At ASEAN Ministerial Meetings RP to tap ASEAN
in Addressing National Challenges under New Administration
Dept of Foreign Affairs
14 July 2010
- The Philippines will participate in the upcoming ministerial meetings
of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vietnam where
it will seek support from, and work together with ASEAN, in addressing
national challenges under a new leadership.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), Post-Ministerial Conference (PMC) and
17th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) will be the first major
international conference at the foreign minister's level under the
Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo will lead the Philippine delegation
to the meetings to be held on 19-23 July in Ha Noi, Vietnam. Vietnam,
which currently holds the chairmanship of ASEAN, has adopted the theme,
"Towards an ASEAN Community, From Vision to Action".
Philippine Government will pursue the vision of President Aquino as
expressed in his inaugural speech, for the Philippines to be 'a nation
serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national
interests with its international responsibilities'," Secretary Romulo
Aquino also stressed the important role economic diplomacy will play in
"creating jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for
employment abroad" and in making the Philippines "a predictable and
consistent place for investment".
Philippines looks forward to seeking support from and working together
with ASEAN and its dialogue partners in addressing national challenges
to promote trade and investment, achieve international competitiveness,
and attain greater social equity and justice," Secretary Romulo added.
meetings, the Philippine delegation will push for the country's
interests in four key areas - economic cooperation, disaster management,
political and security cooperation and human rights - which are in line
with the foreign policy priorities laid down by President Aquino.
meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 19-20 July, among the key
initiatives of the Philippines are as follows:
the benefits of Free Trade Areas (FTAs)
completion of several ASEAN FTAs with its Dialogue Partners namely,
China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as
the Trade in Goods component with India, tremendous opportunities for
the people of ASEAN are presented in order to gain economic growth and
provide access to an enlarged and efficient market for the Philippines
to facilitate trade based on comparative advantage and lower costs.
They can also open up employment opportunities for Filipinos through the
services component, as well as needed revenue for the government
through investments," Secretary Romulo stated.
of Human Rights
Aquino administration, the Philippines is committed to strengthen
mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms in the country, within the ASEAN region, and in the
country will endeavor to once again be the champion of human rights, the
country will reiterate its offer to locate the Secretariat headquarters
in Manila," he added.
the Philippines will actively participate in the implementation of the
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Work Plan
2010-2015, especially the identified high priority programs and
activities for 2010-2011, which will complement the building of an ASEAN
Philippines and other ASEAN countries experienced devastation and loss
due to typhoons, earthquakes and other disasters during the previous
year. In its continuing efforts to mitigate disasters and risks, the
ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), which the Philippines
currently chairs, adopted and launched the AADMER Work Programme for
Philippines led the ACDM towards the crafting of the Establishment
Agreement for the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance
on disaster management (AHA Center). A fully operational AHA Center is
hoped to be launched in Jakarta in 2011.
Philippines believes that connectivity will spur economic growth and
tourism, especially through the development of a nautical highway and
the prioritization of high impact flagship projects until 2015 through
close cooperation and support from the private sector. The country
calls on the private sector to partner with ASEAN on this very important
particular, the Philippines is pushing for the development of an "ASEAN
Roll-on/Roll-off (RO-RO) Network" to promote intra- and inter-island
connectivity among the archipelagic economies of ASEAN.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) RORO study suggests that, "there is strong
evidence to support the long-distance regional RO-RO routes. There are
indications that these nautical highways may be a viable alternative to
promote regional connectivity and economic integration." This will be
included in the drafting of the ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan for
examples of high impact flagship measures include tourism initiatives
such as cruise tourism, visa relaxation policies, and packaging and
promotion of ASEAN Heritage Circuits, which, will also be included in
the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan.
is the fastest and most efficient medium of connecting ASEAN. Focus
will also be given on plans that would pave the way for universal access
to broadband services through the strengthening of information and
communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and online digital
content," Secretary Romulo stated.
of Amity and Cooperation (TAC)
Turkey are expected to formally accede to the TAC at the sidelines of
the meetings. The accession of Canada and Turkey is expected to boost
political-security cooperation in Southeast Asia, given their active and
constructive role in international affairs.
at the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers Meeting, the Philippines
will highlight the importance of establishing the ASEAN Plus Three
Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) with its partners from the Plus Three
countries, namely, China, Japan, and Korea, as soon as possible.
"This is to
safeguard our food security issues in the region. We 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," Secretary Romulo explained.
Philippines, as the current Country Coordinator for ASEAN-US Dialogue
Relations, will hold a session with the United States to be co-Chaired
by Secretary Romulo and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The session will review the current achievements of the ASEAN-US
cooperation, as well as note the progress of the preparations of the
outcomes of the forthcoming 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders' Meeting
scheduled later this year.
Dialogue Partners, new Plans of Action on cooperation will be either
adopted or reviewed with Canada, China, European Union, India, the
Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.
plans will be pushed forward for the convening of the 2nd
ASEAN-Russia Summit, while ASEAN and Ministers of Australia and New
Zealand are expected to agree to convene the two Dialogue Partners'
respective summits with ASEAN this year.
Philippines believes that ARF activities on emerging transnational
security issues will require collective efforts from the countries in
the region. These issues include natural disasters, terrorism, pandemic
diseases, biological threats, piracy, drug trafficking, arms smuggling,
disasters are a major security challenge for the country. In this
regard, the Philippines strongly supports regional cooperation and
coordination in disaster relief by contributing to various ARF
activities aimed at strengthening national and regional capacity to
rapidly and effectively respond to disasters," Secretary Romulo said.
in particular biosecurity and bioterrorism, is a serious threat to the
security of the Philippines and its neighbours. The ARF offers the
Philippines the opportunity to work with other countries in addressing
outbreaks of pandemic diseases such as SARS and A(H1N1) exhibited a very
strong case that biosecurity should be a priority issue for the
country. In this regard, the Philippines is assuming the role as a lead
country coordinator in this area of cooperation in the ARF.
"These activities present the Philippines the
opportunity to contribute and gain benefits in ensuring that the health
and security of the peoples are protected against biological threats.
The Philippines looks forward to the Meetings next week and will work
towards consolidating our gains from ASEAN for the benefit of our
country and its citizens," the DFA Secretary added. END