Duterte in Asean-Australia summit: Redouble efforts to address extreme poverty
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday called on Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states to redouble efforts to address extreme poverty, which is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a speech at the 2nd Asean-Australia online biennial summit, Duterte cited World Bank estimates of 150 million additional people who will be under extreme poverty next year.
“Our duty as governments, therefore, is clear: We must redouble our collective efforts to address extreme poverty. We must accelerate our region’s socio-economic recovery,” Duterte said.
“The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement provide key frameworks that will allow a more buoyant bounce back of our economies,” he added.
Duterte, likewise, said the country recognizes “the role of women in post-pandemic recovery efforts.”
“The economic and social imperatives for these are clear: Empowered women support economic growth and resilience,” he went on.
Fight transnational crimes
The President also urged member states and Australia to combat transnational crimes and terrorism.
“We must not let up in our collective efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crimes. We must continue working together to deter foreign terrorist fighters. We must address the root causes of violent extremism and radicalization,” he said.
“We must also ramp up our long-standing cooperation in law enforcement, immigration and customs matters,” Duterte added.
Duterte then underscored prevention of proliferation of illegal drugs, online child exploitation and abuse, human trafficking, and other cybercrimes.
COVID-19 pandemic will push millions across East Asia, Pacific into poverty this year, says World Bank
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