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Integration, security concerns top Asean agenda

charles jose

DFA spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Charles Jose. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

ILOILO CITY—Regional integration as well as security concerns including terrorism and illegal drugs are among the issues expected to be tackled in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) foreign ministers retreat on Boracay Island today (Tuesday).

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said in a briefing that common challenges including “transnational crimes like terrorism, violent extremism, human trafficking and illegal drugs” would be discussed.

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“For this particular retreat, (the) foreign ministers will be taking stock of the many changes that are happening in the world—political, economic social (and) environment(al). They have to plan on what steps Asean has to take in order to forge ahead in Asean’s community-building efforts,” Jose said.

Jose said the retreat, to be chaired by Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, is the first major meeting of the Asean this year under the chairmanship of the Philippines which coincides with the 50th founding anniversary of the regional body.

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Established on Aug. 8, 1967, the Asean is composed of ten member states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It aims to promote regional cooperation on economic, political and security concerns.

Yasay is set to hold a briefing for journalists on the highlights of the meeting this afternoon.

Jose said the political challenges that could be discussed include the election of “new leaders in other countries with their own style of governance and leadership.”

“If they pose a particular challenge to Asean’s community-building, then I think that will be discussed,” Jose said in response to a question on whether US President Donald Trump’s attitude to the region will be tackled.

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TAGS: Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Global Nation, Philippine news updates, Regional integration
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