The Philippines officially assumed the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2017 at a ceremony in Davao city on January 15, source from Vietnamnews.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Rodrigo Duterte stressed that the Philippines, as ASEAN chair, will hold fast to ideologies and values that the bloc is pursuing and will persist in cooperation to realise common aspirations.
He affirmed ASEAN would achieve its goals via policies and guidelines, cooperation, coordination and consensus.
President Duterte also mentioned priorities in his presidency, including peace and stability in the region as well as maritime cooperation and security in the context of growing concerns due to sovereignty disputes in the East Sea.
According to Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Perfecto Yasay, Philippines will preside over around 100 ASEAN meetings, including two summits in April and November.
Laos was the chair of ASEAN in 2016.
The ASEAN is to mark its 50th anniversary of its establishment in August this year. The bloc groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.