Duterte to cite PH’s SDGs gains in ASEAN leaders meet in Bali

MANILAPresident Rodrigo Duterte is set to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders Gathering on October 11 in Bali, Indonesia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Monday.

The President will be attending the meeting at the invitation of Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo, DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Junever Mahilum-West said in a Palace pre-departure press briefing.

West said Duterte will join other ASEAN leaders in the one-day event, where they will showcase the region's solid leadership and intensify cooperation in managing economic growth that will create better prosperity and equity as well as delivering meaningful progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the part of the Philippines, the President would highlight the government's efforts to improve its performance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, West said.

West said Duterte will urge all parties to strengthen support for micro, small and medium enterprises and call for economic resilience amidst prevailing global economic uncertainties.

Duterte will also encourage deeper cooperation between ASEAN, United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank to implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

She said Duterte is also expected to emphasize the roles of the IMF, WB and the ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and Korea) Macroeconomic Research Office in building the capacity of countries to reach their sustainable development targets.

The ASEAN Leaders' Gathering will be a two-hour informal roundtable, which is bannered by theme, Achieving SDGs and Overcoming Development Gap Through Regional and Global Collaborative Actions.

West said the ASEAN leaders will affirm the region's commitment to IMF, WB, and the UN's role in "addressing development challenges.

The ASEAN Leaders' Gathering will serve as a platform at the highest levels for further engagement of the ASEAN leaders with the IMF Managing Director, the WB President and the UN Secretary-General, West said. The gathering will discuss key issues related to building synergy in strengthening financial stability in the region and accelerating economic development and regional integration as well as exploring potential collaboration to achieve development goals."

Aside from ASEAN leaders, other participants to the meeting will be IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, WB President Jim Yong-kim, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi.

The meeting, which will be co-chaired by Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will take place on the heels of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting with the UN Secretary-General last Sept. 28 in New York.

During the New York meeting, the ASEAN and UN noted the importance of ASEAN-UN cooperation particularly in cross-sectoral areas to contribute to the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The areas covered include minimizing the adverse impact of climate change, alleviating poverty, tackling inequalities and promoting women's empowerment, energy connectivity and technical solutions for energy efficiency, promoting and greening micro, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, education, health, food and nutrition, enhancing social security and promoting decent work for all, West said.

West said the no document will be issued but the outcome of the discussions during the ASEAN Leaders' Gathering is expected to set the tone for the 2018 Annual Meetings of the IMF and WB to be held on Oct. 12-14 also in Bali, Indonesia. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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