MANILAForeign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will be representing President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit in Sydney this week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday.
The DFA said the Philippine government would reaffirm its commitment as an active partner in the war against terror and share its development agenda during the leaders' dialogue, which is set to focus on political-security, business, and other regional concerns.
As Special Representative of the President, Cayetano will join Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other ASEAN Heads of State in the second leader's meeting between ASEAN and its oldest dialogue partner.
What we will be highlighting in Sydney is the role the Philippines plays and could play not just as a participant but as an active contributor to regional counter-terrorism efforts, Cayetano said in a statement
At the same time, we would like to share our Build, Build, Build Program that is intended to hasten development across the country, especially Mindanao, he added.
Cayetano will be joined by Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and other officials from the DFA and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo said the Special Summit would highlight ASEAN-Australia cooperation under the group's three pillars and would focus on regional security, future prosperity, people and further dialogue and cooperation.
The Special Summit is expected to strengthen regional security and prosperity through intensified leader-level discussion and a forward program of increased practical engagement on education, economic cooperation, countering terrorism and common security challenges, Manalo said.
Among the outcomes of the summit is the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Countering International Terrorism, which establishes a framework to strengthen practical cooperation and collaboration on counter-terrorism through a package of 10 technical assistance and capacity building programs.
The agreement is in support of the Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism that was agreed upon in 2016.
A Business Summit will also be held on the sides of the Special Summit that will be attended by prominent Filipino business leaders such as Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Enrique Razon, Lance Gokongwei, Ramon Ang, Joey Concepcion, Manuel Pangilinan and Teresita Sy-Coson.
Ambassador to Canberra Minda Cruz said Cayetano would also have the opportunity to discuss developments in the Philippines with members of the Filipino community who he would be meeting before returning to Manila on Sunday.
Source: Philippine News Agency