The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Brazil to the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Antonio José Maria de Souza e Silva, delivered a lecture entitled “Democratization from a Comparative Perspective: Southeast Asia and Latin America” for the Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) Regular Course 58 on 20 February 2023 at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP). Ambassador Souza e Silva gave the keynote lecture together with his co-panelist, Cleve Kevin Robert V Arguelles, Assistant Professorial Lecturer, Department of Political Science, De La Salle University-Manila. Ambassador de Souza e Silva and Professor Arguelles were met and received by the NDCP Officials led by LtGen Ferdinand M Cartujano PAF (Ret).
The panel lecture centered on how the democratization process in Latin America paved the way for regional cooperation, particularly in the context of the formation and continued success of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), as well as the pivotal role of the military in the democratic transition process in Brazil and in other countries in the region. In Southeast Asia, the discussion highlighted that while individual countries have made significant economic successes in the past decades, they are confronted by the challenge of democratic erosion.
The panel lecture concluded with two important insights: First, the bright prospect for developing countries to nurture their own model of democracy that better delivers peace and prosperity for the people. Second, democracy is a long, difficult, and sometimes painful process, that most developing countries have endured across generations and have strived to improve through strengthening institutions, involving civil society and other stakeholders, and addressing the economic gap between the rich and the poor.
The activity is part of the MNSA Program’s Module on Area Security Studies and the Ambassador Speaks Series of the Academic Affairs Division.
By Mr Robert Joseph P Medillo