Press Briefing

Pre-departure briefing of Assistant Secretary for Association of Southeast Asian Nations Junever Mahilum-West on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Participation to the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering in Bali, Indonesia

Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacanang, Manila

OPENING STATEMENT:

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST:

 Good morning po. Good morning sa lahat.

Good morning friends from the media and magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Maayong buntag sa tanan.

The ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering will be held in Bali, Indonesia on 11 October 2018. The President will be attending the meeting at the invitation of Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo.

Among the activities the ASEAN leaders will have two major engagements. They will hold the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering proper in the afternoon of October 11, which will be immediately followed by the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering Dinner in the evening.

The President will be joining the other leaders of ASEAN member states in showcasing ASEAN leadership and solid and intensifying cooperation in managing economic growth to create better prosperity and equity as well as delivering meaningful progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

They are also to affirm ASEAN’s commitment to support the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations’ role in addressing development challenges.

The meeting will take place on the heels of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General on September 28, 2018 in New York at the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, where ASEAN and the UN noted the importance of ASEAN-UN cooperation particularly in cross-sectoral areas to contribute to the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The areas covered include minimizing the adverse impact of climate change, alleviating poverty, tackling inequalities and promoting women’s empowerment, energy connectivity and technical solutions for energy efficiency, promoting and greening micro, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, education, health, food and nutrition, enhancing social security and promoting decent work for all.

The ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering will be a two-hour informal roundtable to exchange views under the theme: “Achieving SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and Overcoming Development Gap Through Regional and Global Collaborative Actions.”

It will be co-chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of Singapore as the ASEAN Chair in 2018.

The participants of the meeting include the ASEAN leaders, the IMF Managing Director, the World Bank President, the UN Secretary-General and the ASEAN Secretary-General.

The duration of the gathering will be — is expected to last for a maximum of 2.5 — two and a half hours.

On the part of the Philippines, the President would highlight the government’s efforts to improve its performance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; urge all parties to strengthen support for micro, small and medium enterprises’ development; call for economic resilience amidst prevailing global economic uncertainties; encourage deeper cooperation between ASEAN, UN, IMF and the World Bank to implement ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the roles of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office in building the capacity of countries to reach their sustainable development targets.

The ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering will serve as a platform at the highest levels for further engagement of the ASEAN leaders with the IMF Managing Director, the World Bank President and the United Nations Secretary-General and the gathering will discuss key issues related to building synergy in strengthening financial stability in the region and accelerating economic development and regional integration as well as exploring potential collaboration to achieve development goals.

Indonesia and Singapore will have a press conference after the meeting. No official document will be issued but the outcome of the discussions is expected to set the tone for the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group to be held in the same venue on October 12-14, 2018.

This ends my brief statement. I will entertain a few questions from the media now.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Q: Good morning. Ma’am, will there be any side meetings during the ASEAN Summit?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: We are expecting some bilateral meetings but despite the shortness of the visit… And right now, we are making arrangements for a meeting with Indonesia.

Q: Aside from Indonesia, are there any other state leaders who expressed interest of talking to the President?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: I will just say that yes there are, but since preparations are not yet in this, you know, advanced stage, I would just defer from answering right now.

Q: Well at least ma’am may we know how many?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Siguro up to three, roughly.

Q: Thank you, ma’am.

Q: Just a follow up, ma’am. Is the activity of the President just a one-day activity?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Yes. It’s to be held — everything will be held — the two major activities on October 11 and the Leaders’ Meeting, Leaders’ Gathering for about two and a half hours to be followed by the Dinner.

Q: How about the gathering for Filipino community in the area?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Medyo ho kasi kapos sa panahon. Although there is a Filipino community there, hindi ho natin ma-set up this time.

Q: And the bilat meeting po?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Usually ang nangyayari ho mga — siguro pull aside meetings ang possible. So talagang madalian lang, but very ano rin intensive ‘yung discussions.

Q: Thank you, ma’am.

Q: Hi, ma’am. Good morning po. ‘Yun pong regarding sa assistance ng Philippines sa Indonesia regarding sa earthquake, ibibigay ba ‘yon ng Philippines sa pagdalaw ng Pangulo nabigay na po natin? And iko-coordinate through ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, meron po ba tayong amount?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: That’s right. I’m glad you mentioned it.

Meron ho tayong ibibigay na tulong and then it will be coursed through the AHA, we call it the AHA Center.

And this is a good chance for the President to personally — parang, you know, relay to President Jokowi Widodo ‘yung ating tulong under the One ASEAN One Response Program in disaster assistance.

Q: Meron po ba kayong definite amount particular na…?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Ayaw ko munang magturing kasi wala pa akong nare-receive na official amount — ah confirmation kung magkano talaga.

But we would like to give as much as we could for sure.

Q: So kasabay po ng bilateral meeting nila ‘yung pag-aabot na rin personally ng tulong ng Philippine government?

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Siguro ‘yung seremonya ng pag-aabot kasi everything will be — you know, arranged before — even before the visit to Bali.

But maganda kasi na face-to-face ‘yung mga leaders nandoon para bigyan natin ng konting seremonya at saka solemnity.

Q: Thank you.

ASEC. MAHILUM-WEST: Thank you.

— END —

SOURCE: PCOO – PND (Presidential News Desk)

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