ASEAN meetings in Boracay kick off

Philippines: 2017 ASEAN Summit
Philippines: 2017 ASEAN Summit

The 23rd senior officials meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has officially kicked off Monday in Boracay Island, Aklan.

Some 100 delegates coming from the 10 ASEAN countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines are participating in the meeting spearheaded by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The three-day event which will be held at Paradise Garden Resort until February 15 will kick off with a welcome dinner and a cultural presentation Monday night.

Delegates from different ASEAN countries started arriving in the island over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, spokesperson of Site Task Group Boracay, the overall security in charge the ASEAN meeting, said “everything is going smoothly in terms of security.”

Gorero stressed that there is no security threat for Boracay and Western Visayas in line with the ASEAN hosting.

He said that some 3,000 combined security forces of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army are currently deployed in different locations in the island.

Aside from them, thousands of emergency responders and other elements are deployed to secure the safety, peace and order and the smooth conduct of the meetings.

After the first meeting, all members of the STG Boracay will remain activated until the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Retreat scheduled on February 19 to 21 which will be held at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort.

Security for the said meeting will be more intensified because of higher number of high profile delegates, Gorero said. At least 300 ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries will attend the meeting to be spearheaded also by the DFA.

Gorero said the STG is expected to remain activated five days after the last day of the ASEAN meetings. PNA