President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the United Nations (UN) to enhance their cooperation in fighting security threats in the region.
The President called on the two agencies to promote “counter-narratives” to address extremism and terrorism, citing the Philippines’ experience in Marawi City.
“The President likewise called on [the] Asean and the UN to enhance cooperation in sustainable security. Both must promote counter-narratives to address the message of hate and destruction propagated by violent extremists and terrorists,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“The President cited the experience of the Philippines in Marawi to show such methodology of international cooperation,” he added.
In 2017, the Philippines dealt with Islamic State-inspired terrorists, who took control of some areas in Marawi City.
The attack left over 1,000 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.
Apart from fighting terror, Duterte also asked leaders of the 10-nation regional bloc and the UN to pursue preventive diplomacy, including the advancement of women in peace and security agenda, Panelo said.
The Philippines is a pioneer in this area and can share best practices such as the establishment of the Asean Women’s Peace Registry, he added.
The President, according to Panelo, also encouraged the Asean and the UN to work together to address climate change.
“The Chief Executive expressed his appreciation for the actions taken, with the assistance of the UN, to build resilience and strengthen the support for climate change adaptation and mitigation in a region where national disasters occur frequently,” he reported.
During the Asean-UN summit on Sunday, Panelo said Duterte noted that 2020 “is an auspicious year for Asean as two of the regional bloc’s member-states, Indonesia and Vietnam, are set to occupy seats at the United Nations Security Council.”
“PRRD (President Duterte) manifested that he considers this as Asean’s coming of age as this meant the association’s further engagement with the world,” Panelo said.
“The Palace wishes to underscore that this is not the first time President Duterte cited the need for Asean to evaluate its role apropos the rest of the world. Last June, the President of the Philippines reiterated his call for the regional grouping to be the voice of reason and moderation. He stressed that Asean can also play a crucial role in conflict resolution and conflict prevention — a job that the United Nations is currently performing,” he added.