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6:56 pm on 11 November 2022, Friday
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. brought along with him his unity message to the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as he called for an inclusive and resilient ASEAN conducive to growth and prosperity.
In his intervention during the 40th ASEAN Summit Plenary, Marcos highlighted the need to reassert ASEAN Centrality to implement the mechanisms for its community-building efforts.
“It is imperative that we reassert ASEAN Centrality. This in the face of geopolitical dynamics and tensions in the region and the proliferation of Indo-Pacific engagements, including the requests of our Dialogue Partners for closer partnerships,” the Philippine leader said.
“ASEAN’s response to this is the forward-looking ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, with its essential element of ASEAN Centrality in the implementation of ASEAN-led mechanisms, projects, and initiatives for our Community Building efforts,” Marcos added.
He also proposed the enhancement of ASEAN solidarity as the regional grouping confronts challenges such as natural disasters, health emergencies, armed conflicts, and economic recessions.
Marcos also called on Myanmar to abide by and implement the previously agreed Five Point Consensus, noting the lack of development in the Myanmar situation in the past two years.
“We should enhance ASEAN food security cooperation through strengthened initiatives and expanded projects under the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry and other related mechanisms, including those with our Dialogue Partners,” he said.
“We need to solidify our food resilience and promote food self-sufficiency, through the use of new agricultural technologies, in order to protect the region and our countries from shocks to the global food value chain, as well as against adverse effects of climate change,” Marcos stressed.
To address the worsening climate crisis, Marcos called for a united voice and urged all countries to fulfill their obligation to attain carbon neutrality by 2050.