Duterte Participates in ASEAN Virtual Summit

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined other ASEAN Leaders in productive discussions on ASEAN community building in the face of COVID-19 at the 36th ASEAN Summit held on 26 June 2020 via video conference.

Duterte ASEAN Virtual Summit
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries during the 36th ASEAN Summit video conference at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 26, 2020.

Noting the massive disruptions caused by the pandemic, President Duterte called for “fundamental and systematic changes” in ASEAN to effectively mitigate the adverse consequences of the crisis and facilitate the region’s comprehensive recovery.

ASEAN must recalibrate its plans taking into consideration lessons learned from the crisis. The President stressed, in particular, the need to accelerate the promotion of regional connectivity and sustainable supply chains, human resource development, and migrant workers’ rights. He added that it is also imperative to strengthen the region’s capacity to address future infectious diseases outbreaks through, for instance, research and capacity-building on health technology development.


Noting the massive disruptions caused by the pandemic, President Duterte called for “fundamental and systematic changes” in ASEAN to effectively mitigate the adverse consequences of the crisis and facilitate the region’s comprehensive recovery.

While the challenges posed by COVID-19 are considerable, the President also underscored that there are other threats that can undermine ASEAN’s security and development. These include terrorism, transnational crimes, and natural calamities.

President Duterte likewise seriously noted recent incidents in the South China Sea, urging all parties “to refrain from escalating tensions and abide by responsibilities under international law, notably the 1982 UNCLOS”. In the midst of ongoing rivalry between the United States and China, the President called for ASEAN to remain united and defend “an open and rules-based international order that gives all countries – large or small – not just one voice, but an equal standing”. (DFA)

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