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Philippines Champions Nuclear Disarmament in ASEAN Regional Forum Meeting in New Zealand

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The Philippines actively participated in the recently-held Ninth ASEAN Regional Forum Intersessional Meeting (ARF-ISM) on Non Proliferation and Disarmament, held in Auckland, New Zealand from 8-9 March 2017. The meeting was co-chaired by New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia.

Jesus S. Domingo, Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand served as a Panellist in the ISM’s Session on Nuclear Disarmament . Underscoring the country’s commitment to nuclear disarmament and a world free of weapons of mass destruction, he shared that H.E. President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself stated during his November 2016 visit to Auckland that the global community must all work to avoid the threat of nuclear armageddon. He emphasized the Philippines’ leadership in disarmament and non-proliferation, citing the successful Philippine Chairmanship of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and consistently strong advocacy in United Nations, ASEAN and bilateral forums.

Domingo also cited ASEAN’s common support for new global initiatives such as the negotiations for a nuclear weapons ban treaty. He added that ASEAN diplomats have often provided needed leadership in disarmament diplomacy, citing the “ASEAN way” of conducting negotiations in a transparent, consultative and inclusive manner.

Also joining the Philippine Delegation to the ARF-ISM were Mr. Robespierre M. Bolivar, Special Assistant to the DFA Undersecretary for Policy, and Mr. Edgar B. Badajos, Director, DFA Office of ASEAN Affairs. Ms. Karla Mae G. Pabelina of the Foreign Service Institute gave a presentation on the current situation and future prospects with regard to the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ).

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