Duterte to attend ‘virtual’ ASEAN Summit

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    PRESIDENT Duterte will promote the country’s stand on the issues of public health emergencies, regional economic integration, migrant workers’ rights, climate change, disaster risk reduction management, counter-terrorism, and the South China Sea when he attends the “virtual” 37th Summit and Related Summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) from November 12 to 15.

    Malacanang said Duterte will also exchange views with other ASEAN leaders on the region’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery efforts as well as on the future direction of the ASEAN community.

    Duterte is also expected to discuss other regional and international developments with his fellow leaders during the Summit hosted and chaired by Vietnam this year.

    The summit, which has the theme “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN,” is expected to result in the adoption of more than 10 outcome documents on ASEAN cooperation, including on COVID-19 and enhanced preparedness for public health emergencies and the ASEAN community building efforts.

    The President will be joined by some of his Cabinet secretaries, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez Jr. and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista.

    The ASEAN leaders in April met virtually due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In September, world leaders also attended the United Nations General Assembly online meeting.

    Duterte on Tuesday night conferred the Order of Sikatuna, with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross), Gold Distinction to outgoing Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda during his farewell call at Malacanang.

    Duterte recognized the ambassador for his contributions in strengthening and deepening the Strategic Partnership and overall bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan since he was posted in the country in 2017.

    He thanked Japan, through Haneda, for its “generous and consistent support in the Philippines’ fight against COVID-19 pandemic, through aid in emergency response and economic recovery efforts, and the Philippines’ inclusion in the clinical trials of the anti-COVID drug Avigan.