ASEAN Senior Officials Meetings 1

DFA Acting Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro delivers her intervention during one of the recent meetings of ASEAN Senior Officials. (DFA-ASEAN photo)

MANILA, 11 June 2022 – The Philippines participated in recent meetings of ASEAN Senior Officials held virtually on 07-09 June 2022 where it highlighted its priorities.

Foreign Affairs Acting Undersecretary and Philippine SOM Leader, Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro attended the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) and the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Commission held on 07 June 2022, and the ASEAN Plus Three SOM and the East Asia Summit SOM on 08 June 2022.

DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu, meanwhile, attended the ASEAN Regional Forum SOM on 09 June 2022.

Acting Undersecretary Lazaro provided updates on the Philippines’ coordinatorship of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations during the ASEAN SOM. In the meeting with ASEAN Plus Three (APT) SOM, she highlighted the multi-tiered APT framework, which covers a wide range of cooperation that successfully contributes towards the region’s economic recovery in response to crises, such as the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical conflict in Ukraine. She emphasized the importance of water as a source of sustenance, vital avenues for communication, transportation, trade and people-to-people linkages and called for exchanges of best practices and innovative approaches on sustainable utilization to conserve the marine environment from debris and pollution for future generations.

During the EAS SOM, Acting Undersecretary Lazaro announced the Philippine hosting of the East Asia Summit (EAS) Workshop on Maritime Cooperation, underscoring that “Maritime cooperation will remain at the heart of Philippine initiatives in the East Asia Summit.” She stressed the importance of upholding international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS, and thanked EAS countries who have recognized and supported the 2016 Arbitral Award. This was further emphasized by Assistant Secretary Espiritu during the meeting with ARF SOM. END