Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the second day of the 31st Asean Summit. Trudeau answered questions from members of the media on human rights, North Korea, and the controversial Canadian trash. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA
CANADIAN Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that his government would “defend mutual interests” that matter to the region and to its partners.
“As a member of a wide range of multilateral organizations, we are uniquely positioned to amplify that message before international audiences and our partners,” Trudeau said in a speech marking the 40th Asean-Canada Commemorative Summit on the second day of the 31st Asean Summit on Tuesday.
“On that note Canada hopes to exert its influence on the world stage, to defend the mutual interests of Asean members and partners. The issues matter to you [because you]matter to us,” he said.
Trudeau cited the escalating tension in the Asian region caused by North Korea’s continuous missile tests despite world condemnation and economic sanctions imposed by trading partners.
“As tensions in North Korea continues to escalate, Canada stands united with the Asian continent and the world in our demand for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs,” he said.
Echoing calls by other world leaders, Trudeau said North Korea must immediately cease all activities that are against international obligations and the UN Security Council resolutions.
This is the second visit of Trudeau to Manila, the first in 2015 when the Philippines also hosted the Asean Summit.
Highlights of Trudeau’s 2017 trip is his visit to a popular Filipino-owned fastfood chain which, he claims, is equally popular in Canada; and to the Linangan ng Kababaihan (Likhaan), a non-government organization (NGO), funded by the Canadian government and Inter Pares, a Canadian social justice organization, for women’s health.
BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO