PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III will embark on a three-day trip to Bali, Indonesia to attend the 19th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits from November 17 to 19, a senior official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In a pre-departure briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda Basilio said that apart from his ASEAN counterparts, President Aquino will also be meeting with the leaders of Asutralia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic
of Korea (ROK), Russia and the United States (US), and United Nations (UN) Secretary- General Ban Ki Moon.
“President Aquino will be attending the 19th Asean Summit, the Asean-China Commemorative Summit, the 14th Asean-Japan Summit, the 14th Asean-ROK Summit, the 14th Asean Plus Three Summit, the 3rd Asean-US Leaders’ Meeting, the 4th Asean-U.N.
Summit, the Asean Leaders’ Meeting with the Asean Business Advisory Council, the 9th Asean-India Summit and the 6th East Asia Summit,” Usec. Basilio said.
The Philippines also welcomes the finalization of the Guidelines on the implementation of the DOC of Parties in the West Philippine Sea.
During the said events, the President will focus on Philippine advocacies for Asean, which are aligned with the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy, namely political-security, economic diplomacy and assistance to nationals. These advocacies include Maritime
Security and the transformation of the West Philippine Sea to a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C) with respect to international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration of Conduct
(DOC). It will be recalled that during the 18th ASEAN Summit last May in Jakarta, Indonesia, President Aquino offered a framework for pursuing the ZoPFF/C.
In his speech at the 18th Asean Summit last May in Jakarta, President Aquino underscored the main purpose for the creation of Asean in 1967 which aims for the “creation of a cohesive, peaceful, stable and resilient region”.
The President stressed that it is paramount for Asean-member countries to remain committed to its community-building goals to realize an Asean Community by the year 2015. (PCOO)