Private think tank Stratbase ADR Institute is holding a conference on “Asean Leadership amid a New World Order” on Nov. 8 at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La Hotel to highlight the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as a model of regionalism and as a global player that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
“In view of Asean’s 50th anniversary and the dramatic changes that its member-states have undergone during that period, the conference will feature insights on Asean’s ability to make use of its strengths and capture its potential as a global platform for cooperation,” said professor Dindo Manhit, president of Stratbase.
Manhit said the demand for meaningful cooperation in Asean is increasing. “In an ever-more integrated world, the Philippines and its neighbors share their challenges, whose political, economic, and socio-cultural aspects transcend country borders and link together 600 million people,” he said.
“As Southeast Asia more closely integrates with the rest of East Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region, the causes and consequences of our countries’ actions have also broadened,” Manhit said.
Former Ambassador Albert del Rosario, chairman of Stratbase, will keynote the high-profile conference that will be attended by distinguished leaders in security, economics and international affairs from different countries.
The first session of the conference will tackle “Protecting the Asean Community from Evolving Political-Security Challenges.” Stratbase partnered with the Philippines Inc. and US-Philippines Strategic Initiative to facilitate the session.
Manhit said the topic is relevant as the Asia-Pacific region continues to cope with threats to the stability of inter-state relations and to the welfare and ways of life of its people.
“For Southeast Asia, the challenge in the South China Sea persists, as states trade moves aimed at improving their respective positions in the waterways. In this panel, we focus on the state of play in the disputes, and how the affected countries intend to pursue avenues of cooperation that reduce the risk of violence and escalation, such as the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, and promote the peace and stability of the region such as through cooperation on maritime humanitarian and search and rescue activities,” Manhit said.
Defense Secretary Delfin G. Lorenzana will keynote the first session, which will have four other panel speakers, including Dr. Renato de Castro, a professor at the International Studies Department of the De La Salle University and a trustee of Stratbase; Gregory Poling, director of Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative; Dr. Masashi Nishihara, president of Research Institute for Peace and Security (Japan); and Dr. Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea.
The second session, in partnership with Asia Society, will take place in the afternoon to tackle “Strengthening the Socio-Cultural Foundations of Asean Cooperation.”
To expound on the issue, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo, who now serves as chairman of Carlos P. Romulo Foundation will keynote the second session that will have three other panelists, including professor Yorizumi Watanabe from the Faculty of Policy Management, Graduate School of Media and Governance of Keio University; Aekapol Chongvilaivan, country economist for the Philippines at the Asian Development Bank; and former Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who is now Governor for the Philippines of the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA).