DAVAO CITY -- The Philippine government has officially launched its chairmanship of 2017 ASEAN Summit at the SMX Davao Convention Center in Davao City Sunday.
The launching was led by President Rodrigo Duterte.
It was attended by members of the Cabinet and the members of the diplomatic corps.
Former presidents Fidel Ramos and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were also in the event.
In his keynote speech, President Duterte has highlighted this year's summit theme: Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.
"In this journey, I call on all ASEAN member-states to re-dedicate themselves and commit anew to the principles and purposes behind the establishment of our association, adherence to the rule of law," he said.
He also asked Filipinos to partner with the government during this year's chairmanship.
"In this journey, I call on all Filipinos to take an active and constructive part during the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN. Now more than ever, it is our spirit of our 'bayanihan' that helps define us as a responsible leader of our region during this crucial time," the Chief Executive stressed.
"This is a tremendous task, but one that is not unachievable. Indeed, as chair, the Philippines has important leadership to play. But we'll recognize the success is defined by the collective work of our nation and the ASEAN's entire membership," President Duterte added.
During the launching, the government also launched the commemorative coin and stamp for the country's chairmanship of 2017 ASEAN Summit that also coincides with the association's 50th year anniversary.
The Office of ASEAN Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs has earlier said that there will be more than 100 ASEAN meetings that will be held in the Philippines this year.
Two of these are leaders-level summits that will be attended by the heads of states of the 10 ASEAN member-nations and dialogue partners; 15 ministerial meetings; 31 senior officials meetings; and more than 60 working group meetings.
These meetings will take place in different locations nationwide including Metro Manila, Laoag, Pampanga, Legazpi, Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Bohol, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency