Duterte formally accepts PH hosting of Asean summit in 2017
VIENTIANE—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged his counterparts from the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to be the Philippines’ “dynamic and vibrant partners” as he formally accepted the country’s hosting of the Asean summit next year.
Mr. Duterte spoke at the close of the three-day 28th and 29th Asean meeting here, his first as head of state since he was sworn into office on June 30.
“With great honor and humility, I accept the chairmanship of the Asean from our excellent host, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. I look forward to seeing you all in the Philippines in 2017,” the President said in his speech at the National Convention Center.
“During the Philippines’ chairmanship, we will highlight Asean as a model of regionalism and a global player, with the interest of the people at its core,” he said.
After his address, a brief video presentation of the Philippines’ sponsorship was played on the giant digital screen.
The country’s hosting of the summit, with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the regional bloc.
According to the President, his attendance at the summit gave him “insights” about the Lao government’s “efforts in community building.”
He then expressed his gratitude to Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith for “deepening integration to move us towards the realization of a rules-based, people oriented, people-centered Asean community.”
Said Mr. Duterte: “We will pursue initiative and enhance cooperation with global partners to ensure that Asean citizens live in peace, stability, security and growth, all the while remaining Asean’s centrality, unity and solidarity.”
“The Philippines is ready and willing to steer and guide the association. But crucial to the realization of our goals is the cooperation and support of all Asean member-states and our dialogue partners,” he said.