World leaders to converge in Cebu for 12th Asean Leaders' Summit
Quezon City (28 October) -- World leaders from 16 countries will converge in Cebu City in December for the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Leadersí Summit, the highest decision-making body of the regional economic grouping.
Assistant Secretary Louie Cruz, director general of the Asean Affairs Desk of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said 10 of the 16 leaders are the heads of state from the member countries of the Asean. The six others are from China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and India, Aseanís dialogue partners.
The 10 Asean members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Also expected to attend the Summit are leaders from France and other European countries, and the United States.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who left Friday morning for a five-day official visit to China, said she would meet with Asean and Chinese leaders during her trip to discuss security and other issues of common interest to Asean and its dialogue partners.
"My trip to China to meet with regional leaders of Asean and China is a step toward securing the peace and security we need. We are in a new era, and we must forge new alliances and new friendships to protect our way of life," she said in her departure statement.
She pointed out that meeting Asean leaders is another major step toward preparing the Philippines for greater prosperity, promoting openness and building friendships instead of aiding alienation and confrontation.
While in China, the President -- who will chair the Asean Summit in December -- will co-chair the China and Asean leadersí meeting in Nanjing.
The Philippines will be hosting an Asean Summit for the second time since the regional grouping came to being in 1967.
Cruz said that to underscore Aseanís concern for the welfare of the people in the region, the organization agreed to adopt: "One Caring and Sharing Community" as the theme of the Cebu City Summit.
In 2004, Asean adopted the Vientiane Plan of Action, a road map designed to "come up with an Asean Community in 2020."
Cruz explained that to achieve the goals of the Plan of Action, the regional leaders "decided to come up with three areas of cooperation Ė in politics and security, economic, and socio-cultural aspects."
He added that the Philippines batted for the adoption of the "one sharing and caring community" concept to stress the pro-people thrust of the Plan. (PIA) [top]