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Aquino flies to Cambodia Saturday to attend 21st ASEAN Summit

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message at the opening day of the Asia for Christ Movement Mission Congress 2012 at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, Tuesday (November 13). The religious event is chaired by Bro. Eddie Villanueva. Also in attendance are leaders and members of various religious groups that include AFCM, Philippines for Jesus Movement, Intercessors for the Philippines, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, Alliance of Christian Missionaries, Asian Missionaries in the Philippines and Christian businessmen from different industries, among others. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 14 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III will leave for Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday to join other leaders in attending the 21st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and other related summits.

During his attendance to the 21st ASEAN Summit, the President will push for increased maritime security and cooperation, migrant workers’ protection, human rights, and the review of the ASEAN charter, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. The chief executive will also initiate moves toward a peaceful resolution to the West Philippine Sea dispute.

The formal summit will open Sunday and will be followed by the official launch of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, an Indonesian initiative aimed at ASEAN cooperation and peace and reconciliation.

After that, leaders will meet at the plenary session to discuss ASEAN community building, ASEAN charter and the roadmap for the ASEAN community, updates on the 20th ASEAN Summit, master plan on ASEAN connectivity, ASEAN human rights declaration, ASEAN external relations, international and regional developments and other regional matters.

The ASEAN leaders will also tackle the appointment of a new ASEAN secretary-general.

After those events, President Aquino will participate in the signing of the Phnom Penh statement on the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. Representatives from the ASEAN inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights will also attend the signing.

The President is also joining the ASEAN leaders in meeting with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

On Monday, the second day of the summit, President Aquino will join other ASEAN leaders for the 15th ASEAN-Japan Summit, 15th ASEAN-Korea Summit, ASEAN plus three Commemorative Summit, 10th ASEAN-India Summit, 15th ASEAN-China Summit, 4th ASEAN-US Leaders Meeting with US President Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, the President will participate in the ASEAN global dialogue together with other ASEAN leaders.

The ADB president, the IMF managing director, the UNCTAD secretary-general, the World Bank managing director, and the WTO director-general are expected to talk on the role of multilateral institutions, the ASEAN, and East Asia in addressing the present economic woes.

In the 7th East Asia Summit, the last meeting, the ASEAN leaders will meet the leaders Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Russia.

They will discuss the review of the East Asia Summit cooperation, the adoption of ASEAN declaration on anti-malarial medicine and regional and international issues.

The ASEAN leaders will also attend the official launch of the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) negotiation together with the leaders of Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.

The RCEP framework establishes an ASEAN-led process for engaging interested ASEAN FTA (free trade agreement) partners and subsequently other external economic partners.

The President will join other leaders in attending the closing ceremony of the 21st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on Tuesday afternoon.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, this year’s summit chair, will deliver a closing statement and will lead the symbolic handover of the ASEAN chairmanship to Brunei Darussalam for ASEAN chairmanship in 2013.

“ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny” is the summit’s theme for this year. (MNS)

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