President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday pushed for closer international cooperation to accelerate the economic recovery of the Asia-Pacific region from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time address the challenges posed by changing climate.
Speaking during the 28th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting held via video conference, President Duterte said that the disparity in the ability of nations to recover from the coronavirus pandemic cannot only be attributed to weak domestic systems or pre- pandemic economic fault lines, but also to structural and artificial constraints in the global economy.
“Closer international cooperation is needed to address these constraints and to ensure that all countries recover from this crisis,” said President Duterte.
He stressed that APEC economies need improved risk management systems, better response and mitigation measures, and stronger support mechanisms for vulnerable communities.
To achieve these goals, the Filipino leader called for the creation of an integrated system on vaccine passport validation and contact tracing, institutionalization of social protection for non-traditional forms of employment and promotion of transnational education and digital inclusion in APEC economies.
Noting the urgency of addressing climate emergency, President Duterte reiterated his call for developed economies to fulfill their longstanding commitment to climate financing, technology transfer and capacity-building in the developing world, saying “it is the right thing to do”.
“Developing economies such as the Philippines contribute the least to climate change, but we are the most vulnerable to its disastrous consequences. And the cost of transitioning to a green economy is too high for developing countries to afford. This is the simple truth,” the President argued.
The APEC Economic Leaders endorsed during the meeting the Aotearoa Plan of Action, the Implementation Plan for Putrajaya Vision 2040, which highlights key imperatives on Trade and Investment, Innovation and Digitalisation and Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.
The 28th AELM focused on the theme, “Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi Ē, Hui Ē, Tāiki Ē” under New Zealand’s chairmanship.
Accompanying President Duterte during the meeting were Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert E.A. Borje, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eric Gerardo E. Tamayo and Trade Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty.
APEC is composed of 21-member economies that include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States of America and Vietnam. PND