The Philippines on Friday supported adoption of two Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) declarations—Enhancement of Welfare and Development of Asean Women and Children and Human Resources and Skills Development for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth. “The Hanoi Declaration on the Enhancement of Welfare and Development of Asean Women and Children fosters cooperation to improve the condition of women and children and to promote and engage their participation in Asean Community Building which we deem important,” President Benigno Aquino 3rd said in a statement during the Asean Leaders' Retreat in the Vietnamese capital.
President Aquino added that the declaration emphasizes Asean's resolve and commitment to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat infectious diseases.
The President said that he also supports the Asean Leaders' Statement on Human Resources and Skills Development for Economic Recovery, since it “fosters technical cooperation and capacity-building, promotes public-private sector cooperation, enhances the quality and skills of workers in the Asean and promotes lifelong learning.”
The Asean leaders adopted the “Hanoi Declaration on the Enhancement of Welfare and Development of Asean Women and Children” and “ The Asean Leaders Statement on Human Rights and Skills Development for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth” during the retreat on Thursday.
During the Asean leaders' retreat, Mr. Aquino called for diplomacy in resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
“Maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is of paramount concern to the Philippines,” he said. “Let us focus on collaborative diplomatic processes to resolve territorial disputes through sustained consultations and dialogue among ourselves and with China.”
The Philippines renewed its commitment to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by Asean states and China.
“We aspire to transform this area into a zone of peace, cooperation, friendship and freedom,” the President said.