Peace Palace, Phnom Penh
18 November 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino and the rest of the ASEAN leaders were formally welcomed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his spouse during the opening ceremony of 21st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

PM Hun Sen announced the official opening of the summit and delivered an opening statement. He highlighted several priorities to reinforce the positive and fruitful outcomes of the 20th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, which President Aquino attended earlier this year on April.

These include realizing the ASEAN Community by 2015, finalizing a complete legal framework in line with the ASEAN Charter to improve the efficiency of ASEAN institutions and processes, maintaining regional peace and security, working together to maintain ASEAN centrality and cooperation with partners at all levels, and lastly, strengthening and expanding cooperation among ASEAN sectoral ministers to address regional and global challenges.

The leaders also witnessed the official launching of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR), which is part of the blueprint for the ASEAN Political and Security Community.

The three-day summit and related meetings will also include newly re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

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