Vientiane, Lao PDR
September 8, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte formally accepted the handing over of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Chairmanship to the Philippines at the Closing Ceremony of the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR).

The three-day Summits saw the ten ASEAN leaders and their Dialogue Partners hold constructive and cordial discussions in crafting “the future direction for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and a truly rules-based people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community.”

The regional bloc meeting also signed and adopted several documents, including the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region.

In his remarks as incoming Chairman of ASEAN 2017, President Duterte expressed his congratulations to the Prime Minister of Lao PDR for successfully hosting this year’s Summits, saying that he benefitted immensely from the discussions that provided him insights on community building.

He added that ASEAN must be highlighted as a global player with the interest of all people at its core, and that the regional bloc must pursue initiatives, maintain solidarity, and enhance cooperation on peace and security.

The President said that the Philippines is ready to host next year’s Summits but emphasized that the support of the ASEAN leaders and their Dialogue Partners is crucial in ensuring the meetings’ success. He then invited his fellow leaders to participate in the upcoming Summits that would coincide with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN.

A video presentation by the Philippines as the incoming Chairman of the regional bloc meeting next year was also shown during the ceremony, highlighting the theme – Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.

From Laos, President Duterte proceeds to Jakarta, Indonesia for the continuation of his ASEAN neighborly visit.

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