2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a milestone of strong regional relations. With the Philippine Chairmanship of the 2017 ASEAN Summit, our country will be welcoming our Southeast Asian brethren to discuss numerous important issues in a whirlwind of meetings that affect our common security, health, prosperity, and more. Here’s an overview of three meetings, facilitated by our very own government agencies, that may have wide-ranging consequences for our way of life:
Seminar Workshop on the Implementation of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties– facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The West Philippine Sea or South China Sea has been a sensitive issue for ASEAN nations with a maritime border. The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have staked claims over part or all of the disputed waters and rhetoric about the issue has been heated in the past with Duterte even saying he would jetski to Scarborough shoal and plant the Filipino flag. Hopefully, this seminar workshop on the 2002 Declaration will be another step forward in resolving this dispute peacefully.
ASEAN Regional Forum on Non-Communicable Diseases – facilitated by the Department of Health
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, are the number one killers in Southeast Asia, according to the World Health Organization. 8.5 million lives are lost in the region each year due to NCDs. The ASEAN Regional Forum on Non-communicable diseases was formed as a venue to discuss the challenges of NCD prevention and control. It serves to promote a healthy lifestyle and share experiences of successful interventions and best practices.
17th Science Council of Asia Conference on "Science, Technology and Innovation for Inclusive Development" – facilitated by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Council of the Philippines
Serving as an avenue for scientific exchange and cooperation among Asian scholars, the 17th SCA conference will “focus on the efficient and effective application of science, technology, and innovations in reinforcing inclusive growth and development to provide equitable and better opportunities for all economic players on the gains of economic growth and development,” according to NRCP President Edgardo Gomez. In simpler terms, they will help find ways for technology to generate income and economic growth for more people. Renowned researchers and scientists from 31 academic institutions and organizations across Asia are expected to attend.
Although we might not have a seat in the meetings, their proceedings will eventually have a deep impact on national security, health, and economy. It’s important to stay up-to-date as these will influence the direction of Southeast Asia.
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