Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia
21 November 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III joined his fellow leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Opening Ceremony of the 27th ASEAN Summit held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Malaysia is this year’s chairman of the annual Summit and it adopted the theme “Building a Vibrant and Resilient ASEAN Community.”

In the opening remarks of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, he condemned the recent terrorism acts that took place in various parts of the world, stressing that these “do not represent any race, religion or creed, nor should we allow them to claim to do so. They are terrorists and should be confronted as such, with the full force of the law,” he said.

He emphasized that this Summit is a historic occasion for all the ten Member States with the formal declaration of the establishment of the ASEAN Community scheduled on 31 December 2015. This will mark the culmination of a decades-long effort to integrate, cohere and forge ahead as one community.

“This is ASEAN’s time – this is our time. ASEAN can and should play a major role in shaping this Asian century, and work with our partners across the continents to shape a world of prosperity, peace and openness. A world in which the carnage wrought by terrorists has been replaced by tolerance, moderation and a true recognition of our common humanity,” Prime Minister Razak said.

On the same event, the 10 winners of the ASEAN People’s Award were honored in recognition of their outstanding contributions to ASEAN Community Building. Ray Paolo J. Santiago is the recipient from the Philippines. He is an alternative lawyer and currently leads the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) in several initiatives on human rights concerns such as monitoring of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances and torture cases.

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