Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sulu Sultan Calls On Muslims To Support 12th ASEAN Summit

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The influential Sultan of Sulu, Sharif Ibrahim Ajibul Mohammad Pulalun, on Thursday called on Filipino Muslims to support the Philippine hosting of the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu province.
The four-day summit, beginning Dec. 10, will bring together the Economic Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to the central Filipino island where they are to sign the Blueprint on the Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration of the Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015, five years ahead of the original target of 2020.
The ASEAN Economic Ministers will also finalize seven documents for signing during the Summit.
The blueprint -- which will focus on how ASEAN could benefit from the elimination of tariff for the ASEAN-6 by 2010 and for the new ASEAN members by 2015 -- is one of the most important documents to be signed by the leaders when they meet in Cebu.
Sultan Pulalun said the holding of the ASEAN Summit in Cebu only proves the Philippines continues to enjoy the support of the international business community and other nations and is a safe place for every body to go.
"We hope this historic event would be most remembered by many Filipinos that the Philippines is still strong and that our leaders continue to work for the country and everybody's benefit."
"I call on all Muslims in the Philippines and around the world to continue supporting the government effort for this ASEAN Summit to be successful and bring peace to all nations of the world, particularly in Asia," Sultan Pulalun, a peace advocate and active in humanitarian works, said.
The 50-year old Sultan said the Summit would further strengthen the relationship and foster unity among ASEAN member countries.
Over the years, ASEAN has seen the growth of regional networks of non-governmental organizations. One of the most active of these groups is the ASEAN Peoples’ Assembly, which is an important partner of ASEAN in moving forward its integration initiatives.
At the 12th ASEAN Summit, the Philippines will support the holding of the 5th ASEAN People’s Assembly, which coincides with the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit.
President Arroyo has chosen the theme for the 12th ASEAN Summit, entitled “One Caring and Sharing Community.” The theme will reflect the initiatives to be taken by the Philippines in ASEAN community building and common people’s participation.
Last year, Malaysia hosted the 11th ASEAN Summit and discussed seven main issues -- the spread of bird flu, southern Thailand conflict, democracy in Myanmar, crude oil prices fluctuation and poverty, investment and trade and an ASEAN charter.
This year, the Summit will be hosted by the Cebu Metropolitan Area, composed of Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City and Lapu-Lapu City.
The ASEAN is composed of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.(Sammy Tanjil)
For Reference: Sammy Tanjil, Spokesman for the Sultanate of Sulu
Contact Number: +63 62 9841974
Mobile: +63920 3503428



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