Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
May 9-11, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is set to convene with his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States for the 42nd ASEAN Summit as he travels to Labuan Bajo, Indonesia from May 9-11, 2023.

During the two-day Summit, the President aims to assert the importance of demonstrating ‘ASEAN’s Centrality’ in the Region and will advance the Philippines’ priorities in the regional bloc through regional and multilateral cooperation in various areas.

The Chief Executive is also scheduled to hold separate bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak of Timor-Leste.

In a pre-departure briefing, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Deputy Assistant Secretary Angelito Nayan of the Office of ASEAN Affairs unveiled the agenda of the President’s participation in the 42nd ASEAN Summit. This includes urging ASEAN Leaders for long-term food and energy security, efforts toward economic recovery, combatting transnational crimes, upgrading of technical and vocational education and training, adopting climate and disaster resilient technologies and transitioning to renewable and alternative energy technologies, and the protection of migrant workers, among others.

In addition to attending the 42nd ASEAN Summit, President Marcos Jr. is also participating in the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit, which is being chaired by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia.

According to DFA Spokesperson Teresita Daza, former Philippine Ambassador to Chile, the President plans to discuss developments related to the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025, with a goal of promoting economic development, strengthening connectivity and sustainably managing natural resources in the sub-region.

Under the theme, ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,’ ASEAN Leaders focus their discussions on maintaining internal peace in Southeast Asia amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, while strengthening ASEAN to become a fast-growing, inclusive and sustainable economic region..

The 42nd ASEAN Summit is expected to result in approximately 16 outcome documents to be issued, adopted or noted during a series of meetings.

The ASEAN Leaders are also set to adopt a roadmap for Timor-Leste’s full membership in ASEAN, making it the 11th ASEAN Member. This comes after its application for membership at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit in 2022. Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak of Timor-Leste is expected to attend the 42nd ASEAN Summit as an observer for the first time.

The 42nd ASEAN Summit is the first of two ASEAN Summits under Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023. During this Summit, ASEAN Leaders will focus their discussions on internal issues, as well as other important matters outside the region. Meanwhile, the 43rd ASEAN Summit happening in Jakarta this September will see ASEAN Leaders and their external partners discuss the development and strengthening of ASEAN cooperation with its external partners.

Established in 1967 with the Philippines as one of the five founding members, the ASEAN continues to serve as an important platform for regional cooperation and integration, playing a significant role in shaping the future of Southeast Asia and its place in the global community.

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