Yesterday, the Philippines has accepted the chairmanship for Association Southeast Nations Summit 2017 as it unveiled the theme for next year’s conference which included the stamp and imprint of Presidente Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign.
“Partnering for change, engaging the world” is a direct reference to President Duterte’s campaign slogan – change is coming. This would be the theme for ASEAN Summit 2017 which will be hosted by the Philippines. The phrase “partner for change” is being used by Malacañang which is said to refer supporters of the President’s battle and campaign against illegal drugs.
The theme for next year’s conference mirrors the Philippines’ aim and goal in consolidating the ASEAN countries and to enable it to make its mark and take its rightful place in the international community.
According to President Rodrigo Duterte in his acceptance speech, “We will pursue initiative and enhance cooperation with global partners to ensure that ASEAN citizens live in peace, stability, security and growth, all the while retaining ASEAN’s centrality, unity and solidarity, we will maintain for all times.
The Philippines is ready and willing to steer and guide the association. But crucial to the realization of our goals is the cooperation and support of all ASEAN member-states and our dialogue partners.”
The Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship will also coincide with the celebration of its 50th anniversary in founding the 10 countries who made up the ASEAN bloc.
Moreover, the Philippine President also stated the “2017 Conference will highlight ASEAN countries as a model of regionalism and a global player, with the interest of the people at its core. Towards this end, I invite you to be our dynamic and vibrant partners as we guide ASEAN in 2017.”
Duterte ended his acceptance speech by congratulating Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith for the success of this year’s conference.