The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) commemorated its golden foundation anniversary yesterday with the theme of “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.” The ASEAN foreign ministers and 17 other dialogue partners converged in Manila to discuss top regional political concerns and international security threats in order to secure peace, stability, and economic developments for Southeast Asia’s more than half a billion diverse people.
In Singapore's botanic gardens this morning, an orchid will be named after the Prime Minister and his wife Lucy in the tradition of naming a hybrid of the national flower after visiting leaders. [...] Tonight, Mr Turnbull will give the keynote address to the Asia Security summit — more commonly known as the Shangri-La dialogue. Delegates from more than 50 countries will be in the audience. [...] The Economist dubbed the incident the "Shangri-La dust up". Security will be intense and Singaporeans have already been warned to avoid anything that could be deemed suspicious.
The Duterte administration turned down 250 million euros worth of development aid from the European Union (EU) because it “may be used as the reason for interfering in the internal affairs of the country,” a Cabinet official familiar with the issue said. The high level source, who only agreed to speak under anonymity, told the Inquirer that the move aims to block the EU from questioning how the Philippines adopts and follows the rule of law, including respect for human rights.
Indonesia is seeking to promote diversity for global harmony through the Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship (IACS) 2017 program by inviting 60 international students from 47 countries.The IACS, or locally known as the BSBI, has been organized since 2003 and is aimed at showcasing Indonesia's commitment to enhancing cooperation in social and cultural fields around the world. From 2003 until 2016, the scholarship has been awarded to 718 alumni from 63 countries.
ASEAN and UNESCO underscored the role of documentary heritage in binding ASEAN people together and recognised the importance of preserving and promoting access to this valuable part of ASEAN’s collective heritage.“Documentary heritage can shed light into the rich and diverse cultures of the peoples of ASEAN. They help us understand each other better and catalyse inter-cultural dialogue towards peace,”
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi will seek to strengthen Indonesia's existing strategic partnership with the United States, following heartening signs from the White House regarding its ongoing commitment in the Asia-Pacific. "Indonesia is ready to fortify its [ties] with the US through mutually beneficial cooperation," Retno said in a statement upon her arrival in Washington DC, late on Wednesday local time.
Despite public diplomacy efforts by Pacific Alliance and ASEAN members alike emphasizing the desirability of upscaling their relations, actual progress will face challenges on several fronts. [...] Nonetheless, the current context offers the Pacific Alliance and ASEAN an outstanding opportunity to build up their partnership.
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations celebrates its 50th anniversary, the complexity of the internal and external environment is severely testing its approach to cooperative security that rests, above all, on preserving the sovereignty of each of the 10 member states.