PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will be involved in all the activities of the 36th Asean Summit today, June 26, that will be conducted through a video conference, said Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje.
“This is the first Asean summit to be convened via video conference in view of the constraints posed by COVID-19, (coronavirus disease 2019)” Borje said in a Palace briefing Thursday.
He added the discussions of Asean leaders on Friday will be built on an agreement adopted during the Special Asean Summit last April, thinking on ways how the region will facilitate the transition to the new normal and the post-pandemic recovery.
Borje said 10 outcome documents are expected to materialize during the summit.
He added issues on the South China Sea and maritime security will be discussed as part of the general discussion point in the summit, falling under the talks on international and regional developments.
“The President has been very consistent in his participation at Asean summits. All the important positions, the national interests of the Philippines in Asean, are being advanced by the President, including the issue on the South China Sea and migrant workers affairs,” Borje said.
The 10 Asean leaders will also discuss enhancing their cooperation, along with its dialogue partners to maintain peace, security, and order not only in the region but globally.
Economic recovery is also on the agenda of the leaders as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is eyed to be concluded by end-2020.
Asean initiated RCEP in 2012, pursuing a trade deal with its free trade agreement partners Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Japan, and India.
However, India has backed out from the deal at the last Asean Summit in November 2019.
Vietnam is this year’s host of Asean Summit and Related Meetings.
Asean member states include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. PNA