16 March 2017 | Manila

First row: ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Leaders; Second row: ASEAN Senior Economic Officials’ Meeting (SEOM) Leaders; Third row: Senior Officials’ Committee for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (SOCA) Leaders; and Fourth row: Permanent Representatives to ASEAN

In preparation for the 30th ASEAN Summit on 26-29 April 2017, the Philippines hosted the ASEAN Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center on 14 to 16 March 2017.

The JCM was attended by the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Leaders, Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) Leaders and Senior Officials’ Meeting for the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (SOCA) Leaders, Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) and other officials from the 10 Member States of ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam).

It was chaired by Assistant Secretary Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega of the Office of ASEAN Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Acting ASEAN-Philippines SOM Leader. She was joined by the PH SEOM Leader, Assistant Secretary Anna Maria Diaz-Robeniol of the Department of Trade and Industry, the PH SOCA Leader, Undersecretary Florita Villar of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Chair of the CPR, Philippine Permanent Representative to ASEAN Elizabeth Buensuceso.
Ambassador Marciano Paynor, Jr., Director General for Operations of the ASEAN National Organizing Council, provided the JCM with a brief on the preparations for the 30th ASEAN Summit, which will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center. President Rodrigo R. Duterte will chair the Summit, which will be attended by the Heads of States/Governments of the ASEAN Member States.

Apart from Summit preparations, the meeting also discussed outcome documents that will be issued and adopted at the April Summit.

With 2017 being a milestone year with the 50th year of ASEAN, the JCM also discussed activities in the region to commemorate ASEAN’s golden anniversary. The three ASEAN Community Pillars – the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural – will each have their own line-up of activities that will highlight this auspicious event.

The senior officials also exchanged views on how to effectively carry out the role of the JCM in coordinating the work among the three pillars on issues that cut across all three ASEAN communities. The JCM will be taking on a more substantive role, following the adoption in 2015 of its terms of reference, of looking at how issues that are common to the three pillars, such as illicit drugs, human rights, border management and human trafficking, can be addressed and coordinated by the various ASEAN sectoral bodies, which will further contribute to ASEAN’s community building efforts.

Prior to the JCM on 16 March 2017, the ASEAN SOM and SEOM held their respective meetings on 15 March while the CPR held its meeting on 14 March. (DFA)

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