MANILA–Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday lauded Philippines’ efforts as this year’s chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in promoting “real change” to uplift the lives of the citizens in the region.
Cayetano said the bloc have been hard at work, have planted and sowed much in its effort to move the ASEAN Community building forward with the realization of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
Speaking before the leaders at the 20th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting (ACC) at Marriot Hotel, Cayetano said ASEAN as a whole has faced a number of chal-lenges confronting the region.
“They have tested our resolve as an organization, as a community and as an ASEAN family but I can say with conviction, at the homestretch of Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN, we are also harvesting the fruits of our labor,” he added.
“Despite our good work and achievements, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to remind the Philippines and the national organizing committee for the ASEAN and his people that participation is good, improvements are better but we really need real change that will benefit all our people,” he ended.
The 20th meeting of ASEAN Coordinating Council will be looking at the preparations for the 31st ASEAN Summit.
This includes the consi-deration of the ASEAN Secretary General’s report on the work of ASEAN and various ASEAN bodies and the progress of out-come documents that will be signed, noted or ap-proved by the leaders in the coming days.
The ACC comprises the ASEAN Foreign Minis-ters and meets at least twice a year to coordinate with the ASEAN Commu-nity Council to enhance policy coherence, effi-ciency and cooperation among others. PNA