THE celebration of the 50th year existence of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is a clear proof that critics, who said that the regional bloc was doomed from the start, were wrong.
“We have rejoiced on how an organization that the critics said would be dead when it is born, where critics said that it is doomed from the start is now turning or has now turned 50 today,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano during the closing ceremony of the 50th Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Manila.
But Cayetano said they couldn’t blame critics for saying such things because at the time Asean was born similar regions with far less problems ended up in conflict.
He added Asean, a region marred by conflict and poverty, has found its way and has overcome divisions, fears, and hostilities.
“Five decades later we find ourselves living in peace, stability, prosperity, with Asean at the center of the evolving regional architecture,” Cayetano said during the event, which was also the grand celebration of the 50th anniversary of Asean.
The closing ceremony was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte and the foreign ministers of 27 nations who took part in the meetings. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA