ASEAN Summit

TRANSCRIPTS: Marcos’ interventions at the 2023 ASEAN Summit in Indonesia

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TRANSCRIPTS: Marcos’ interventions at the 2023 ASEAN Summit in Indonesia

43rd ASEAN SUMMIT (PLENARY SESSION), September 5, 2023

Here are full transcripts of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s speeches during the different summits in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia – From migrant workers’ rights to climate change mitigation, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. pushed for different issues during interventions at the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Indonesia. 

Interventions or speeches delivered during these summits are opportunities for heads of state or government’s opportunity to express their countries’ position on key issues affecting Southeast Asia and beyond. 

(Transcripts provided by the Presidential Communications Office) 

Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 43rd ASEAN Summit (plenary) 

September 5, 2023 

Your Majesty,

Excellencies,

Allow me to first all welcome to ASEAN, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Manet. We look forward to the continuing contribution of Cambodia to ASEAN in all [inaudible] that we are facing jointly. I also would like to welcome the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. And allow me to express once again the continuing support of the Philippines for your eventual full membership in ASEAN.

Your Majesty,

Excellencies,

Our strength as a regional organization is nowhere more pronounced than when we effectively deliver and follow-through on our commitments. 

With a projected growth rate of 4.9% next year and a steady rise in intra-ASEAN trade and foreign direct investment inflows, ASEAN is poised to improve its macroeconomic fundamentals in the face of a prolonged geopolitical and socio-economic challenge that impacts our region and the world.

To this end, the Philippines will always continue to strive to maintain ASEAN as a competitive and integrated regional economy.

Key to our integration efforts is facilitating a rules-based multilateral trading system that is open, free, and fair. To further expand mutual trade, we should continue efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity and supply chains.

We remain optimistic that RCEP will not only widen our options to increase production and ultimately strengthen supply-chain resiliency, but also provide a new space for our economies to participate in the global value chain. 

Excellencies, 

Our growth only matters when it is inclusive. 

The digital transformation of the economy, borne out of necessity, granted us the opportunity to overcome geographic limitations to deepen economic integration.

The interoperability of our systems, in terms of digital trade, digital payments, and the like, should foster a vibrant digital economy that is interconnected as it is secure. 

Let us bolster support for the increased participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and start-ups in the digital and creative economies.

Creativity and innovation are the way to the future. Let us strengthen collaboration and align our policies, including establishing a regional scope of the creative economy, closing financing gaps, and managing digital readiness capacities.

Always at the heart of our Community-building should be our people. 

We must continue to prepare our people, especially the marginalized and the vulnerable, such as the women and the persons with disabilities in business, for the digital future. The citizens of ASEAN should reskill and upskill to maintain their leading roles in our economies.

Let us ensure that our digital infrastructure enables broad and uninterrupted access, as the provision of our public services has shifted to digital platforms.

Improving access to safe and secure digital learning opportunities, fostering digital literacy, and developing transferable skills in ASEAN will therefore remain our priority. 

Excellencies, 

Your Majesty,

We must be ready to assist those who have toiled to contribute significantly to our economies: as our migrant workers. 

In this regard, the Philippines stands ready to lead and support efforts to operationalize the ASEAN Guidelines on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Family Members in Crisis Situations. Our policies to protect migrant workers should provide assistance across all stages of crisis preparedness, response, and recovery.

As the Voluntary Lead Shepherd for the cooperation against Trafficking in Persons, the Philippines will continue to call for more concerted efforts in intensifying regional and international cooperation, especially in mobilizing resources to prevent and combat the abuse of technology in TIP. We look forward to operationalizing the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Combating Trafficking in Persons Caused by the Abuse of Technology. 

Excellencies,

The most urgent threat to our progress is the impact of climate change. It is a looming reminder of the injustice of disproportionate impact on our people.

At the upcoming COP28, ASEAN must call on developed countries to heighten the implementation of their commitments. Their commitments that include climate finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building, in order to drive ASEAN’s capabilities to prevent, mitigate, manage, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

As one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines will continue 

to prioritize international cooperation that will make ASEAN climate-smart and disaster-ready, including through the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. 

In achieving food security, we must build on cooperation that will harness the transformative potential of our agricultural sector to ensure that food production is responsible and will be of benefit for future generations. 

The continued effectiveness of our Community-building efforts rests on a clear assessment of our strengths.

The Philippines will continue to champion for change that will strengthen our institutions, improve our decision-making, and uphold ASEAN Centrality.

To this end,

It is my pleasure to announce that the Philippines is ready to take the helm and chair ASEAN in 2026. We will fortify the foundations of our Community-building and navigate ASEAN as it embarks on a new chapter. We will count on the support of fellow Member States and continue to work with our partners to strengthen ASEAN Centrality, and to promote peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region.

Finally,

I would like to thank and congratulate Indonesia and President Joko Widodo for Indonesia’s most able leadership and warm hospitality as the Chair of ASEAN this year. 

And I look forward to next year’s Summits with Lao PDR as our Chair. 

Thank you and Mabuhay. 


Intervention of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 43rd ASEAN Summit Retreat 

September 5, 2023 

Mr. Chairman,

Your Majesty,

Excellencies,

We gather today at a critical juncture in the history of our region. The global landscape is witnessing unprecedented shifts, from the escalation of regional security threats, to the transformation of the global economy.

As one Community, our collective well-being hinges upon our ability to respond to the changing paradigm of our times in a timely and effective manner. In these times of uncertainty, ASEAN should matter more than ever. 

The significance of ASEAN in the global stage can only be sustained so long as we can demonstrate to the rest of the world that ASEAN continues to be a force for positive change. The first step in that positive change is the promotion and the maintenance of peace because as we speak for progress, that progress must be built on a strong foundation of peace. And so let us look at the threats to peace in our region.

One test of our relevance is our ability to facilitate a peaceful resolution in Myanmar.  

We remain firm that the resolution to the Myanmar crisis should be Myanmar-owned and Myanmar-led.

We continue to support the efforts of the ASEAN Chair to engage all stakeholders in Myanmar. 

We reiterate that all efforts in Myanmar should be in line with the Five-Point Consensus 

and done in coordination with the Chair of ASEAN.

Your Majesty,

Excellencies,

Our vision for the South China Sea is a sea of peace, stability, and prosperity. Today sadly this remains a distant reality. 

For our part, the Philippines will continue to work with all the countries to foster a rules-based international order. We remain committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with international law. 

We will continue to uphold and exercise freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, including, of course, the 1982 UNCLOS. 

But let me be clear. 

We do not seek conflict; but it is our duty as citizens and as leaders to always rise to meet any challenge to our sovereignty, to our sovereign rights, and our maritime jurisdictions in the South China Sea. 

No country would expect any less. No country would do any less.

The Philippines firmly rejects misleading narratives that frame the disputes in the South China Sea solely through the lens of strategic competition between two powerful countries. This not only denies us our independence and our agency, but it also disregards our own legitimate interests. 

We once more call upon all parties for self-restraint on activities that complicate disputes in the South China Sea. We must not undermine regional peace, stability, and security.

We cannot emphasize enough that actions, not words, should be the ultimate measure 

of our commitment to securing peace and stability in the South China Sea. Anything else simply does not suffice. 

We therefore seek your support for the operationalization of practical measures such as the ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction, which we envision will be expanded 

to our external partners in due time.

The Philippines is also pleased to have hosted the 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise (AMNEX) off Zambales and Bataan, and the 40th Meeting of the JWG-DOC in Manila to expedite the negotiations for a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

As tensions and mistrust between the great powers escalate, so, too, does the prospect of miscalculation that threatens to engulf the region, with the severest consequences for all of us.

It is imperative that we leverage the ASEAN regional architecture to serve as a diplomatic bridge that promises mutual understanding, strategic trust, and peaceful settlement of disputes. 

History will ultimately judge whether the supremacy of the rule of law prevails, ushering in an era where all nations truly stand as equals, independent and unswayed by any single outside power.

The challenge for us remains: that we must never allow the international peaceful order to be subjected to the forces of might applied for a hegemonic ambition.

The future of peace rests now on how we together face this challenge to that peace.

Thank you and good afternoon.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 26th ASEAN-China Summit

September 6, 2023 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Your Majesty,
Your Excellencies,
His Excellency Premier Li Qiang,
 
I am happy for this opportunity to the 26th  ASEAN-China Summit. It is an important opportunity to reaffirm and build on our relations under the framework of the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. An invaluable commitment by our countries to universal multilateralism and the rules-based international order.

Such cooperation can only help achieve our aspiration that once again ASEAN will be the epicentrum of growth. The ongoing ASEAN-China Free Trade Area 3.0 Upgrade Negotiations will also encourage stronger ties between ASEAN and China. It is also our hope that we identify and leverage on complementarities between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

To further expand mutual trade, efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity and supply chains must come to fruition.

Among the priority areas of the AOIP, maritime cooperation is especially significant to the Philippines as an archipelagic nation.

We must emphasize that practical cooperation in the maritime domain can only flourish with an enabling environment of regional peace, security, and stability, anchored in international law.

The Philippines therefore continues to uphold the primacy of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as the framework within which all activities in the seas and oceans are conducted. We once again reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes.

We are pleased that at the last negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) held in Manila a few weeks ago, that some progress was made in discussing the milestone issues and a preliminary review of the Single Draft Negotiating Text (SDNT).

The early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, remains the goal for ASEAN and for China.

Excellencies,
Your Majesty,

Universal multilateralism is our only recourse in an interconnected and interdependent world. This is in a context set against a backdrop of geopolitical challenges and macroeconomic fragilities.

The Philippines is keen to contribute to the implementation of the SOMTC-China Work Plan on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime for 2024-2028. As the Voluntary Lead Shepherd on trafficking in persons under the SOMTC, the Philippines looks forward to facilitating closer ASEAN-China cooperation to operationalize the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Combating Trafficking in Persons Caused by the Abuse of Technology.

Meanwhile, the designation of 2024 as the ASEAN-China Year of People-to-People Exchange goes to the heart of ASEAN’s Community-building. The Philippines welcomes initiatives and programs under this banner, with the aim of deepening interaction and cultivating greater understanding among our peoples.

We continue to keep as a guiding principle China’s long-standing commitment to ASEAN Centrality and unity as a guiding principle once again in all its engagements with ASEAN in these discussions. Therein, in our view, lies the path of peace and progress for us all.

Thank you.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 24th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit 

September 6, 2023  

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

To our esteemed guest, President Yoon Suk Yeol, Your Majesty; your Excellencies, good morning.

It brings hope for us to be here today at this opportune moment to assess the progress of ASEAN-ROK relations, to celebrate our shared successes, and recommit ourselves to a future of mutual growth and cooperation.

In the interest of maintaining peace and stability in the region, we express grave concern over the recent surge of intercontinental ballistic missile launches conducted by the DPRK.

We underscore the need for the DPRK to fully comply with all UN Security Council Resolutions. We also affirm our support for the principles embodied in the ROK’s audacious initiative that aims to achieve a denuclearized DPRK, an essential component for sustainable peace and prosperity in the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia, and the world.

We look forward to the implementation of the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI), which will further deepen ASEAN and ROK’s collaboration on common political, economic, social, and cultural concerns.

In particular, we welcome the enhancing policy dialogue on maritime affairs with the ROK under the initiative to contribute to the overall enhancement of ASEAN-ROK comprehensive security cooperation.

We appreciate the ROK’s continued support in upholding the UNCLOS as a key pillar of the rules-based international order as the region faces unilateral attempts to change the status quo in its waters.

We share concerns on the militarization of reclaimed features; the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels; and other coercive activities. We are equally alarmed by illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing which are being detected.

We thus thank the ROK, together with Japan and the United States, for reiterating the importance of international law in maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific during the meetings recently held in Camp David.

On marine and environmental cooperation, I would like to personally thank the Republic of Korea for your valuable assistance in addressing the recent oil spill in Mindoro this April. This is a testament to ROK’s commitment as a partner of ASEAN in responding to maritime disasters and emergencies.

We likewise thank ROK for its contributions in emergency humanitarian assistance for the damages caused by the recent typhoons and furthermore the 400 metric tons of rice already donated to the Philippines, through the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).

On the economic front, ASEAN and ROK will continue efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity and supply chains to further expand mutual trade through the effective implementation of ASEAN-ROK economic cooperation projects and programs.

It is also important to underscore ASEAN’s strong partnership with the ROK on preserving biodiversity throughout the years, including the enhanced protection of migratory species and the conservation of their wetland habitats.

We thank the ROK for its consistent support for the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, located in the Philippines, in fulfilling their vision of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

We welcome ROK’s intention to elevate their relation with ASEAN to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

We are optimistic that what we have achieved together in the past decades will be quickly surpassed when relations with ROK are elevated to that of a Comprehensive Strategic Partner of ASEAN.

Such deepening relations continue to serve as a good indicator of the development and evolution of the ASEAN-ROK relation.

Thank you.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 26th ASEAN Plus 3 Summit 

September 6, 2023 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Your Excellencies of the ASEAN Plus Three, good afternoon.

The APT remains a crucial vehicle to strengthen the resiliency of the ASEAN Community. It has stood the test of time against the many challenges that we have faced together within our region.

To move the APT onwards to every greater thing in both the strategic and economic arenas – we must stay united, face adversity as one, work together and focus on strengthening food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and developing the digital domain to encompass all levels of our societies in our countries to ensure connectivity and other cross-cutting issues.

With the future in mind, we will tighten collaboration with each other and focus on the sustainable development of our region:

First, we must strengthen the regional food security mechanisms and increase the emergency rice supply of the APT through the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve or APTERR.

We reiterate our proposal for APT Cooperation to consider diversifying APTERR by adding other commodities and staple foods to rice to strengthen food security, poverty alleviation, and the eradication of hunger and malnutrition amongst ASEAN member countries. 

We need to mainstream sustainable agricultural and food production systems that enable us to meet the demand for food without compromising the well-being of our natural environment.

Let us therefore continue to develop and implement policies encouraging the shift to sustainable agriculture and fishery practices. Let us forge strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the private sector, strengthen food security and self-sufficiency by upgrading and expanding the agricultural sector through investments on infrastructure, and support farmers and fisherfolks.

Second, we look to the APT promise to close the digital divide and thus unleash the full potential of the digital economy. The increasing importance of the digital domain in all our economies underscores its ubiquity as a driver of economic growth, particularly for our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises and now to include our very small Nano businesses.

I also believe that it is an opportune time for ASEAN and the APT to institutionalize sectoral cooperation on the  Creative Economy.

We need to underscore the creative industry in ASEAN’s regional economic integration in its agenda, particularly fostering innovation and digitalization.

Let us work together in increasing the accessibility of the digital infrastructure and provide opportunities to enhance digital literacy and digital upskilling as a way of making sure that no one and no member is left behind as we embrace an increasingly digital future.

Third, the APT countries must encourage the transition to a circular economy.

Today’s global challenges, such as climate change, ocean waste and pollution, the shift to clean energy, the creation of smart cities, and urban sustainability, all require the partnership of governments and the private sector to ensure that these critical issues are effectively addressed in a sustainable and resilient manner.

Our collaboration must give rise to paradigm-shifting innovation towards a more sustainable economic model where progress and prosperity do not come at the cost of the health of our planet.

Finally, the decisions we make today will define the course of our national and regional developmental trajectories. While our economies have common issues, we do understand

that we all have our own conditions, our own priorities, our differences in policy, as we continue to cope with the rapidly changing pace of regional and global challenges.

But we must have the courage to change where change is needed. As we have seen time and again in our APT’s history, we can find opportunities in every crisis, strength in our very differences in order to move quickly to take advantage of those opportunities.

Rest assured, Excellencies,  the Philippines’ full commitment and support to this noble effort. 

Thank you.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit 

September 6, 2023 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

To our esteemed guest, His Excellency Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, a warm ASEAN welcome to the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, I wish to begin by joining my colleagues in warmly welcoming the adoption of the Joint Statement on the Establishment of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, a testament to the enduring and deep-rooted relationship between ASEAN and Japan.

ASEAN welcomes Japan’s support in our efforts to mainstream the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific or AOIP, especially in upholding ASEAN Centrality.

Once more, the support that Japan has given with the additional injection of 100 million dollars into the fund is a symbol of that continuing support and the importance that Japan puts to that mainstreaming of AOIP.

I cannot emphasize enough the expediency of maintaining peace and stability in the region through the adherence to the rule of law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS. Our shifting security issues make it quite clear that we must work together for the sake of peace and stability in our region and in the world.

I commend the combination of hard work and vision that resulted in the Joint Statement that has now come to be known as The Spirit of Camp David.

The Statement consolidates a common security agenda among Japan, the United States, and South Korea, on what are arguably the most problematic issues in the region that undermine regional peace and prosperity, and that include but are not limited to supporting the free and open international order based on the rule of law, opposing any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the waters of the Indo-Pacific, also the militarization of reclaimed features in the South China Sea is of great concern, as well as the concern for continued illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing that affects both our fisherfolk.

As maritime nations, both the Philippines and Japan not only share the common interest of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, but also in enhancing our resiliency in responding to maritime disasters.

To this end, the trilateral maritime exercises conducted among the Coast Guards of the Philippines, Japan, and the United States held this June, the first of its kind amongst the three countries. The exercises reinforced interoperability between and amongst the coast guards of our countries in responding to maritime disasters and to strengthening [Humanitarian] Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) cooperation.

As one of ASEAN’s largest trading partners and biggest sources of Foreign Direct Investments, we must continue efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity

and supply chains to further expand mutual trade, not only for the region but for the world.

We also highlight the importance of the continued implementation of the Renewed ASEAN-Japan 10-year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap for 2016-2025, specifically in support of “Economic Integration of ASEAN,” ASEAN and Japan collaborate to increase MSME’s competitiveness in regional production networks through tailored programmes for ASEAN Member States.  

As MSMEs are the very backbone of our economies in ASEAN, these endeavors are very important to us.

Indeed, Japan and ASEAN have a rich history of cooperation and constructive engagement for the benefit of the region and our peoples.

It is my hope that the next 50 years will surpass all the accomplishments that we have achieved together during the past five decades.

In closing, I look forward to the Special Summit commemorating the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in Tokyo this December, proof positive of our enduring relations.

Thank you.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 11th ASEAN-US Summit 

September 6, 2023 

Your Excellency Vice President Kamala Harris, United States

Your Majesty,

Excellencies of the ASEAN Member States,

Good afternoon.

The United States of America is more than just a longstanding, close, and reliable friend, and ally of the Philippines. The US is also undeniably ASEAN’s partner in achieving our collective goals and aspirations as nations, both on the domestic and on the international fronts.

We, of course, welcome the US support for ASEAN Centrality and principles of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), which envisions a free and open Indo-Pacific that is more connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient.

I commend the US leadership for the hard work and vision that resulted in the Joint Statement now known as The Spirit of Camp David.

The Statement cemented a common security agenda among the United States, Japan, and South Korea, on arguably the most problematic issues in the region. Issues that undermine regional peace and prosperity, including but not limited to supporting the free and open international order based on the rule of law.

The statement opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the waters of the Indo-Pacific and the militarization of reclaimed features in the South China Sea, as well as expresses concern for the continued illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing that affects our fisherfolk.

We also welcome the trilateral maritime exercises conducted among the Coast Guards of the Philippines, Japan, and the United States, which is aimed at strengthening humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) cooperation.

On the economic front, we should continue efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity and supply chains to further expand mutual trade.

The US economic might in the region has been a positive force. Last year, the US remained the biggest source of Foreign Direct Investment with a market share of 22.5%. We look forward to more investment inflows as well as a higher turnover of goods and services through the implementation of the ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) and the Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) Work.

We likewise welcome the US’ continued initiatives in education, especially in youth and women empowerment, such as the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI); the Billion Futures Scholars framework; the Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar; and the ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women; as well as the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program, amongst others.

We thank the US [for] committing to engaging with ASEAN’s next generation of leaders through these exchanges as they provide both professional and academic exchange opportunities to emerging leaders in ASEAN.

We welcome the first year of the US-ASEAN Institute for Rising Leaders program, under the Department of State and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where 30 mid-career public service professionals will join Johns Hopkins SAIS annually for a multi-week leadership development program that began this August.

The US has always been an ally and an indispensable partner of ASEAN.

As we forge closer and deeper relationships in the coming years, we hope to continue working together towards a region that enjoys lasting peace, security, stability, and resilience.

Thank you.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the ASEAN-Canada Summit 

September 6, 2023  

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Allow me at the outset to welcome the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the ASEAN-Canada Summit, [inaudible] join us once again with the leaders of ASEAN.

Your Majesty, Your Excellencies

Today, we welcome a new era in ASEAN-Canada relations as we adopt the Joint Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN-Canada Strategic Partnership. This is indeed timely as Canada deepens its relations with ASEAN with the launch of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy last November.

Upholding ASEAN Centrality, the Strategy seeks to promote peace, resilience, and security; expand trade, investment, and supply chain resilience; invest in and connect people; build a sustainable and green future in the Indo-Pacific region with ASEAN at its core. To further expand mutual trade, we should continue efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity and supply chains. 

We certainly welcome the initiatives under Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, such as training on smart border patrols, addressing crime and terrorism, and military-to-military capacity building, to name but a few.

We recognize Canada’s role in promoting maritime security and safety in the region. We welcome Canada’s continued engagement through capacity-building programs, specialized and skill-based training to counter traditional and emerging threats.

We recognize the collaborative programs between ASEAN and Canada that are highlighted in the ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action Trust Fund, which directs funding towards the priority areas aligned with the ASEAN-Canada Action Plan 2021-2025, ASEAN’s Community Vision 2025, and its Post-2025 Community Vision. This contribution aims to advance important trade negotiations and strengthen our partnership.

We appreciate Canada’s continued support for education in ASEAN with its Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program which recently received a further 14 million Canadian Dollar investment.

We also welcome Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which Canada has been at the forefront, including Canada’s support for the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

This further demonstrates: ASEAN and Canada are undoubtedly natural allies, with shared values and mutual interests across all the pillars of the ASEAN Community.

It is clear that the growing and deepening strategic partnership of ASEAN and Canada will further advance peace, security, stability, resilience, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

Thank you.


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the ASEAN-India Summit 

September 7, 2023 

I join my colleagues in welcoming His Excellency Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the 20th ASEAN-India Summit.

And again I’d like to join my colleague from Malaysia, congratulating you on a great achievement in landing a spacecraft on the southern pole of the moon. It is a testament to the very conducive hi-tech ecology that you have developed in India that has allowed this to happen.  For that, we share the pride for that achievement.

Allow me also to begin by thanking India for supporting ASEAN during the last Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Meeting, where India stood in solidarity with ASEAN, especially on our call to factually update paragraphs on the South China Sea in the NAM Ministerial Outcome Document.

As a key player in the Indo-Pacific, we recognize India’s significance and influence in the region. We urge India’s continued support for ASEAN Centrality as well as efforts in promoting mutual respect, dialogue, and confidence building initiatives.

We certainly appreciate India’s constructive role in world affairs and its promotion of the rule of law as a major power in the region. ASEAN and India share a common vision for the Indo-Pacific region.

We both envision a progressive Indo-Pacific that encompasses maritime cooperation to ensure sustainable use of maritime resources – particularly in tackling illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, promoting the blue economy, and mitigating maritime pollution, amongst others.

We thank India for co-hosting the ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME) 2023, an example of how cooperation between ASEAN and a Comprehensive Strategic Dialogue Partner could promote an open, inclusive, balanced,
transparent, and rules-based regional architecture. We also welcome initiatives and projects under the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific for Peace, Stability, and Prosperity in the Region.

On the economic front, we should continue efforts at enhancing ASEAN connectivity and supply chains efficiency to further expand mutual trade.

I congratulate both ASEAN and India for swiftly implementing the action lines of the Plan of Action (POA) 2021-2025, which, for the most part, is fully implemented.  This document guides our cooperation across all pillars of the ASEAN Community.

In view of this development, we anticipate the finalization of its Annex while the Philippines is readying negotiations for the Plan of Action’s successor document. As the next country coordinator for ASEAN-India relations, we stand ready to shepherd this document.

Looking ahead, we hope to see more ASEAN-India cooperation in protecting the environment, addressing climate change, and promoting biodiversity through the ASEAN-India Green Fund.

I look forward to a productive partnership with India as the next country coordinator for ASEAN-India relations. I assure you that we will endeavor to deliver concrete programs through this partnership that will truly benefit both the region and our peoples for years to come.

Thank you.


okowi warns against creating ‘new tensions’ 

In what was, perhaps, his most pointed remarks during the summit in Jakarta, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged leaders in the East Asia Summit – all ASEAN members, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States – to create a “determination to continue making this region as the epicentrum of growth.” 

“We have a shared responsibility to not create new conflicts to not create new tensions, to not create new wars and at the same time, we are also responsible to ease high tensions, to soften hard conditions to create rooms for dialogue and to bridge existential differences.” he said, in opening the East Asia Summit. 

He added: “I ask the leaders of the East Asia Summit to make this forum a forum for us to strengthen cooperation [and not to… sharpen] rivalries.”


Intervention of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 18th East Asia Summit

September 7, 2023 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Your Majesty,
Your Excellencies,

Great upheavals abound in the international landscape. We are compelled to face complex challenges ranging from the intensification of geopolitical tensions, food and energy insecurity, and the acceleration of the climate crisis.

We call on ASEAN and our partners to harness our shared interests and rally us into taking joint action, guided by ASEAN Centrality and universal multilateralism.

We must not allow tensions in the South China Sea to further escalate. In this spirit and in accordance with the DOC, we continue to urge all parties to exercise self-restraint and refrain from unilateral and assertive activities that would increase tensions in the region, misunderstandings, and miscalculations in the South China Sea.

We are concerned over consistent actions that are in violation of obligations under international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, and under the DOC.

The Philippines fully supports adherence to international law and the rules-based order. We must oppose the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels in the South China Sea. We are concerned over illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the militarization of reclaimed features in the South China Sea.

The Philippines remains resolute towards the peaceful resolution of disputes. We continue to support freedom of navigation and overflight, and the rules-based international order in the South China Sea.

We are pleased that at the last negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) hosted by Manila a few weeks ago, progress was made in discussing the milestone issues and a preliminary review of the Single Draft Negotiating Text (SDNT). The early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, remains our goal.

We are still committed to defending our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, and the maritime jurisdiction in accordance with UNCLOS.

Your Majesty,
Excellencies,

The Philippines is concerned about the buildup of rising powers in global weapon stockpiles.
Together with the threat of the use of nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine as well as the recent surge of intercontinental ballistic missile tests and other actions taken by the DPRK, these pose untold dangers to global peace and security.

We call on the DPRK to fully comply with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions towards the realization of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

The Philippines has consistently reaffirmed our support for the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, especially of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence, with respect to the conflict in Ukraine as well as other areas of concern.

The Philippines firmly believes that it is now necessary to create conditions for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine. We call on all countries to play a constructive role in contributing to this endeavor, particularly our partners.

Mr. Chair,
On the continuing violence in Myanmar, we continue to call for the complete implementation of the Five-Point Consensus. We support the Special Envoy of ASEAN in pushing the Consensus forward.

The Philippines believes that key to any solution is the inclusive participation of all parties as required in the constructive dialogue called for by the Five-Point Consensus.

We maintain that endeavors by other parties to address the crisis should support and complement ASEAN’s efforts, and should be done in consultation with the ASEAN Chair.

Your Majesty,
Excellencies,

Countries with the smallest carbon footprints disproportionately bear the heaviest burden of climate change.

We need to urgently realize the Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) to catalyze assistance to address climate change.

Climate financing, complemented by viable and effective technology transfer and country specific capacity-building, is needed to expedite a just transition to a climate-resilient economy.

We seek your support towards the development of our strategic minerals supply and value chains, which would boost our efforts in ensuring a resilient and sustainable future for our region.

The Philippines will always continue to champion an open and inclusive regional order where the rule of law and ASEAN Centrality remain the bedrock of an evolving regional architecture.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

– with reports from Bea Cupin/Rappler.com

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