US think tanks, officials explore US, PH agendas in ASEAN
WASHINGTON, DC – More than a hundred attendees from various US government agencies, think tanks, business groups, private sector, diplomatic corps and the media came to a discussion of US and Philippine priorities, US-ASEAN partnership and the Philippines’s role as ASEAN chair this year.
The forum entitled, “A preview of U.S. and Philippine priorities for the 2017 ASEAN and East Asia Summits” held at The Stimson Center on October 31 featured as speakers Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto and United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State W. Patrick Murphy. The forum was co-organized by The Stimson Center and the US Philippines Society drew
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State W. Patrick Murphy said President Trump’s priorities in his upcoming ASEAN trip include the denuclearization of North Korea, meaningful code of conduct negotiations in the South China sea, and counterterrorism efforts, among others.
“The Filipino people are some of our closest friends and allies anywhere in the world. Our relationship is based on shared sacrifices for democracy, respect for human rights, strong people to people and societal ties,” said Murphy on US-Philippine relations. “It has been a cornerstone of stability for over 70 years.”
“The United States will continue to maintain a very strong presence in the Indo Pacific region,” Murphy concluded.
Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Chuasoto said that as Chair of ASEAN 2017, the Philippines will promote ASEAN goals of building an inclusive ASEAN community, upholding peaceful co-existence among members states, adhering to the rule of law in the peaceful resolution of disputes, sustaining inclusive economic growth, enhancing resiliency in the face of natural disasters and strengthening its institutions.
“Much of ASEAN’s success is attributed to the ASEAN Way of consultation, consensus and cooperation. ASEAN was founded on the basis of several fundamental principles, among them mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of other members, and peaceful settlement of disputes,” Minister Chuasoto emphasized.
Minister Chuasoto also talked about the notable outcomes of the 30th ASEAN Summit and the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related meetings held in April and August 2017, respectively, and the key deliverables in the upcoming November summit including with ASEAN’s external partners.
“ASEAN’s relationship with the US stands out because of the strength of our mutual confidence and trust. Our strategic partnership with the US has contributed to the region’s many unprecedented successes and has led to an immeasurable deepening of exchanges at the people-to-people levels,” Chuasoto said, underscoring ASEAN’s partnership with the United States.
A panel discussion followed featuring Richard Blackwood, senior Philippines desk officer at the US State Department, William Wise, associate director of the Southeast Asia Studies Program at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Meredith Miller, vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), Chuasoto and Bryan Eyler, director of Stimson’s Southeast Asia program served as moderator.
The forum was live streamed at Stimson Center’s website, and is available for viewing in its YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/user/HLStimson100).