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Duterte seeks greater cooperation vs security threats, climate change
Speaking to fellow leaders during the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit last Tuesday, Duterte said fighting transnational crimes is one of his domestic priorities because of the threats they pose to societies across the globe.
Simeon Celi Jr./Presidential Photo

Duterte seeks greater cooperation vs security threats, climate change

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2019 - 12:00am

BUSAN – President Duterte has called for greater cooperation among countries in the region in combating terrorism, illegal drugs and other security threats, and in mitigating the effects of climate change which makes developing countries like the Philippines vulnerable to natural disasters.

Speaking to fellow leaders during the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit last Tuesday, Duterte said fighting transnational crimes is one of his domestic priorities because of the threats they pose to societies across the globe.

A statement issued by Malacañang quoted Duterte as saying that criminal networks are raking in billions of dollars every year through illicit drugs and human trafficking, cybercrime and other forms of criminal activities. The President suggested that ASEAN and Korea must sustain cooperation in fighting threats through exchange of information and intelligence, the statement added.

Duterte said the 2017 Marawi siege carried out by Islamic State-linked militants was “a wake-up call” that reminded everyone that terrorism has no borders.

“He (Duterte) then called for a greater collective action to combat this threat by addressing its root causes that include underdevelopment, inequality and historical injustices. Cooperation should focus on capacity-building,” the Palace statement read.

Duterte also raised the issue of climate change during the summit, and the need to enhance cooperation in disaster response.

“We also look forward to closer cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the President said. “We want to enhance our capabilities to respond to crisis and rebuild communities, given our high vulnerability to natural disasters.”

The President also recognized South Korea’s expertise in smart city development and expressed interest in working with the east Asian country to build communities that are economically vibrant and resilient to extreme weather disturbances.

Duterte likewise expressed concern about the region’s problem with marine debris, which he said is becoming serious.

“We need stronger political resolve to address this issue. It threatens our marine resources and, ultimately, our food security,” he added.

New policy

The Philippine leader lauded South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy, which aims to forge stronger ties with Southeast Asian countries. He described the policy as a “timely and forward-looking initiative” that complements ASEAN Vision 2025.

“I am confident that the next 30 years will be even more productive for us. We look forward to further deepen our partnership as we prosper each other and build lasting peace for our peoples on the basis of friendship and mutual respect,” he said.

The President likewise welcomed South Korea’s interest to work with ASEAN in enhancing connectivity and called on fellow leaders to use technological revolution to promote integration.

“The Philippines is keenly aware that the ongoing revolution in technology and innovation could be disruptive. But we also recognize the opportunities it creates for greater connectivity. Digital and other emerging technologies have the power not just to disrupt but also to integrate,” Duterte said.

“We must do this, bearing in mind the development as well as knowledge gaps within and between countries,” he added.

Duterte also reaffirmed the Philippines’ resolve to fully implement the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and expressed optimism about the establishment of the ASEAN-Korea Infrastructure Fund in 2022.

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