- I have the honor to deliver a Statement on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
- ASEAN thanks the President of the General Assembly for convening today’s High-Level Forum with the theme, “Transformative Role of The Culture of Peace: Promoting Resilience and Inclusion in Post-Covid Recovery” reflecting the enduring value of the culture of peace especially amidst the challenges that COVID-19 pandemic has wrought. ASEAN commends the PGA and the Secretary-General in ensuring that the United Nations continues to discharge its duty under extraordinary circumstances.
- COVID-19 reminds us of humanity’s common fate, and of the paramount importance of multilateralism and coordinated international action. We recall the Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 on 14 April 2020 that recognized not only our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities in the face of COVID-19, but more so the critical importance of a coherent, multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and whole-of-ASEAN approach in ensuring ASEAN’s timely and effective response to the pandemic. ASEAN remains committed to ensure that no one is left behind as we effectively respond to and recover from the global health crisis.
- Fifty-four years ago, the Founders ASEAN envisioned an Organization at the forefront of an evolving, rules-based regional architecture that promotes “regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.”
- With over 630 million people, ASEAN embraces a culture of peace as a core value of a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, and a truly rules-based, people-oriented and people-centered community.
- ASEAN firmly believes that regional organizations and the United Nations have unique and complementary capacities to address key issues for the common good. Today, ASEAN reiterates its full support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to focus on prevention of conflict and making “the promotion of a culture of peace and interreligious and intercultural dialogue increasingly the business of the entire United Nations system.”
In the age of COVID-19, strengthening a culture of peace through prevention is the path to response and recovery. As such ASEAN submits the following points:
- First, ASEAN remains steadfast in our commitment in promoting enduring peace, security and stability in the region, as well as the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea while continuing to enhance mutual trust and confidence. We reaffirm the importance of the 2017 ASEAN Declaration on Culture of Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society, and key ASEAN instruments such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, as well as ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting-Plus.
- Second, ASEAN shares with all the UN Member States the aspiration and deep sense of collective responsibility to achieve a world at peace through multilateralism, mutual respect, tolerance, acceptance, reconciliation and respect for the rule of law. ASEAN reiterates support for the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire in the context of the pandemic.
- Third, ASEAN continues to engage in meaningful dialogue with our external partners through the Preventive Diplomacy and Confidence Building Measures under the ASEAN Regional Forum and through other constructive engagements. We believe that strengthening the habit of dialogue is imperative in promoting mutual understanding and respect.
- Fourth, we reiterate our full support for multi-stakeholder initiatives that foster a culture of peace and strengthen meaningful participation of women and the youth, through the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda, the Youth, Peace and Security agenda, and the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme.
- Fifth, ASEAN supports the call for “coherent, multi-dimensional and cross-pillar responses along the integrated logic of the Sustainable Development Goals.” We continue to implement appropriate measures to boost confidence and improve stability of the regional economy by assisting people and businesses suffering from the impact of COVID-19 especially the MSMEs and vulnerable groups.
- Lastly, we pledge to remain united and vigilant against COVID-19, and commit to work closely with the WHO, ASEAN’s external partners and the international community to suppress the spread of the pandemic while enhancing a caring and sharing ASEAN Community where Member States help each other, building momentum for sustainable development, inclusive growth and leaving no one behind.
- ASEAN will strengthen efforts to support and promote a culture of peace through relevant ASEAN-led mechanisms, as well as outreach campaigns under the Declaration on Culture of Prevention and the activities of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation so that this becomes embedded in the ASEAN community.
- ASEAN stands in solidarity with the UN in embracing a culture of peace, a community of partnerships and a commitment to prevention to achieve more inclusive, prosperous and resilient societies post-COVID-19.
That concludes my statement on behalf of ASEAN. I will now deliver a brief statement in my national capacity.
The Philippines stands in solidarity with the community of nations to combat a virus that does not recognize borders. The need for a coherent global cooperation framework to address the pandemic has never been greater. To these ends, the Culture of Peace agenda must dovetail and reinforce our collective efforts and responses, premised on global solidarity, to ensure equity in vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other life-saving technologies.
We share with UN Member States the aspiration and responsibility to achieve a world at peace through mutual respect, tolerance, acceptance, reconciliation, and respect for the rule of law.
Since 2004, the Philippines, together with Pakistan, has co-sponsored the GA resolution on the “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace” so as to:
- promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue to achieve peace and stability; and
- strengthen mechanisms and take appropriate action to promote sincere and constructive dialogue across cultural and religious divides.
In building a high-trust Philippine society, President Rodrigo Duterte is unequivocally committed to a “peace agenda that accompanies a long-term development agenda for areas threatened by armed conflict.”
We continue to follow a peace and development roadmap for the Bangsamoro Peace Process. It is characterized by the inclusion of all and not just select Muslim groups; continuing dialogue; confidence-building initiatives involving all stakeholders; and a readiness to acknowledge the self-identity of our Muslim brothers and sisters as Bangsamoro.
In this time of COVID-19, the Philippines believes that our national and collective energies should be focused on science and sound strategies, with a clear political vision, genuine global solidarity, and integrated into a culture of peace and accountability.
Together, we should aim to emerge from this crisis stronger, more resilient and with a greater sense of purpose for our shared humanity.