President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will advance the Philippines’ priorities through regional and multilateral cooperation in various areas during his attendance at the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Indonesia in May, a foreign affairs official said on Friday.
Among the key issues that will be pushed by President Marcos include long-term food and energy security, efforts toward economic recovery, combatting transnational crimes, and upgrading of technical and vocational education and training, among others.
During a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of ASEAN Affairs (DFA-OAA) Deputy Assistant Secretary Angelito Nayan said Mr. Marcos would also raise the issues regarding the adoption of climate and disaster resilient technologies, transitioning to renewable and alternative energy technologies, and the protection of migrant workers, among others.
President Marcos is also expected assert the importance of demonstrating ASEAN’s centrality in the region amid geopolitical issues, the DFA official said.
Meanwhile, DFA spokesperson Ma. Terersita Daza said the opening ceremony of the 42nd ASEAN Summit will be held on the morning of May 10.
Following the Plenary Session, a series of interfaces among ASEAN leaders and representatives and/or delegates of relevant ASEAN bodies are scheduled on the same day, she said.
The ASEAN leaders will also hold interfaces with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly or the AIPA, the ASEAN Youth Representatives, ASEAN Business Advisory Council or ASEAN-BAC, High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision.
Following the leaders’ decision on the application of Timor Leste for membership at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit in 2022, the ASEAN leaders are expected to adopt a roadmap on Timor Leste’s full membership in ASEAN at the Summit, Daza said.
The Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, is expected to attend the 42nd ASEAN Summit as an observer for the first time.
President Marcos will also take part in the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit to be convened on May 11 under the chairmanship of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
“During this meeting, the President will discuss developments and the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 towards promoting economic development, strengthening connectivity and the sustainable management of natural resources in the sub-region,” the DFA spokesperson said.
Some 16 outcome documents being targeted to be issued, adopted or noted during the meeting are expected after the meeting.
President Marcos’ participation to the summit, along with leaders of ASEAN member-states, is upon the invitation of Indonesia President Joko Widodo as this year’s ASEAN chair with the theme: “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.”
The ASEAN Summit provides a platform for ASEAN leaders to discuss and exchange views on key regional issues and build consensus on matters of mutual interest and provide policy directions on ASEAN community building efforts.