Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders from nine other ASEAN member countries attended the opening ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on November 13.
The event also saw the attendance of leaders from around 20 partner countries and international organisations, including China, the US, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations.
In his opening speech, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte said the 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings offer good opportunities for ASEAN member nations and their partners to discuss regional issues.
He strongly condemned terrorism and violent extremism as well as copyright violations and piracy which have posed serious threats to regional and global economic growth.
The President also highlighted ASEAN cooperation in combating and preventing drug crimes.
The ASEAN Summit is the most important event of the bloc this year with the participation of leaders from 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN partners to strengthen solidarity, promote the grouping’s central role, foster economic growth, narrow the development gap, and improve the ASEAN Community’s capacity.
Related meetings will be held after the summit, including the 20th Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea); separate ASEAN meetings with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, the US, Canada, the European Union, and the United Nations; and the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS).
As many as 55 documents are expected to be signed and adopted at the meetings. The Philippines will also issue nine declarations of the Chairs of the summits.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.