May 24, 2024

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and his fellow Southeast Asian leaders are set to discuss regional and global issues concerning the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and explore possible expansion of cooperation in key areas, Malacañang said Nov 4.

Usec. Cheloy Garafil, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), confirmed Marcos’ attendance to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from Nov. 10 to 13.

“The ASEAN Summit is the highest policymaking body in the ASEAN, comprising the heads of state or government of ASEAN member-states. It is held twice a year and serves as a venue for discussion and policy deliberations on various developments and global issues affecting the Southeast Asian region and beyond,” Garafil added.

This year’s ASEAN summits and related meetings chaired by Cambodia carry the theme “ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together,” which emphasizes the ASEAN’s spirit of “togetherness” as one community and the common will to address and overcome challenges confronting the regional bloc.

The 17th East Asia Summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, and ASEAN Leaders’ meeting with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres were among the high-level meetings that will be held during the four-day event, Garafil said.

“These related summits will review the existing and new areas of cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues between ASEAN and its dialogue partners. The dialogue partners include Australia, Canada, China, India, Republic of Korea and the U.S.A.,” she said.

In October, the Department of Fo-reign Affairs said preparations are underway for Marcos’ participation in the Asean Summits and Related Summits.

This is the first time Marcos will attend the ASEAN event as the country’s 17th chief executive.

On the sidelines of the summits, Marcos will also meet with the Filipino community in Cambodia to discuss his administration’s plans for the country, as well as for the overseas Filipino workers, Garafil said.

The Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh earlier announced that Marcos’ meeting with the Filipino community in Cambodia will be held on Nov. 13. – PNA