CEBU CITY—The fast progress in communications and transportation had brought benefits to mankind but it has also increased the capability of threat groups to cause greater havoc as they have now become borderless.
This was the rationale behind the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting held in Cebu from April 5 to 6.
“There is a need for ASEAN defense leaders to regularly meet because the world has become very interconnected due to advancements in communications and transportation,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
With this development, people and goods move around faster and on a bigger scale than ever, he added.
“As a result, various security threats, such as terrorism, illegal drugs, human trafficking, cybercrimes, and disasters now go beyond borders and often need a quick response on an international scale,” Lorenzana disclosed to the Philippine News Agency.
And, with these threats around, the DND chief said it is important that the Philippines craft closer defense ties with its neighbors for better coordination.
“Establish mechanism to prevent miscalculations in areas of common maritime concerns, and develop strategies to counter unwelcome superpower advances and their rivalries in the region,” he pointed out.
ASEAN is a regional organization composed of 10 Southeast Asian member states which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members.
Since its formation on Aug. 8 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, the organization’s membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Its principal aim include accelerating economic growth, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and the provision of a mechanism for member countries to resolve differences peacefully.