ASEAN Summit Focuses on Security, Economic Integration

31st ASEAN Summit, Related Meetings Kick Off in Philippines

(Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 13, 2017. Complete text:) Manila - The 31st Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and related meetings opened here Monday [Nov. 13], with leaders of 10 ASEAN member countries and dialogue partners convening to discuss security, cooperation and regional integration.

The Philippines, ASEAN’s rotating chair for 2017, set the theme of "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World," putting security and regional integrity high on the agenda.

At the opening ceremony, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that the next two days will present excellent opportunities for ASEAN leaders and their dialogue partners to engage in meaningful discussions on matters of regional and intentional importance.

"Terrorism and violent extremism endanger the peace, stability and security of our region because these threats know no boundaries," he said, adding that piracy and armed robbery on the seas also put a dent on growth and disrupt the stability of both regional and global commerce.

The non-traditional security issues are challenging "the prosperity of regional economies, the integrity of our institutions, and more importantly the safety of ASEAN people," Duterte said.

On regional cooperation, Duterte said it "has been a pleasure to work with our ASEAN family and the dialogue partners in moving the ASEAN community forward in enhancing cooperation in various areas."

Related meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday include the ASEAN+1 summits, ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) Summit and the East Asia Summit. ASEAN countries and more than 10 dialogue partners, including international organizations such as the EU and the UN, will discuss issues of common concern.

Leaders of 10 ASEAN countries and six of its dialogue partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, will meet for their first Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) leaders’ meeting ...

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