Arroyo bats for Asean’s greater cooperation vs terrorism
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urged members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Tuesday to fortify security cooperation in the region to “counter, prevent, and suppress” terrorism.
In the Asean Business and Investment Summit held at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City, Mrs. Arroyo said:
“…We know more about what we should do about terrorism. The challenge for Asean is to look after each other in terms of common security by cooperating to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism.”
Arroyo cited the Asean convention on counter-terrorism to guide member-states in dealing with the prevailing terrorism threat in the region and beyond.
“That’s why I pushed so hard during my chairmanship of Asean in 2007 to finally sign the Asean convention on counter-terrorism so we have a guide on how to fight terrorism all the way to the future,” she recalled.
Arroyo then brought up the danger of a nuclear attack by North Korea.
“Are we coming full circle now when we see more nations’ nuclear capability 50 years from now? Well, that one has to await President Donald Trump’s announcement when he goes back to Washington tomorrow (Wednesday) about North Korea before our crystal ball can have connectivity,” she said in jest.
In conclusion, Mrs. Arroyo stressed the need for “closer cooperation” among Asean members so they could address the big challenges that would come their way.
She noted that tighter partnership among member-states would result to mutual benefits.
“We must all press for closer cooperation if we are to collectively benefit from the good and collectively tackle the big challenges together,” Arroyo said.
“The place to start is building stronger regional entities like Asean and expanding their political, economic, and security influence to other partners around the world,” she added. /kga
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