By: Susan G. De Leon
QUEZON CITY, September 10 (PIA)–President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the efforts of the ASEAN Navies in enhancing the regional maritime stability during the 7th ASEAN Navy Chiefs Meeting on Tuesday at the Raffles and Fairmont Hotel in Makati.
Aquino was the keynote speaker during the annual event hosted for this year by the Philippine Navy with the theme‚ÄùPartnership for Peace and Prosperity‚Äù to highlight the need for strengthened cooperation among ASEAN Navies¬† for peace, stability and progress in the ASEAN Region.
The President, in his speech reminded the participants of the challenges in the present times as each nation entered the modern era as independent states.
‚ÄúOur respective nations have all strived to uphold our individual sovereignty, while at the same time fostering a strong sense of regional solidarity‚Äîone that favors consensus and collaboration instead of discord, aggression, and imposition,‚Äù Aquino said.
He said that he is optimistic that the gathering will lead to the mutual enrichment of the navies in the region by sharing of vital lessons in accomplishing missions‚Äîwhether these be maritime patrols, search and rescue operations, or the interdiction of pirates and other security threats‚Äîall towards the creation of an ASEAN environment more secure than ever before.
The ANCM 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, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
Previously known as the ASEAN Navies Interaction, the first meeting was held in Thailand in 2001 and is now held anually on rotation among the Navies of the ASEAN member states. (PIA-NCR/RJB/SDL)