SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City
January 15, 2017

The Philippines, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, officially launched the hosting of this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the SMX Convention Center, Davao City on January 15, 2017.

Bearing the theme, ‘Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,’ ASEAN 2017 aims to focus on the further development and enhanced cooperation of the ASEAN community. As the Philippines assumed the chairmanship, the year-long meetings and activities will highlight several priorities including peace and stability in the region, maritime security, inclusive and innovation-led growth, and a more resilient, people-centered ASEAN.

In his keynote address, President Duterte reaffirmed the country’s steadfast commitment in upholding the ideals of ASEAN through unity and cooperation, which, according to him, has defined the regional community for more than five decades. He called the event as a great venue to renew enduring ties that bind the ASEAN community, as well as to continue on with the shared vision and values needed by each member country for a better future.

“We are committed to a building of a strong and resilient ASEAN community. We will actively promote an enhanced ASEAN interest and the well-being through policy initiative, coordination, consensus, and cooperation,” he asserted.

For a successful ASEAN hosting, the President encouraged every Filipino to take an active and constructive part during the country’s chairmanship.

“Now more than ever, it is our spirit of bayanihan that has helped define us as responsible leaders of our nation during these crucial times,” he said.

During the ceremony, President Duterte led several ASEAN launching highlights, including the unveiling of the Philippines’ Chairmanship Commemorative Coin and the Commemorative Stamp. The ASEAN chairmanship theme song, entitled ASEAN Spirit, was also launched and sang by Jonathan Badon.

This year’s hosting also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the regional community. The Philippines is one of the regional bloc’s founding countries in 1967 alongside Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

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