The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has reached an important milestone in 2017, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the organization’s establishment. In the last half-century, Southeast Asia has seen remarkable improvements in the relations of neighbors, in our economic development and integration, and in the cross-border identity that brings our peoples together. As we celebrate this occasion, we also take on the opportunity to reflect on the challenges ahead.
Stratbase ADR Institute, together with the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia jointly hosted a two-day conference entitled “ASEAN at Fifty: The Way Forward”. Held on August 3 and 4, 2017 at the Manila Polo Club, Makati City, the conference featured voices from ASEAN, in discussions across seven sessions that address a breadth of issues that ASEAN faces today.
On the evening of the first day of the conference, Stratbase, through its think tank, ADR Institute hosted a cocktail reception to welcome the delegates of the ASEAN country-members.
The conference tackled questions related to ASEAN and its external environment, the strategic landscape; ASEAN’s relevance in global affairs, and the association’s centrality. The conference also looked at emerging economic challenges, to include the reality of anti-globalization sentiments, and the role of multilateralism. In parallel, it also looked at challenges in peace and stability, such as in the South China Sea, on the Korean Peninsula, or related to piracy, trafficking, and pandemics.
As we look at the region’s future, the conference also featured thoughts on climate change, the digital economy, and artificial intelligence. The conference concluded with reflections from the non-ASEAN world and a discussion on ASEAN’s Next Fifty Years.
Photos of the event may be viewed here.