Duterte, Asean leaders to tackle COVID-19 recovery in first online summit
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are expected to discuss cooperation in addressing the COVID-19 crisis and the region’s post-pandemic recovery during the bloc’s first online summit on Friday, June 26.
Duterte will join the 36th Asean Summit, which will be convened via teleconferencing, a “first” in history, Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said in an online briefing Thursday.
“Their discussions will build on the agreements adopted during the Special Asean Summit on COVID-19 held last April, seeking ways to facilitate the ASEAN region’s transition to the ‘new normal’ and post-pandemic recovery,” Borje said.
Apart from the pandemic, Borje said the leaders are also expected to tackle the progress of various community-building initiatives and will exchange views on international and regional issues, including maritime security developments.
Borje assured that the President will bring to the table the country’s position on issues such as the South China Sea dispute and the state of migrant workers.
“Lahat ng mga important positions of national interest to the Philippines ay kanyang ina-advance, kasama na dito ang nangyayari sa South China Sea and migrant workers’ affairs,” Borje said.
(The important positions of national interest to the Philippines will be advanced and that includes the issue of the South China Sea and migrant workers’ affairs.)
Further, the Asean Summit is expected to adopt more than 10 outcome documents on food security and supply chain connectivity in the context of pandemic response, countering radicalization and violent extremism, and human resource development, among others, according to Borje.
Borje said Duterte will be joined by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Social Welfare Development Secretary Rolando Bautista during the online summit.
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