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The Importance of Diplomacy


Director-General Daniel Espiritu shares the
significant achievements of the notable
intergovernmental organization.


By Grace Bautista


Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Daniel R. Espiritu, ASEAN-Philippines Director-General,
shares the significant achievements of the notable intergovernmental organization.

Established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was created to foster cooperation among the countries within the region in various sectors of the economy
and to promote regional peace and stability. The Philippines was one of the five founding members,
along with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Fifty-five years later, the association with 10 member states continues to provide a peaceful platform for discussion of regional issues and opportunities for mutual growth and development among nations.

1. Did the goals of ASEAN for the coming years change because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Not really. The goals of ASEAN remain the same, but in the last two years, ASEAN has focused more on pandemic recovery, which happened to be imperative while still giving attention to other priorities such as regional peace and cooperation, economic growth, relationship with external partners, and maritime cooperation, among others.
Pandemic recovery efforts are harmonized among ASEAN member states through the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), and the pooling of resources such as funds and vaccines is conducted through the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund (CARF).
Economic initiatives, policies, and plans are taken into consideration in the postpandemic recovery efforts, such as in the mapping and planning of people-to-people interactions through travel and tourism corridors to spur tourism and encourage business missions.

2. What is ASEAN’s strategy for economic recovery after the pandemic?

As the region continues to grapple with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN maintains its
belief that the economy and people’s livelihood should continue. Trade and investment flows, and the movement of people, goods and delivery of services, in an everexpanding capacity, must continue so that we can bounce back and commence our economic recovery.
The pandemic has revealed the vulnerabilities of the region’s economy, especially in terms of our supply chain, but the same gaps have also identified for us the rooms for improvement. In fact, it has also helped form new areas for further economic cooperation between ASEAN and its external partners.
ASEAN aims to move into economic recovery and supply chain
resilience by continuing to aim for faster digital adoption; upgrading
technologies; and enhanced human capital and skills transformation
to cope with .....

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