The Department of Political Science, together with its International Relations and Foreign Service Track, held a forum that seeks to enlighten the students about the upcoming ASEAN Integration yesterday at the Buttenbruch Hall of the Downtown Campus.
The forum started with the USC Vice President for Academic Affairs Fr. Anthony S. Salas, SVD’s welcome remarks. He recalled his experiences during his visit to the National University of Singapore, sharing to the crowd few of Singapore’s problems, including land and population.
Ms. Grace Magalzo, MPS, LlB, the chairperson of the Department of Political Science, then presented the rationale behind the forum, saying that it aims to correct the common misconception that the ASEAN Integration is only for the economic sector, and thus the forum is conducted to also highlight the role of political science in the integration.
Mr. Herman Joseph Kraft, an AB History graduate from the University of the Philippines and MA Strategic Studies from the Australian National University, then presented the said highlight of the forum: the role of political science in the ASEAN Integration. Kraft began with the three pillars of the ASEAN Community: economic, socio-cultural, and political and security community. With the Integration, the third pillar is projected to strengthen the democracies of countries, to enhance good governance and rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights.
According to Kraft, to achieve the aforementioned, there must be a shared responsibility towards comprehensive security, in which case the promotion of peace and stability in the region would be easier to attain.
Kraft further acknowledged that the region is still falling short in the areas of human rights, democracy, crisis management and institutionalization. A lack of cooperation in addressing economic gaps is also present.
Kraft then presented the ASEAN Socio-Cultural blueprint, a projected means to address these problems. The blueprint aims to promote gender equality, social welfare and improvement of healthcare.
“Ready or not, the [ASEAN] Integration will push through” said Magalzo. The ASEAN Integration is expected to take place in 2015.