pursuit.

Director-General Cristobal also emphasized that the world has changed over the years and that the threats and opportunities ASEAN peoples and governments must contend with or seize are now global in nature. He also pointed out that no single country can defeat the modern ills of terrorism, transnational clime, and climate change. Neither can one economy prosper by solely relying on its own resource endowments or its own bank of skills or its own level of technology.

He went on to note that our own peoples have also changed and how the rural life holds less allure to the youth and while the ASEAN is composed of different peoples today, the peoples of tomorrow are beginning to share the same ideals, lives and dreams. It is because of these reasons that the ASEAN must raise, widen, and deepen connectivity and community-building among its peoples and member states.

ASEAN Week, which was attended by embassy representatives of the ASEAN Member-States in Manila, was conducted to foster discourse and raise attention on developments in Southeast Asia such as economic integration, territorial issues in the South China Sea, labor migration, tourism, energy, and the environment, among others.

Also present at the event were former Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Albert, dignitaries from embassies in Manila, members of the academe, and national government officials.