12th ASEAN Summit Media Forum at Manila Hotel Today

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Byline: ANGIE CHUI

In pursuit of the objective of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to broaden the integration of its 10 member-countries, the Philippines will host a media forum at the Roma Salon of the historic landmark Manila Hotel today to tackle the objectives of the 12th ASEAN Summit's theme "One Caring and Sharing Community."

This year, the country will play a pivotal role in the conduct of the 12th ASEAN Summit. Aside from hosting the event in Cebu City on Dec. 8, the Philippines will also assume the chairmanship of the ASEAN Standing Committee (ASC) beginning this month until July 2007.

In its term as chairman, the Philippines aims to lead the ASEAN closer to its vision of achieving an ASEAN Community by the year 2020 through the speedy implementation of key programs and projects from 2004 until 2010 under the Vientiane Action Program (VAP).

The VAP's main objectives are enhancing economic competitiveness, nurturing human, cultural and natural resources for sustained development and enhancing peace, stability and democracy in the region.

One of the Philippines' initiatives at the 10th ASEAN Summit held in Vientiane in 2004, the ASEAN Socio- Cultural Community (ASCC) represented ASEAN's goal to raise the living standards of people in the region through programs dealing with social protection, conservation of natural resources and the environment, human development and the promotion of an ASEAN identity to fuel economic growith and contribute to regional security.

The forum is the first among the various activities lined up by the Philippines as chairman of the ASEAN. It seeks to promote awareness and understanding of the Philippine involvement in the ASEAN and its initiatives.

Among the resource persons to attend the event are Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., secretary general of the 12th ASEAN Summit; Secretary Milton Alingod, deputy secretary general for media relations of the 12th ASEAN Summit; Assistant Secretary Luis Cruz, and Executive Director Benito Veleriano of the Office of ASEAN Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs. …