Book Presentation “ASEAN Centrality: An Autoethnographic Account by a Philippine Diplomat” by Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso

Book Presentation “ASEAN Centrality: An Autoethnographic Account by a Philippine Diplomat” by Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso

15 September 2022

On September 15, the Philippine Eminent Person to the High-Level Task Force on ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, H.E. Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso presented her book “ASEAN Centrality: An Autoethnographic Account by a Philippine Diplomat” within the program of ASEAN Academic Days in MGIMO.

The Vice-Rector for Science and Research Dr. Andrey Baykov opened the event and highlighted the importance of discussing the central role of ASEAN in the regional institutional architecture within the international turbulence that nowadays affects both the Association countries and Russia. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to Russia H.E. Igor Bailen, in turn, noted that even in such challenging conditions diplomacy continues to play a significant role in international relations, as well as in intellectual exchanges.

In the speech, Elizabeth Buensuceso presented her view into the understanding of the ASEAN central role, which was formed after many years of work at the Association Secretariat and through the interaction between the Philippines and ASEAN. More than four decades of work at the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including such positions as Undersecretary (Vice Minister) in the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs for Bilateral and ASEAN Affairs and Philippine ASEAN SOM Leader, gave the author a lot of food for reflection on how to interpret the idea of the ASEAN central role and, most importantly, how to ensure the possibility of its practical implementation in a variety of international conditions.

Dean of the HZB School of International Relations and Diplomacy in the Philippine Women's University H.E. Rosario Manalo, Chairman of the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore H.E. Bilahari Kausikan, Leading Expert of the ASEAN Centre Dr. Viktor Sumsky and Director of the ASEAN Centre Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova attended the event as the discussants.

In the final part of the presentation, Elizabeth Buensuceso answered questions from MGIMO and MSU students and lecturers who attended the event. Among the event guests were representatives of all ASEAN Member States’ Embassies and journalists from Southeast Asian Countries, who were in Moscow on an internship organized by the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund in partnership with the ASEAN Centre and the Sputnik News Agency. After the book presentation, journalists had the opportunity to learn more about the activities of the ASEAN Centre and visit the Rare Book and MGIMO History Museums.