Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday emphasized the importance of cooperation among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-states, stressing that teamwork is most needed amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
Andanar made this statement as member states commemorate Asean’s 54th Founding Anniversary.
“We join the whole Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and our fellow member-states in commemorating our 54th Founding Anniversary,” he said in a press statement.
He welcomed efforts being done to ensure that the “collective vision” of a shared socio-economic development, cultural and community cohesion, and regional peace and stability “never wavered” despite the ongoing health crisis.
“Now more than ever, being united as an intergovernmental organization has never been more important. This is because Asean has been a vital mechanism in media, communications, and information exchanges on best practices in addressing, responding, and managing the impacts of Covid-19,” he added.
Andanar, meanwhile, expressed hope that the Asean cooperation would lead to “greater intergovernmental and intermedia understanding and engagements within the region, to promote the dissemination of truthful information while ending the proliferation of fake news”, in line with the Asean Communication Master Plan 2018-2025.
“We are confident that through our existing mechanisms in Asean, we can overcome all difficulties and challenges that come our way, especially this global health crisis,” he said.
The 10 Asean member-states are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The Asean was established on Aug. 8, 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration – later on referred to as the Asean Declaration – by the five founding members of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.
The regional bloc has since grown into an intergovernmental organization composed of 10 countries of Southeast Asia with several dialogue partners.