Diplomats from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) marked its 51st anniversary and the 3rd ASEAN Film Festival at the Philippines embassy on Wednesday in Abuja with native cuisines and film show.
ASEAN comprises 10 countries in the Southeast Asian region, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The event was graced by Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, government officials, diplomats, and members of the media, among others.
ASEAN was established in 1967 as a platform to reduce regional hostilities, has grown into a community that mutually seeks to accelerate regional economic growth, said a statement issued to commemorate the anniversary.
The group also seeks to promote socio-cultural cooperation and harmony, protect and maintain regional peace and stability, and encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes and conflicts.
“Through initiatives undertaken by ASEAN and its partners, the southeast Asian region has overcome conflicts and tensions and, despite the ethnic and religious diversity of the region, has embraced moderation, tolerance and understanding.
“ASEAN has also transformed southeast Asia into a region of resilient economic growth and sustainable development and may perhaps eventually help shape the political, economic and security architecture in the broader Asia Pacific region,” the statement added.
“We need to expand the joint commission to include the representatives of culture industry. That will be a bridging block for greater cultural engagement.”
The four-day festival featured screening of films comprising Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.
The film festival seeks to promote greater awareness about the peoples and cultures within ASEAN as well as to strengthen bridges of friendship and understanding between the peoples of the region and Nigeria.