MAKATI CITY, Sept 10 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III lauded the 7th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Navy Chiefs Meeting held at the Fairmont Hotel here on Tuesday.
The President said in his speech keynoting the event that the meeting provided a venue where member-countries could come together and foster “a strong sense of regional solidarity” while upholding “our individual sovereignty.”
“Our respective nations have all strived to uphold our individual sovereignty, while at the same time fostering a strong sense of regional solidarity—one that favors consensus and collaboration instead of discord, aggression, and imposition,” the President said.
“And it is in meetings like this where we can make progress on that front—where we can truly solidify our ties and protect our common seas,” he added.
He said the end result of the Asean Navy Chiefs Meeting was to ensure “freedom of navigation, the safety of commercial vessels, and the security of their civilian passengers” which he pointed out was in line with the goal of the ASEAN Economic Community, which we intend to establish by 2015.
“This is precisely what all of us here want to ensure; and it gives me great optimism that all of you are here to talk and listen to each other about how we can better pursue these goals,” the President said.
“I trust that this meeting will lead to the mutual enrichment of our navies—to the sharing of vital lessons in accomplishing missions—whether these be maritime patrols, search and rescue operations, or the interdiction of pirates and other security threats—all towards the creation of an ASEAN environment more secure than ever before,” he added.
The Asean Navy Chiefs Meeting is an annual activity that is rotationally hosted by the different ASEAN navies and participated in by the Chiefs of Navies from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
It aims to further enhance the degree of cooperation and interoperability among the ASEAN navies and promote regional maritime security and stability through various initiatives. (MNS)