The 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday, April 29, officially adopted a declaration highlighting the importance of civil service in good governance and in enhancing cooperation in the region.
President Rodrigo Duterte along with other nine leaders of the ASEAN Member States signed the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 at the Meeting Room 1 of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
The declaration underscores the significance of the civil service as the backbone of good governance in the region and its role for enhanced cross-sectoral and cross-pillar cooperation in ASEAN community building and in providing support to furthering regional integration.
It also highlights the contribution of the civil service to the attainment of the sustainable development goals through continuing initiatives towards the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency, effectiveness, participatory approach, responsiveness, transparency, and accountability of civil service.
The declaration commits the ASEAN Member States to promote cooperation in the development and implementation of capacity-building programs and the sharing of best practices in critical areas of concern such as environment promotion, climate change, disaster management, health, gender equality.
The declaration also envisions to raise the professional standards and capability of civil servants as well as protecting their welfare.
It also encourages a strengthening of alliance building, partnership among ASEAN Member States, as well as with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, regional and multilateral organizations, civil society, private sector, and other stakeholders.
The Leaders then proceeded to the Summit Hall of PICC for the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with the ASEAN Interparliamentary Assembly (AIPA).
In his opening remarks, President Duterte said the interface between ASEAN leaders and AIPA reflects the commitment of the executive and legislative bodies of the ASEAN Member States to the community-building process.
“Through its law-making functions and accelerating the process of ratification of ASEAN agreements, AIPA plays an integral role in ensuring that the regional agreements are carried out and implemented at the national level so that the benefits of integration are felt by our peoples in the region,” he said.
Duterte also led the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with the ASEAN Youth.
In a brief speech, Duterte said he fully believes that “our youth play a dynamic and vital role in realizing a peaceful and stable economically integrated and socially responsible ASEAN.”
He said the interface between the ASEAN and youth leaders since 2017 has served as a venue where youth can share their ideas with the ASEAN leaders.
“In return, leaders have listened to these concerns and have endeavored to address issues concerning the youth,” he said.
The ASEAN Heads of States and Government also gathered at the Coconut Palace for a family photo and lunch prior to the signing ceremony.
It was followed by the 30th ASEAN Summit Retreat at the Formal Living Room of the Coconut Palace. ###PND