Peace Palace, Phnom Penh
18 November 2012

President Benigno Aquino III reiterated the need for maritime security and cooperation in maintaining peace and stability in the region during the leaders’ plenary session on the opening day of the 21st ASEAN Summit.

According to Sec. Coloma in a press briefing, the President said that the ASEAN’s Six-point Principles on the South China Sea manifest ASEAN’s collective vision and that the Philippines supports its effective implementation, which will highlight the fruits of constructive dialogue, strengthen resolve, and reaffirm the respect for international law such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

President Aquino also advocated for further promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the declaration of 2013 as “ASEAN SME Year.”

During the plenary session, the President likewise took the opportunity to first extend his condolences on the death of King Sihanouk and then welcomed the appointment of the new Secretary-General Le Luong Minh with an appreciation for the contributions of outgoing Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan.

Various topics on the plenary agenda were also discussed: ASEAN community building including implementation of the ASEAN charter and the roadmap for an ASEAN community; follow up of the 20th ASEAN Summit; progress report on the implementation of the master plan on ASEAN connectivity; ASEAN human rights declaration and ASEAN external relations.

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