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14 July 2016 – Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. will lead the Philippine delegation to the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 15 and 16 July 2016. Secretary Yasay was designated by President Rodrigo Duterte to represent him in the Summit which gathers 53 leaders from Asia and Europe.

As head of the delegation this year in Mongolia, Secretary Yasay will carry forward the Philippines’ desire to strengthen and further deepen cooperation with ASEM partners. Among the priority themes will be practical and functional cooperation to address complex global challenges, including on maritime security, connectivity and illegal drug trafficking.

As this is the first international meeting in which the new Philippine government will be represented, Secretary Yasay will share President Duterte’s priorities and key socio-economic policies in ASEM. Secretary Yasay will also discuss within the context of ASEM’s agenda the Philippines peaceful and rules-based approach on the South China Sea and the need for parties to respect the recent decision of the Arbitral Tribunal.

At the sidelines of the ASEM Summit, the Secretary will have bilateral meetings with his counterparts to exchange views on matters affecting bilateral relations and common concerns on global and regional issues.

ASEM is an informal dialogue process involving 51 countries from Asia and Europe and two organizations—ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and socio-cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

The ASEM Summit is held every two years, with the previous one held in Milan, Italy in 2014. The Philippines is a founding member of ASEM and has participated actively in the Asia-Europe dialogue process since ASEM’s establishment in 1996. END