MANILA, 14 December 2016 – The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh paid a courtesy call on the President of the Philippines, H.E. Rodrigo Duterte, in Malacanan yesterday.   The Philippines is preparing for the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2017, which also coincides with the Association’s 50th Anniversary.

President Duterte said that the Philippines has chosen the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World” for its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2017 as it signifies the country’s desire for ASEAN to make a difference in the lives of its peoples and to leverage its engagement and contribution in bringing about global peace and development. Among its chairmanship priorities are in the areas of peace, maritime security, protection of migrant workers, resilience as well as inclusive, innovation-led growth.

During his meeting with President Duterte, Secretary-General Minh reassured the Philippines that the ASEAN Secretariat stands ready to work with the incoming Chair of ASEAN in realising its priorities towards further strengthening the ASEAN Community across all three pillars. He added that the ASEAN Secretariat will also contribute to a series of regional activities proposed by the Philippines to raise awareness of the ASEAN Community and celebratory activities for the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN.

President Duterte also said that the Philippines looks forward to the close cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat in facilitating Philippines’ Chairmanship.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN was accompanied by three deputy secretaries-general of ASEAN representing the Political-Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural pillars of the ASEAN Community as well as other officers of the ASEAN Secretariat during his courtesy call on the President.

Apart from his meeting with the President of the Philippines, Secretary-General Minh also paid courtesy calls on the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay Jr., Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez, and Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Judy Taguiwalo .

The ASEAN Secretariat delegation also had separate meetings with their counterparts from Philippine government agencies who are serving as focal points for the three community pillars of ASEAN.

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