109th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, Stuttgart, 19 June 2007 Print E-Mail
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Thursday, 21 June 2007
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109th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, Stuttgart, 19 June 2007
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Chapter three: The Philippines and Germany as members of regional organizations ASEAN and EU


In 1967, The Philippines joined 4 other Southeast Asian countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore to form a regional organization “ASEAN“ or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to work for peace and prosperity of its people in the region. Later we were joined by Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.


I believe that no other regional organization in the world today, except of course, the EU could claim as many successes. We have been able to keep the peace and have prevented potential border problems inspite of some internal unrest in the individual countries. Instead, we have been assisting each other address these issues through dialogue and cooperation.


However, I must admit that our regional cooperation has been rather a slow process in comparison to the EU´s pace of integration because of the diversity of our cultures, political systems and history. We have no unifying element as the EU´s over-arching Christian civilization which facilitated the unification and integration of Western Europe. What keeps us together is a strategic vision to ensure peace and prosperity in our region.


Having gained confidence not only among ourselves but with our neighbors our leaders agreed to draw an ASEAN Charter which will seve as the basic document to finally give the organization a juridical or legal personality after 40 years of existence. We realize the difficulties of having a common constitution at this stage so our leaders settled for a charter. The principles of this charter were drawn by 10 eminent persons each representing an ASEAN member country. These principles will strengthen the development of an ASEAN Security Community, a ASEAN Economic Community and an ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.


Last Updated ( Monday, 02 July 2007 )