THE general situation in South China Sea, transnational crime and human trafficking are among the issues that will be discussed in the forthcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit in Laos at the end of the month.
This was disclosed on Friday by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Ma. Helen De la Vega during a pre-departure press briefing in Malacanang.
“On the particular issue on the South China Sea, discussions there might be anchored on the general situation in the South China Sea, maritime security, and the rule of law and United Nation Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” De la Vega said.
She added that the summit will be a vehicle for local leaders “to promote our (Philippine) key priorities or messages which include: a drug-free ASEAN, respect for the rule of law, our aspiration for a legally-binding code of conduct, emergency response and disaster management, protection of migrant workers, combatting trafficking in persons, peace and reconciliation efforts, and combating terrorism.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will lead a 30-man delegation to the event where he is expected to push for the adoption of a genuine change especially in the area of the fight against illegal drugs.
The DFA said some teams are already flying to Laos today for a Senior Officials Meeting followed by the ministers meeting.
“The ministers represent also the council, the council called for instance the ASEAN Political-Security Council. These are ministers who would have to look at the developments happening at the ASEAN Political-Security pillar,”De la Vega said.
De la Vega said the Summit will also aim to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat, the creation of units that could help promote our ASEAN Centrality in as far the region’s relations with the world.