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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
Asia is the only remaining continent that has not traveled the road of broader integration. Continent-wide organizations exist around the world, except in Asia.
The integration of a continent is often seen as a catalyst for globalization. For many, integration holds the promise of greater growth, sustained progress and political stability.
Our young and unique grouping, the Asian Cooperative
Dialogue, serves as an important vehicle in bringing the countries of
our continent together.
While the ACD is still in its early stage, the grouping is on the right track to becoming a platform for broader cooperation. Such cooperation will enhance the competitiveness of Asia.
We are fortunate that many of our members are playing the part of prime movers – they are leading the ACD from dialogue to actual cooperative activities.
ACD cooperation has now expanded to include the areas of energy security, finance, legal infrastructure, bio-technology, agriculture, e-learning, environmental education, poverty alleviation, and product standards.
The Philippines has been actively participating in most of the activities, particularly in energy, agriculture, and tourism.
A particular concern for the Philippines is energy security. In line with the Doha Declaration, the Philippines stands ready to cooperate and work with Indonesia, the ACD Energy Focal Point Coordinator, and with other energy co-prime movers in crafting and developing an ACD Energy Action Plan for the consideration of all ACD members.
It is our hope that our efforts in the area of energy will also focus on renewable energy and alternative fuels. The Philippines will communicate in due course to all ACD members the details of the seminar-workshop on renewable energy and alternative fuels that we will host in the middle of next year.
As we continue to intensify our cooperation, we must, at the earliest possible instance, come to terms with the issue of membership.
I commend Thailand for coming up with the draft ACD guidelines for membership that was presented at the ACD 5 in Qatar, after consultations with the ACD members.
The Philippines supports the draft guidelines as they coincide with its own recommendations for prospective members to be within the ACD geographical footprint and to share the ACD core values and goals.
Admittedly, it may get more difficult to build consensus with an increase in the number of members. I believe that we should adopt a flexible stance on this issue. The ACD should strive to be inclusive without sacrificing its solidarity and cohesion.
At this point, with the inclusion of the Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as the 29th and 30th members of the ACD, the Philippines, however, is prepared to go along with the emerging consensus of the group on the proposed moratorium for membership. This will allow us to further consolidate the ACD process.
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