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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines


ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Luncheon with the President of the
61st UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary General

New York, 22 September 2006



On behalf of my ASEAN colleagues, I would like to extend a warm welcome to H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa, President of the 61st General Assembly and H.E. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

It is an honour for the Philippines, as ASEAN Chairman, to host this year’s traditional luncheon.

Keeping this tradition alive not only provides a useful venue for ASEAN, the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General to discuss issues of common concern, but also strengthens our institutional bonds.

Our cooperation reached a milestone last year with the convening of the Second ASEAN-UN Summit.

Based on the agreement reached at that Summit, we further broadened ASEAN-UN cooperation in community building and development, particularly in poverty eradication and in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.

In the area of energy security, a key concern for all of us, UN ESCAP and the ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE) conducted a workshop on energy-related urban planning earlier in the year. I was informed that there are several other related projects in the pipeline and I hope these will push through.

I have no doubt that ASEAN cooperation with the UN will deepen in the following years, particularly when we adopt the ASEAN Charter. The ASEAN Charter will enable ASEAN to have more intense and involved relations with States and other international organizations.

The Second ASEAN-UN Summit also expressed support for multilateralism, with the UN at the core.

ASEAN reaffirmed this during our 39th Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur last July.

I am particularly pleased that Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Khalifa is one with us on the important of multilateralism.

In stating that “multilateralism, as embodied in the U.N., is the most effective way to ensure our collective peace and security, protect human rights and uphold the rule of law,” in her statement at the opening the 61st Session, the President of the General Assembly provided the necessary emphasis to guide us in our work.

In the past years, multilateralism has itself faced many difficult challenges.

But it has stood fast, its place assured – with the Secretary-General of the United Nations as its staunchest and bravest defender.

Yours was never an easy task, Mr. Secretary-General. With your kind and caring hands, you brought our organization into the new millennium. With a steady calm and a deliberate manner, you guided our members and our organization through difficult and challenging times. With dialogue and diplomacy as your weapons of choice, you showed that together, we can build a better world.

On behalf of ASEAN, it is my great honor to express our deep and profound appreciation for the work, dedication and commitment of Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

I would now like to invite our guests to share their thoughts with us.

Thank you.

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