|Amb. Manalo co-chairs ARF seminar|
Brussels, 22 November 2010 - His Excellency Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo co-chaired the ASEAN Regional Forum Seminar on Security Implications on Climate Change, held in this city on 18-19 November 2010. As a follow-up to last year's ARF seminar on international security implications on climate-related events and trends held in Phnom Penh in March 2009, this year's seminar was co-chaired by the Philippines and the European Commission representing the EU.
Climate change is a very important global issue, however, for most people its effects on security, whether direct or indirect, are not felt, and therefore this seminar tried to address those challenges, remarked Ambassador Manalo who co-chaired the seminar with Mr. Seamus Gillespie, head of unit for relations with Asia of the European Commission.
Ambassador Manalo further stated that while primary responsibility for mitigating the effects of climate change lies with national governments, regional cooperation can significantly supplement countries' capabilities. "It is encouraging that ARF has taken this initiative in addressing the need to build up regional cooperation in this respect." the Philippine Ambassador said.
Presentations on national and regional perspectives on climate change and its impact on various aspects of national security were made by experts of various ARF member countries. Studies and scenarios showed trans-boundary impacts of climate change on food, water, health, human security as well as energy sources. Experts likewise tried to show impacts of climate change on migration and how it could aggravate situations of human settlements especially internally displaced persons.
The seminar suggested to look into the various possibilities of setting up dialogues so that the international community could engage in promoting the understanding on climate change and the its potential challenges to international security. The role of civil society organizations was highlighted in raising awareness of people on this issue.
The seminar also addressed the need for governments and societies especially of most vulnerable countries to continue identifying security risks with a view to strengthening institutional capacities. The important role of developed member countries of ARF in supporting these efforts was also highlighted.
Ambassador Manalo hosted a reception at the Philippine Embassy for the resource speakers, participants and organizers of the seminar.