ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Aquino flies to Brunei for ASEAN Summit
Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III is expected to arrive in Brunei Darussalam today, a day ahead of his participation to the 23rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings in Brunei Darussalam set for Oct. 9-10.
He will be flying straight from Bali, Indonesia, where he is currently attending the 21st Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
Aquino is expected to depart from the Ngurah Rai International Airport at 2 p.m. and arrive in Bandar Seri Begawan around 4:35 p.m. Tuesday.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Spokesman Raul S. Hernandez had earlier said Aquino will be participating in nine summits in Brunei: the 23rd ASEAN Summit; 16th ASEAN-Japan Summit; 16th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit; 16th ASEAN-China Summit; and the 1st ASEAN-US Summit on Oct. 9; and the 16th ASEAN-plus three Summit; 8th East Asia Summit; the 11th ASEAN-India Summit; and the 5th ASEAN-UN Summit on Oct. 10.
Hernandez said that in the 23rd ASEAN Summit, discussions will revolve around “the ASEAN Community 2015 and beyond, ASEAN’s central role and external relations, and regional and international issues.”
“As fourth-time chair of the ASEAN, Brunei’s theme is ‘Our People, Our Future Together,’ which stresses the significance of the role of the ASEAN citizens in community building efforts in the areas of political-security, economic, and socio-cultural, and in realizing the vision of the ASEAN community by 2015,” Hernandez said.
“The Philippines continues to focus on the following advocacies: the support for micro-, small-, and medium enterprises to achieve sustainable growth with equity and facilitating free flow of goods; the safeguarding of vulnerable populations through social protection efforts; the deepening of engagement with our external partners and the maintenance of ASEAN centrality; and the adherence to the rule of law and maritime security and cooperation,” he added.
The Philippines will advocate the following: strengthening of economic relations through enhanced trade, investments, and tourism efforts; people-to-people connectivity environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Aquino will also attend the Gala Dinner to be hosted by His Royal Highness Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Oct. 9.
He will also attend the closing ceremony and the handover of the ASEAN chairmanship of Brunei to Myanmar at the end of the summit.
Since the ASEAN Summits will tackle the management of maritime issues, Hernandez said that the Chief Executive is expected to maintain the country’s position “that the issues in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully and through a rules-based approach under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
Meanwhile, President Aquino is inclined to attend next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit to be hosted by China notwithstanding animosities between the two countries brought about by the brewing tensions in the West Philippine Sea, a government official said. (With a report from Roy C. Mabasa)
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