Duterte: Resolve disputes peacefully
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte cautioned global powers against pursuing their interests at the expense of smaller countries and called for the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law.
Speaking before several world leaders at the Nikkei Future of Asia Conference, Duterte sounded the alarm about heightening geopolitical competition among big powers that adds more complexity to regional security issues, according to a Malacañang statement.
The Palace said Duterte urged great powers “to resist the temptation to pursue interests at the expense of smaller countries, in plain defiance of international law.”
Duterte also took note of the pitfalls of zero-sum approaches, it said.
“If Asia is to serve as an engine of global recovery, we all have to act responsibly within a system of norms, commitments, and obligations. We have to resolve our disputes peacefully according to international law. We have to work together—not against each other—to achieve common ends,” he said.
Joining him in the forum organized by Nikkei Inc., Japan’s largest economic newspaper, were leaders from Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as heads of international organizations.
Global solidarity vs COVID-19
At the forum, the President also appealed anew for greater global solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and said the Philippines supports avenues for increased production of COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
“First, we are only as strong as our weakest link as a country and as a region, and as one global community. This is why we need greater solidarity for collective, coordinated, and comprehensive responses. Inward-looking policies will lead us nowhere,” he said.
He thanked Japan and other partners in the global procurement pool COVAX facility as the vaccines it provided have helped many countries, including the Philippines.
He also reaffirmed the Philippines’ backing of a free and rules-based multilateral trading system.
“The key to recovery and shared prosperity remains the free movement of goods, capital and services, as well as the harnessing of valuable human resources. Despite the pandemic, opportunities for growth remain,” he said.
He cited the Philippines’ economic reform initiatives such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which he said makes the country more competitive in an open and fair global economy.“We invite more investments to expand e-commerce and facilitate new modes of interaction and exchange in safe and secure cyberspace,” he said.
He also said the Philippines was ready to be a competitive actor in the open and fair global economy and touted the Philippines’ large domestic market, with a median age of 25 years old, which means it is in a “demographic sweet spot.”
“We are educated, creative and resilient. Innovation is our big push. This will keep our country on a growth path for decades to come,” he added.
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