Phnom Penh City, Cambodia
3 April 2012

After the opening ceremony, the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met at the Plenary Session to discuss the region’s initiatives and programs that will pave the way for the establishment of an ASEAN Community by the year 2015, as well as the action plans that address current issues and concerns in the region. These initiatives were summarized by the Phnom Penh Agenda, which will be the guidebook of this year’s summit. Aside from these, other challenging issues were addressed to bring out progress and prosperity of the people of ASEAN.

Aside from the Phnom Penh Agenda, the ASEAN Phnom Penh Declaration and the Declaration for Drug-Free ASEAN by 2015 were also adopted by the leaders. They also aim to prevent the rise of extremism in the region.

Meanwhile, President Aquino expressed his commitment in achieving a nuclear-free ASEAN region. He said that the leaders of ASEAN member-countries “can further protect our peoples by working together towards that concrete plan of action with the aim of sustaining cooperation on non-proliferation and disarmament”.

The President also reiterated the Philippine government’s stand with regards to the drafting of the Code of Conduct of Parties in the West Philippine Sea also known as the South China Sea. He said that the ASEAN community should “engage China after the COC is finalized among us here, members.”

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