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PIA Press Release

President Aquino to push for key initiatives in ASEAN Summit

Manila (22 October) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III is expected to push key initiatives on human rights, biodiversity, connectivity and culture at the 17th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related summits on October 28-30 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.

President Aquino will lead the Philippine delegation to the ASEAN Summit. Earlier, he met with ASEAN leaders during the 2nd ASEAN-United States Leaders Meeting in New York on September 24, and also had bilateral meetings with the leaders of Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Under the Summit theme, "Towards an ASEAN Community, From Vision to Action", the Philippines will work on how best the region can realize this ASEAN Community by 2015 in its three major pillars: political-security, economic and socio-cultural.

The country's participation in the ASEAN Summit also aims to seek support and work together with ASEAN countries and its dialogue partners in addressing challenges to address poverty, promote trade and investment, and create employment opportunities for the region's peoples.

During the meeting, President Aquino is expected to push for the country's interests in five key areas: economic cooperation, political and security cooperation, food and energy security, human rights and disaster management.

The Philippines will also emphasize three key initiatives, namely: promotion of the Philippines as ASEAN cultural capital, protection of migrant workers and biodiversity.

The Philippines will lobby for support for all these initiatives from its dialogue partners during the 13th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit where President Aquino will meet with China, Japan, Korea and during the 5th East Asia Summit (EAS), where the President will meet Australia, New Zealand, and India in addition to the Plus Three countries.

During the APT Summit, the Philippines will highlight the importance of establishing the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), as soon as possible, to safeguard our food security issues in the region. The country will also work on fully harnessing the potential of our relations with the Plus Three countries by exploring ways of utilizing the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund (APTCF) through projects that would address the Philippines' key issues of disaster management, food security, and sustainable development.

The 5th EAS will be a historic summit as the ASEAN and EAS Leaders will formally make the decision to invite Russia and the United States to join the EAS as full members by the 6th EAS in 2011. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary Hillary Rodham-Clinton will be invited as guest of the chair at the end of the 5th EAS to address the Leaders on their priorities.

The Philippines looks forward to hearing the views of Russia and the US and to working with two new partners to ensure that ASEAN Community building goals are met.

President Aquino is also expected to have bilateral meetings at the sidelines of the Summit.

ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration (also known as the ASEAN Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 8 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Laos and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States. (PIA) [top]

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