On Tuesday, 4 November 2016, former Philippine Senator Dr. Leticia Ramos-Shahani delivered the 2nd Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture on “RE-THINKING ASEAN: The Problems and Prospects for Regional Peace”, at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, Singapore Management University (SMU) at the invitation of Dr. Kirpal Singh, Director of SMU’s Wee Kim Wee Centre.
Officials of the Philippine Embassy headed by Ambassador Antonio A. Morales, attended the lecture.
The Annual Ikeda Lecture series, which is supported by the Singapore Soka Association, was set up under the custodianship of the Wee Kim Centre, in honour of Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International. The objective of the lecture is to help fulfil Dr. Ikeda’s untiring commitment of promoting dialogue as a tool for peace.
In here lecture, Dr. Ramos-Shahani walked her audience through the historical beginnings of ASEAN. She also highlighted the successes and challenges facing ASEAN since it was founded in 1967. Her late father, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Narciso Ramos was one of the signatories of ASEAN’s founding document. According to Dr. Shahani, ASEAN should be able to hold true to the original objective of its establishment for it to maintain its identity and stay relevant. The open forum was facilitated by the President of SMU Dr. Arnoud de Meyer.
Dr. Ramos-Shahani was accompanied by her daughter, Assistant Secretary Lila Ramos-Shahani, Secretary General of the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO. Prior to the lecture, Dr. Shahani attended the book launch of “The Music Child and Mahjong Queen”, by her good friend, the renowned literary artist Alfred “Krip” Yuson, also at SMU on 3 November 2016.
After the lecture, Ambassador Morales hosted Senator Ramos-Shahani, Assistant Secretary Lila Ramos-Shahani, Mr. Yuson and a few close friends to dinner at the official residence.