NONTHABURI, Thailand—The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations (UN) must work together to fight poverty, address inequality, and push sustainable development, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Sunday.
In his intervention during the 10th ASEAN-UN Summit, the President urged both bodies to collaborate in elevating the plight of the poor and the vulnerable.
“Indeed, the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are mutually reinforcing. We should enhance synergies in our efforts to reduce poverty, narrow inequalities, and promote inclusive growth,” he told fellow leaders during the summit here.
He also raised preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution during the gathering, stressing ASEAN and the UN can enhance each other’s capacity, particularly in advancing the role of women in conflict prevention, peace-building, and post-conflict rehabilitation.
The Philippines is a pioneer in this area and can share best practices, such as the establishment of the ASEAN Women’s Peace Registry.
As a response, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres acknowledged the launch of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) mentioned by President Duterte.
“Peace registry is an important instrument and we look forward to provide technical support to that initiative,” the UN chief said.
The President said ASEAN and the UN should also work together to address climate change, a global challenge that has made countries like the Philippines more vulnerable to natural disasters.
Climate change traps developing countries in a vicious and costly cycle of destruction and rebuilding, President Duterte said as he called for fair and effective measures to help vulnerable nations adapt and mitigate the effects of the changing weather.
At the same time, the UN must strengthen its mechanisms for technical assistance, particularly under the ASEAN-UN Joint Strategic Plan of Action on Disaster Management, as well as the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response Work Programme, he added.
The ASEAN and the UN must also join hands in the fight against terrorism, the Philippine leader said. He noted that under UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the global body should increase technical assistance to developing countries to help them improve their capacity to combat the security threat.
The ASEAN and the UN can also cooperate in addressing the root causes of radicalization and must work together to counter the narratives of hate and destruction propagated by terrorists and violent extremists.
To address this, he said the Philippines has taken the lead in the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue in the UN, thanking his ASEAN colleagues for their valuable support in the endeavor.
The UN and the ASEAN could also work together on maritime security.
He said the UN could share with the ASEAN its expertise in upholding the rule of law, including the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other relevant international instruments.