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Speaker urges closer ASEAN-Korea ties

STRONGER TIES. Speaker Martin Romualdez and his counterpart, South Korea National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, exchange tokens of appreciation during a dinner hosted for the House delegation to the ASEAN-Korea Leaders Forum in Jeju, Korea. Romualdez also gave Kim a signed copy of House resolution No. 82 which seeks to further strengthen bilateral relations through the Philippines-Korea Parliamentarians Friendship Association. Ver Noveno

Speaker Martin Romualdez has asked leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Korea to work closer together for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

Romualdez made the call during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN-Korea Leaders’ Forum held at the Jeju International Convention Center (ICC) in Jeju Island, Korea on Thursday.

The Speaker led the delegation of the House of Representatives to the forum.

Other prominent personalities who graced the forum include Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Timor Leste President Jose Ramos Horta, and former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The ASEAN-Korea Leaders Forum is a special program of the Jeju Forumfor Peace and Prosperity. It brings together parliamentarians and business leaders in the region to forge mutually beneficial, inclusive, and trustworthy cooperation in the spirit of solidarity.

“I look forward to substantive discussions on how we as a collective global community can ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the region; as well as promote sustainable economic growth and enhance regional resilience, with a focus on energy and food security, among others,” Romualdez said in his message.

Noting that sustainable peace is a key component of economic growth, Romualdez said the Philippines continues its effort to reform and modernize the country’s security sector to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity, deal with natural calamities and disasters, to usher economic development.

“We still have ways to go and we will look to partners like the Republic of Korea and those present today in improving these initiatives, and in working together to make sure that the geopolitical challenges of today do not undermine the possible gains of our future,” Romualdez said.

He noted that the Philippines is an advocate for the importance ofopen communication and effective collaboration between inter-parliamentary bodies in addressing a range of transnational and global threats.

Romualdez identified critical areas of potential collaboration among parliamentarians in the region such as promoting green investment; equitable, and sustainable finance; improving the operational efficiency of inter-parliamentary mechanisms; promoting innovation, transfer, application, and development of science and technology for regional growth and sustainable development, and building resilient supply chain.

“We hope this forum can serve as a bridge to connect the Philippines and the rest of the Southeast Asian region closer to our Asian and international partners,” Romualdez said.

He also congratulated his counterpart, Kim Jin-pyo, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (ROK), for hosting the 2023 forum.

Other members of the House delegation include key officials of various committees of the chamber, including Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (Chairperson-Accounts), Rep. Glona Labadlabad (Chairperson-Inter-parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy), Rep. Shernee Tan-Tambut (Chairperson-Peace, Reconciliation and Unity), Rep. Princess Rihan Sakaluran (Chairperson-East ASEAN Growth Area), Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora (Chairperson-Strategic Intelligence), Rep. Emigdio Tanjuatco III (Vice-chair-Foreign Affairs), Rep. John Tracy Cagas (Vice-chair-East ASEAN Growth Area), and Rep. Peter Miguel (Vice-chair-Health), as well as Rep. Ma. Alana Samantha Santos, Rep. Jonahtan Clement Abalos, and House Secretary General Reginald Velasco.

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