In celebration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) 50th anniversary, the Philippine government launched a painting depicting the five founding fathers of the ASEAN.
A report from the Philippine News Agency said ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh and ASEAN Foreign Ministers Chair Alan Peter Cayetano led the launching of the painting during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
A masterpiece by Filipino artist Peter Paul Blanco, the painting illustrates the signing of the ASEAN Declaration in Bangkok, Thailand on August 8, 1967.
The foreign ministers who served as fathers of the organisation were Adam Malik of Indonesia, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, Narciso Ramos of the Philippines, S. Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand.
From five countries, the regional network has grown to 10 members states. Brunei Darussalam was added in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999.
the ASEAN Declaration outlines a regional cooperation amongst countries in the Southeast Asian region in areas of economic, social, cultural, technical, educational, and other fields.
Cayetano, in his opening speech, stated how remarkable and relevant the signing of the ASEAN Declaration remains even up to this day.
"Looking back at Southeast Asia from 50 years ago, one cannot help but appreciate the vision, the wisdom, the courage, the hard work put forth by the founding fathers and those that came before us. How could these people think that during this time, an organization like this can work and can become a very effective mechanism of partnership and cooperation? Yet, they pursued and that is why we're here today," Cayetano was quoted saying in his opening remarks.
He furthered, "In a few days we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. At the time the Philippines is once again holding the rotating chairmanship of the ASEAN, this rare opportunity of chairing ASEAN and presiding over the celebrations marking its golden jubilee calls for the entire Filipino nations to rejoice and to bring out the best and finest from among us to honour the legacy of our founding fathers."