Duterte cites the ASEAN-UN cooperation areas for regional development

President Rodrigo Duterte

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations (UN) will work together to combat poverty, tackle injustice and foster sustainable development, said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday.

In his speech at the 10th ASEAN-UN Summit, the President urged both bodies to work together to lift the plight of the poor and vulnerable.

He also raised the issue of preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution during the meeting, stressing that ASEAN and the UN can enhance each other’s capacity, in particular, to advance the role of women in conflict prevention, peace-building, and post-conflict rehabilitation.

The Philippines is a pioneer in this field and can share best practices, such as the establishment of the ASEAN Women’s Peace Registry.

In addition, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the release of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) stated by President Duterte.

The President said that ASEAN and the UN should also work together to address climate change, a global problem that has made countries like the Philippines more vulnerable to natural disasters.

Climate change is locking developing countries in a vicious and costly cycle of devastation and reconstruction, said President Duterte, calling for fair and effective measures to help impoverished nations adapt and mitigate the effects of changing the weather.

At the same time, the UN should improve its mechanisms for technical assistance, in particular within the framework of the ASEAN-UN Joint Strategic Action Plan on Disaster Management and the ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Response Agreement.

ASEAN and the UN must also join forces in the fight against terrorism, the Philippine leader said. He added that, under the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the global body must increase technical assistance to developed countries to help them strengthen their capacity to counter security threats.

ASEAN and the UN can also work together to address the root causes of radicalization and must work together to counter the narratives of hatred and destruction spread by terrorists and violent extremists.

To address this, he said the Philippines took the lead in promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialog in the United Nations and thanked his ASEAN colleagues for their valuable support in this effort.

The UN and ASEAN could also work together on maritime security.

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