Message from the President
As the sixth President of the Society, I am both honored and challenged by the task laid on my shoulders by its officers and members. Having been with the Asian Society of International Law since its birth in 2007, I can see how my illustrious predecessors have all worked hard to be where we are now, with such great strides already made in such a short time.
Our recent Biennial Conference in Seoul, Korea – where I was elected to the Presidency of the Society – has brought home the undeniable fact of the unprecedented growth we have enjoyed in the last decade or so.
With a top-of-the-mind publication, the Asian Journal of International Law, as well as regular academic forums that highlight the work of both junior and senior scholars, the Society may now stand shoulder to shoulder with other Societies established ahead of it in other parts of the world.
Yet the challenges we, as a region, face are more than academic. Asia’s challenges are as varied as the cultures that animate and define its population, now just around three billion fewer than the world’s estimated current population of 7. 5 billion. Asia, as the 21st century’s sure growth center, will continue to rise in economic, political and even military influence. Thus, we are in the best position to advance international law as a means of addressing the contemporary malaises that threaten to undo the civilizational gains humankind has made since the last century.
Of course, as a professional and academic organization, we harbor no illusion that we can upstage or supplant governments and international governmental organizations in the region in the monumental task of achieving such a goal. However, in our forums, publications, discussions and other professional gatherings, we can articulate our region’s best hopes and ideas for the future and continuing relevance of international law and the role of Asia and Asians in shaping it.
Towards this end, I assiduously seek your help and cooperation as we look forward to our 7th Biennial Conference in Manila two years from now!
Harry L. Roque, Jr.
President, Asian Society of International Law
Member (Kabayan Party-List), 17th Congress
Philippine House of Representatives
Former Professor of Constitutional Law and International Law
University of the Philippines College of Law