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U.S. looks forward to stronger ties with ASEAN

MANILA, Philippines – The United States is looking forward to stronger ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in celebration of the 40th U.S.-ASEAN partnership.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in the Philippines, Mr. Michael S. Klecheski, noted that the U.S.-ASEAN relationship is a fundamental organization, especially in terms of stability.
In line with this, the United States Embassy in the Philippines, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), recently held a two-day Think Tank Conference in Manila – bringing in think tank experts, academics, government officials from throughout Southeast Asia, and participants from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
Dr. Amy E. Searight, Senior Adviser and Director, Southeast Asia Program of CSIS explained that the two-day conference with experts focuses on ASEAN, in terms of its areas of success, areas of less success, and steps to improve various cooperation to further enhance strong cooperation between the U.S. and the ASEAN.
Among the important issues discussed in the conference include ASEAN Centrality in Regional Security.
In his opening message, Dr. Marty Natalegawa, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Indonesia, explained that ASEAN should not rely on past performance, but should have a fresh perspective and continue to become transformative.
Dr. Natalegawa also cited three important contributions of ASEAN – how ASEAN managed to transform the intra and Southeast Asian relations; its transformation into a wider region seeking to recognize centrality; and ASEAN on becoming a people-centric ASEAN.
Others important issues discussed: The Role of ASEAN Partners in Building Security Capacity; ASEAN Economic Community and Regional Trade Agreements; Attracting Investment, Enhancing Connectivity; Facing Transnational Challenges Together-Environmental Challenges, Counter-Terrorism, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
For the last 40 years, the United States has partnered with ASEAN and its member states on economic engagement, security, rule of law, sustainable development, human rights, and people-to-people engagement.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.