Preparations for the upcoming first in-person ASEAN Summit since the onset of the pandemic are already underway as representatives from member states conduct meetings ahead of their state leaders’ visit to Cambodia.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Ma. Theresa Lazaro represented the Philippines during the preparatory meetings, where member states discussed cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues of concern for the regional bloc
Also discussed were the ASEAN’s post-pandemic economic recovery initiatives, the application of Timor-Leste to become a member of ASEAN, the accession of countries to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and various regional and international issues.
“The Philippines appreciates Cambodia’s earnest efforts in keeping ASEAN together under its Chairmanship this year and pursuing the implementation of its priorities and key deliverables, despite the ever-changing geopolitical dynamics and socio-economic challenges exacerbated by COVID-19,” Lazaro said during the meeting.
The series of meetings were held in preparation for the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits, which will be held from November 10 to 13 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
These will be the first ASEAN Summits to be held in person since the onset of the pandemic, and the first to be attended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. since he assumed office.
The Philippine delegation was composed of representatives from the DFA Office of ASEAN Affairs, the Philippine Permanent Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
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