Congratulations to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who accepted chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2017!
We will pursue initiative and enhance cooperation with global partners to ensure that the ASEAN citizens live in peace, stability, security, and growth all while remaining ASEAN’s unity and solidarity we will maintain for all times...
More importantly, "crucial to the realization of our goals are cooperation and support from all the ASEAN member states and our dialogue partners," said Duterte in his acceptance speech delivered in Laos last night. He also announced that he will "highlight ASEAN as a model of regionalism and a global player with the interest of the people at its core."
The above developments come following initially damning reports fielded by both Philippine and international media following a statement made by Duterte on he Friday before he flew to Laos for the ASEAN summit that was grossly misconstrued by overzealous "journalists". Karishma Vaswani of BBC News prematurely opined in a 6th September report on what she labelled Duterte's "undiplomatic diplomacy" as having "rattled" ASEAN.