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Regional Roundtable Backs Call for Moderation as an ASEAN Value

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Sharing ideas with all stakeholders on the local nuances of moderation was the main issue yesterday when ASEAN representatives, government officials, academics and diplomats convened in Vientiane.

Gathering at the 2nd Roundtable Discussion of the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates, delegates discussed current affairs and the main challenges faced by communities in the region.

Executive Chairman and CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF), Dr Nasharudin Mat Isa, led the meeting.

“As the roundtable title aptly suggests, peace and prosperity is the common agenda that we all seek to attain,” he said in his opening remarks.

“And what better way is there than to learn from our ASEAN neighbours, of their own experiences and expertise, for the promotion of an inclusive ASEAN community built upon the values of moderation.”

Dr Mat Isa said that in efforts to fulfil the agenda of moderation under the L angkawi Declaration, the first roundtable was held in Singapore.

“And now we are embarking in Laos in conjunction with this country’s chairmanship of ASEAN and the 50th anniversary of Laos-Malaysia relations, prior to similar knowledge- sharing discourses in each of the ASEAN capitals,”he added.

“Be it in domestic politics or international relations, more so in addressing issues of violent extremism and terrorism, we cannot afford to be exclusive in our approaches,” he said.

“Inclusiveness is the key and that entails a desire for dialogue, tolerance, acceptance and a spirit of coexistence, for there are no one-size-fits-all approaches,” Dr Mat Isa added.

It is no doubt a daunting task that requires cooperation and contribution from all, be it from government, civil societies and non-governmental organisations alike.

Ultimately, the declaration would only flourish once each and every member of the ASEAN nations recognises that their progress and prosperity are interdependent, following suit upon the maxim ‘prosper thy neighbour’,rather than ‘beggar thy neighbour’.

Only then will the spirit of coexistence prevail over elements of violent extremism as well as terrorism.

Subsequently, at the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur in 2015, leaders agreed to promote moderation as an ASEAN value that promotes peace, security and development. This decision was adopted in the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates.

Following the adoption of the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates, it has become an ASEAN initiative towards the promotion of a culture of peace, not to mention complementing other initiatives including the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations.

Yesterday’s roundtable meeting was organised by the GMMF and attended by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongphane Savanphet, Malaysian Ambassador to Laos Dato Than Tai Hing and other invited guests


Source: Vientiane Times

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