DUTERTE TRANCRIPTS: ASEAN 50 Special Gala Celebration. 12 Nov 2017

(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office).

Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk

DURING THE SPECIAL GALA CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ASEAN [Delivered at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City | 12 November 2017]

Fellow leaders of ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners; President Trump; Prime Minister Medvedev; former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel Ramos, sir, good evening; Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and the other members of the Senate present; ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and other members of the Cabinet present; distinguished guests members of the House of Representatives; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

Good evening. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to Manila for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

I am deeply honored to host this rare occasion where a number of world leaders are gathered in celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.

Last [August 8], the world witnessed and joined us in paying tribute to the golden anniversary of the founding of the Association.

Tonight, likewise President, we commemorate — Presidents, the gains that ASEAN has achieved over the years under your leadership, the two former Presidents here particularly their work and efforts towards the realization of a rules-based, people-oriented community.

Throughout our Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017, the Philippines has been guided by the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” which captures ASEAN’s resolve to effect positive change in the lives of our peoples and assert our position in the global economy.

Beyond our regional borders, we, as ASEAN citizens, are steadfast in building an ASEAN Community that is united by [our] shared history, values, and aspirations. We continue to harmonize the three pillars of the ASEAN Community by strengthening economic integration and building a common identity, while embracing our uniqueness and diversity.

ASEAN countries continue to engage the world. From its founding, we have established meaningful and constructive engagements with external partners anchored on ASEAN centrality.

As one of the founding members of ASEAN, the Philippines has witnessed and contributed to the development of ASEAN [into] the dynamic organization that it is now.

I look forward to having constructive and substantive discussions with Your Majesty and Your Excellencies in our upcoming meetings. Let us start on a positive note with tonight’s celebration of ASEAN’s 50 years.

On this note, I wish to offer a toast: To the unity, centrality, solidarity and continued success of ASEAN; to ASEAN’s achievements over the past 50 years; and to the success of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related [Summits].

Mabuhay and kindly get hold of your… Mabuhay!

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