By Argyll Cyrus Geducos, April 29, 2023; Manila Bulletin
AT A GLANCE
- Marcos is expected to stress the importance of demonstrating ASEAN’s centrality in the region amid geopolitical issues during the ASEAN Summit.
- The ASEAN leaders are also expected to adopt a roadmap on Timor Leste’s full membership in ASEAN.
- The ASEAN Summit provides a platform for ASEAN leaders to discuss and exchange views on key regional issues, build consensus on matters of mutual interest, and provide policy directions on ASEAN community-building efforts.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is set to assert the importance of food and energy security at the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, from May 9 to 11.
During a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of ASEAN Affairs (DFA-OAA) Deputy Assistant Secretary Angelito Nayan said the Chief Executive will also stress the importance of demonstrating ASEAN’s centrality in the region amid geopolitical issues.
Marcos is also expected to advance the Philippines’ priorities in the regional bloc through regional and multilateral cooperation in various areas.
Among the issues that President Marcos will push include:
- Long-term food and energy security
- Efforts toward economic recovery
- Combatting transnational crimes
- Upgrading of technical and vocational education and training
- Adopting climate and disaster-resilient technologies and transitioning to renewable and alternative energy technologies
- Protection of migrant workers
DFA Spokesperson Ambassador Teresita 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 or delegates of relevant ASEAN bodies are scheduled on the same day.
The ASEAN leaders will hold interfaces with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the ASEAN Youth Representatives, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), and the High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision.
The ASEAN leaders are also expected to adopt a roadmap on Timor Leste’s full membership in ASEAN at the Summit after the country applied for membership at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit in 2022
The Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, is expected to attend the 42nd ASEAN Summit as an observer for the first time.
Meanwhile, 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.
“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,” Daza said.
The DFA spokesperson added that some 16 outcome documents are targeted to be issued, adopted, or noted during or after the meeting.
President Marcos’ participation in 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, build consensus on matters of mutual interest, and provide policy directions on ASEAN community-building efforts.