Jakarta, Indonesia
September 5, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. pushed for several priority agendas in his Intervention during the Plenary Session of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The President reiterated the importance of facilitating a rules-based multilateral trading system that is open, free and fair in order to realize the Region’s economic integration efforts. He also emphasized the need to enhance ASEAN Connectivity and supply chains.

In addition, he urged fellow ASEAN Leaders to provide greater support for the increased participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups in the digital and creative economies.

“Always at heart of our Community-building should be our people. We must continue to prepare our people, especially the marginalized and the vulnerable, such as the women and the persons with disabilities in business, for the digital future. The citizens of ASEAN should reskill and upskill to maintain their leading goals in our economies,” he said.

President Marcos Jr. also assumed the lead role in operationalizing the ASEAN Guidelines on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Family Members in Crisis Situations.

“As the Voluntary Lead Shepherd for the cooperation against Trafficking in Persons, the Philippines will continue to call for more concerted efforts in intensifying regional and international cooperation, especially in mobilizing resources to prevent and combat the abuse of technology in TIP. We look forward to operationalizing the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Combating Trafficking in Persons Caused by the Abuse of Technology,” he stated.

On the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP) 28, President Marcos Jr. called on ASEAN Leaders to intensify the implementation of their commitments, which include climate finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building. This is crucial in enhancing ASEAN’s ability to prevent, mitigate, manage and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Furthermore, the President expressed his commitment to prioritize international cooperation to make ASEAN climate-smart and disaster-ready. He emphasized the importance of utilizing the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity to address the effects of climate change.

“As one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines will continue to prioritize international cooperation that will make ASEAN climate-smart and disaster-ready, including through the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity,” the Philippine Chief Executive vowed.

On the topic of achieving food security, he called for cooperation among ASEAN Leaders to harness the transformative potential of the agriculture sector to ensure that food production is carried out responsibly and that it will benefit future generations.

In closing his message, President Marcos Jr. conveyed the Philippines’ determination to champion change that strengthens institutions, improves decision making processes and upholds ASEAN Centrality.