CEBU CITY–With the global community shrinking fast, there is an urgent need for an international response should disasters and other security threats befall any nation.
This was the rationale behind the just concluded ASEAN Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting held here early this week.
“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,” National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a message.
These threats are further exacerbated by rapid advancements in communication and transportation, he added.
With these threats around, the DND chief said it is important that the Philippines craft closer defense ties with its neighbors for better coordination.
Lorenzana said ASEAN defense officials also aim to create a mechanism to prevent miscalculations in areas of common maritime concerns, and develop strategies to counter unwelcome superpower advances and their rivalries in the region.
The ASEAN groups 10 Southeast Asian states that promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitate economic integration.
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 aims 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.