Asian Po­lit­i­cal par­ties com­mit to Green Growth

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features - By JOSE C. DE VENECIA JR. FOR­MER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

n the last two weeks we had fast­mov­ing speak­ing en­gage­ments in Moscow at the 10th Gen­eral Assem­bly of the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence of Asian Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties (ICAPP), which we presided, with Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev as key­note speaker on the eve of his flight to China. He has been al­ter­nat­ing as pres­i­dent or pre­mier with cur­rent Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, the se­nior leader.

We then flew from Moscow to Seoul for a meet­ing with for­mer United Na­tions sec­re­tary gen­eral Ban Ki-moon on the ICAPP Spe­cial Work­shop on Green Cities with the Global Green Growth In­sti­tute (GGGI), now headed by Ban Ki-moon as chair­man and Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral Frank Ri­js­ber­man, a Dutch­man. GGGI is now a net­work of 30 na­tions and rapidly ex­pand­ing, de­voted to the move­ment on the ex­pan­sion of Green Growth and the epic strug­gle against wors­en­ing cli­mate change.

At the sign­ing of the co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment be­tween ICAPP and the GGGI, we said we should not stop un­til the cru­cial green growth move­ment en­larges into a net­work of 100 na­tions and we hope that by then the rest of the world’s 95 other na­tions would fol­low and not al­low them­selves to be left be­hind as the global strug­gle against the wors­en­ing dan­gers of cli­mate change in­ten­sify.

Our ICAPP Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Park Ro-byug, a ca­reer diplo­mat and an able for­mer Korean am­bas­sador to Moscow, signed the agree­ment on be­half of ICAPP in Seoul with GGGI Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ri­js­ber­man. At the sign­ing we said it is our hope to try to bring into the Green Growth move­ment our ex­ist­ing co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with the Latin Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal par­ties un­der COPPPAL and the Coun­cil of African Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties (CAPP).

In 2016, we in ICAPP also es­tab­lished a work­ing part­ner­ship with the Eu­ro­pean po­lit­i­cal par­ties through the cre­ation of the Asia-Eu­rope Po­lit­i­cal Fo­rum (AEPF), start­ing in Seoul, fol­lowed by a larger sec­ond meet­ing in Lon­don last May this year, and we are sched­ul­ing a third Asia-Eu­rope con­fer­ence in Sri Lanka in April next year.

When we founded ICAPP in Manila in Septem­ber, 2000, we be­gan with some 40 Asian po­lit­i­cal par­ties and to­day, it is our hope to cel­e­brate ICAPP’s 20th an­niver­sary in Manila in mid-2020 as we try to com­plete bring­ing into the fold some 350 of Asia’s rul­ing, op­po­si­tion, and in­de­pen­dent po­lit­i­cal par­ties af­ter hav­ing com­pleted co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with the par­ties of Africa and Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean.

To com­plete the global net­work, it is our fond­est hope to work even­tu­ally with the North Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal par­ties of the US and Canada. We are proud of our ICAPP sec­re­tar­iat in Seoul, which we trans­ferred from Manila to South Korea in 2009 to help con­trib­ute to South Korea’s in­creas­ing li­ai­son with North Korea (Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea, DPRK), an­tic­i­pat­ing that in the fore­see­able fu­ture, a work­ing con­fed­er­a­tion be­tween the two Korean states might emerge with a con­nected train sys­tem from Pu­san in the South across the 38th Par­al­lel to Py­ongyang and be­yond the Yalu river in the North, and hope that in the full­ness of time, the two Koreas could per­haps unite to­gether like the two Viet­nams and the two Ger­manys.

We had men­tioned be­fore that we had a “break­through” re­la­tion­ship with North Korea’s found­ing Pres­i­dent Kim Il Sung in Py­ongyang in 1990, when we jour­neyed to Py­ongyang, as act­ing chair­man of the House For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee, which im­me­di­ately led to Philip­pine-North Korean for­mal diplo­matic re­la­tions. Fol­low­ing our in­vi­ta­tion to visit Manila, then North Korean Vice-Pre­mier Kim Dahl Hyun was warmly re­ceived by then For­eign Min­is­ter Raul Mangla­pus. As a re­sult, then Pres­i­dent Co­ra­zon Aquino, au­tho­rized for­mal diplo­matic re­la­tions with DPRK, which con­tinue up un­til to­day, with our Am­bas­sador to Bei­jing Jose San­ti­ago “Chito” Sta. Ro­mana ac­cred­ited to Py­ongyang, and the North Korean Am­bas­sador in Bangkok ac­cred­ited to Manila.

Vice Pre­mier Kim was well-re­ceived in Manila and he and we, af­ter a he­li­copter trip to Cor­regi­dor, had to rush back to Manila with the erup­tion of Mount Pi­natubo on June 15, 1991, in Cen­tral Lu­zon, at the time the sec­ond big­gest vol­canic erup­tion of the 20th cen­tury. The North Kore­ans and we had traces of fallen ash on our hair and clothes when we jour­neyed back to Manila and we es­corted him to his plane for the flight back to Bei­jing and Py­ongyang.

In Seoul, we also con­ferred with our old friend, Korean Speaker Moon Heesang of the Korean Na­tional Assem­bly, who re­mem­bered our old well-ap­pre­ci­ated pro­posal for the estab­lish­ment of a Philip­pines-Korea Uni­ver­sity in Metro Manila, Clark Field, or Pan­gasi­nan. Moon called it a “note­wor­thy project,” worth re­viv­ing to­day, since it has been re­ported that as many as 200,000 South Korean tourists vis­ited the Philip­pines last year, and some 63,000 Filipinos work to­day in South Korea.

Many Kore­ans also visit the Philip­pines and stay for months to learn English. Many Filipino stu­dents or grad­u­ates des­tined to work in Korea could also learn Han­gul (Korean lan­guage) and be more ef­fec­tive in their work and help fos­ter the in­creas­ing “spe­cial” ties with Korea. (To be con­tin­ued)

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