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Marcos to attend APEC Summit in US in November, says ambassador


PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the United States in November, according to its ambassador to the US.

“President Marcos will be coming in November for the APEC meeting in the West Coast,” Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez told CNN Philippines on Thursday. “I am confirming that President Marcos will be attending together with all the leaders who have been invited to APEC.”

The presidential palace did not respond to a Viber message seeking comment.

The summit will be held in San Francisco, California on Nov. 12, US Vice-President Kamala D. Harris earlier said, noting that the US would work with APEC economies to pursue enhanced sustainability and decarbonization initiatives.

The Philippine president is also expected to meet with business groups during his stay in the US.

“By that time, we are ready to show the economic reforms and programs so that they will be enticed to come to Philippines,” Mr. Romualdez said.

Mr. Marcos attended the recent APEC meeting in Thailand, where he told global leaders threats such as climate change and conflicts all boil down to the fundamental concern of ensuring sufficient and sustainable food supply.    

“First, food security is a serious global problem,” he said in a speech at the APEC CEO Summit in Bangkok. “This is felt by every household, by every family, by everyone.”

“The issues that the world faces now — from climate change, to inflation, to war — are viewed by the ordinary Filipino through the lens of food security,” he said.    

The Philippine leader said climate change and food insecurity are “very closely interconnected,” noting that there have been steep declines in farm output and productivity due to changing weather patterns.

Mr. Marcos, 65, took the helm of the Philippine Agriculture department in June, vowing to boost local food production. 

He also asked his fellow leaders to continue reinforcing global health systems, not only against new and emerging variants of the coronavirus, but also against other infectious diseases that may emerge. 

Mr. Marcos said the global economy could not afford another series of lockdowns and travel bans that deflate consumer confidence, dampen tourism recovery and derail the stability of global markets. 

“Governments must continue to invest in pandemic preparedness and in ensuring the resilience of the global health system,” he said. “Adopting the One-Health approach and strengthening health surveillance systems for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, from the human-animal-environment interface, can be part of the solution.”

The Philippine leader said in his first address to Congress in June the country would no longer enforce lockdowns during the pandemic.   

Mr. Marcos also rallied Asia-Pacific leaders to do more to address the effects of climate change, which he said is “the most pressing existential challenge of our time.”   

He said global agreements that seek multilateral solutions to the climate crisis, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, have been in force “but not enough progress has actually been made as emissions continue to rise.” — A.N.O. Tan

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