Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales believes that ASEAN’s decision-making process by consensus is important in keeping the unity of the regional organization, which marks its golden jubilee this year. Ambassador Morales made the comment during the open forum of a lecture delivered by Singapore Ambassador-at-Large Prof. Tommy Koh on “The ASEAN Charter: Prospects and Retrospect” at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies – Yusof Ishak Institute. The legendary Singaporean diplomat shared his experience in helping draft the ASEAN document, which was adopted in 2007. Prof. Koh also said that the Charter is revolutionary for a number of reasons including the fact that it seeks a paradigm change in ASEAN. While noting that, like any other document, the Charter is not perfect and has its share of criticisms, Prof. Koh believes that it is working satisfactorily. Prof. Koh also pointed out that changing the ASEAN consensus-based decision-making process to one that is based on majority vote is impractical and unnecessary, which threatens ASEAN unity. Ambassador Morales was joined by Minister and Consul General Victorio Mario M. Dimagiba Jr. and First Secretary and Consul Mersole J. Mellejor of the Philippine Embassy.
Philippine Ambassador says consensus-based decision-making process is important in preserving ASEAN unity