MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines formally closed its chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2017, with a handover of the role to Singapore on Tuesday evening, November 14.
Infront of the other ASEAN leaders, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte handed over a symbolic gavel to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, representing the ASEAN chair for 2018.
The chairmanship of the group rotates among its 10 members-states annually.
The 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits were held in Manila from November 11-14, capping a year of the Philippines handling the regional bloc's leadership.
The Philippine chairmanship also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN. The group was born on August 8, 1967, when the first 5 ASEAN nations Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia signed the Bangkok Declaration.
Singapore's chairmanship for 2018 will have the tagline "Resilient and Innovative," according to Lee. – Rappler.com