Forty-five years ago to this date, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration.
The signing of the ASEAN Declaration ushered in a community of ten diverse Southeast Asian nations bound by shared values and common goals of peace and prosperity for their citizens.
Today, the approximately 600 million people of the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam commemorate that landmark occasion, as we also prepare for another significant milestone for ASEAN: the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015.
To mark the 45th Anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, the Department of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will launch a currency overprint of the ASEAN logo on 10 million Philippine 50-peso bills. This is part of the Philippines’ contribution to ASEAN’s efforts to boost the spirit of community among peoples across the lands and seas of Southeast Asia.
As a Founding Member of ASEAN, the Philippines has been steadfast in its commitment to strengthen ASEAN’s institutions and build an ASEAN Community which is people-oriented and people-centered. The Philippines fully supports efforts to reinforce the three pillars of this Community, namely, ASEAN Political Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
The success of the emerging ASEAN Community has far-ranging implications for our peoples and the Asia Pacific region.
A progressive and cohesive Community will redound to the benefit of the peoples of Southeast Asia, contribute to the continued economic development and peace and stability of the region, and firmly anchor ASEAN’s central place in the regional security architecture.