Philippines to host ASEAN FM meeting, related meetings

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-01 20:58:54|Editor: ying


Workers clean an ASEAN 50 display installed in front of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, the Philippines, Aug. 1, 2017. The Philippines will host the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings from August 2-8, 2017. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

MANILA, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their counterparts from Asia and Pacific will meet here this weekend to tackle a slew of issues and celebrate ASEAN's 50th anniversary, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

Under the Philippine chairmanship theme of "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World," acting foreign department spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said the ministers will primarily review the progress and future direction of the ASEAN community-building efforts, and exchange views on pressing regional and international developments.

The annual ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting (AMM) and its related meetings bring together the Southeast Asian foreign ministers, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The statement said the foreign ministers of ASEAN's 10 dialogue partners will also meet individuals with ASEAN during the Post-Ministerial Conferences.

The Philippines, the rotating chair of ASEAN this year, host all the meetings. As ASEAN will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its establishment, a "grand celebration" of its milestone event will be held on Aug. 8.

Bolivar said the ministers are expected to issue several documents during the course of the week, including the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Joint Communique, the chairman statements for the EAS, and various post-ministerial conferences, the APT and the ARF.

Bolivar said the ministers are also expected to issue a separate statement on terrorism. "I think there is one in the works but I cannot really go into the details yet as of now. But I think that's on one of the expected outcome documents," he told a press conference at the Malacanang presidential palace.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will chair the 50th AMM plenary and retreat, the 18th APT foreign ministers' meeting, the 7th EAS foreign ministers' meeting as well as the 24th ARF plenary and retreat.

He will also lead, together with Canada, the ASEAN-Canada post ministerial conference. He is also set to participate in the post ministerial conferences with dialogue partners.

Cayetano will also chair the Interface of the ASEAN foreign ministers with the representatives of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights, and the meeting of Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Commission. He will also join the foreign ministers of the Southwest Pacific Dialogue for its 15th ministerial meeting.

Before the 50th AMM and related meetings start on Aug. 5, senior officials will convene for the preparatory meetings starting Wednesday.

Metro Manila's police chief Oscar Albayalde said the police has deployed more than 13,000 policemen to secure and guard more than 1,700 delegates who will participate in the meetings.

The high-level meetings take place as Philippine security forces battle to retake the southern Philippine city of Marawi from heavily-armed militants allied with Islamic State extremists who laid siege to the city on May 23.

The ongoing war has so far claimed the lives of 661 people, including 502 terrorists, 114 security forces and civilians.