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http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/11/06MANILA4855.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4855 2006-11-30 07:25 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 5925
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 004855

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2011
TAGS: PREL ECIN PTER ASEAN XE RU CH JA KN KS RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINE PLANS FOR ASEAN SUMMITS IN CEBU

REF: A. MANILA 4854
¶B. STATE 190890

Classified By: Pol/C Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary. The Philippines plans to make a new
counterterrorism convention and recommendations on an ASEAN
Charter the highlights of the December 11 ASEAN Summit. The
subsequent ASEAN 3 Summit and East Asia Summit will
probably break no new ground and will not include new
participants, although expected accessions by France and East
Timor to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation will enable
those countries to take part in EAS in 2007. All three
summits will likely include a reiteration of the earlier
ASEAN call for North Korea to return to the Six Party Talks
(unless these have resumed by then) and a measured call for a
breakthrough in the Doha Round. End Summary.

¶2. (SBU) In a meeting on November 30, Department of Foreign
Affairs Director General for ASEAN Luis Cruz and Deputy
Director General Benito B. Valeriano described Philippine
expectations for the December 11 ASEAN Summit, the December
12 ASEAN 1 Summits (three) and an ASEAN 3 Summit, and the
December 13 East Asia Summit, all of which will take place in
the central Visayan city of Cebu. (The U.S. has a consular
agent in Cebu, but closed its consulate a decade ago. Pol/C
and poloff will be present in Cebu during the meetings, and
DFA has promised to invite them to as many social functions
as appropriate, as well as to provide substantive updates on
the internal discussions as feasible.) With planning and
senior officials’ meetings already taking place, most of
DFA’s ASEAN staff will be in Cebu no later than December 4.

ASEAN SUMMIT
————

¶3. (C) The theme of this year’s ASEAN Summit will be
“building a community of caring societies,” one of the four
“strategic thrusts” of the socio-cultural community pillar
for which the Philippines assumed responsibility under the
Bali Concord II in October 2003. (The other two pillars are
the political-security community and the economic community.)
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo nonetheless plans to make
counterterrorism a key theme of this session, Cruz explained,
noting that this topic cuts across all three major pillars.
He emphasized that this issue is “at the top of President
Arroyo’s list.” Discussions continue among senior officials
on the language of a proposed Convention on Counterterrorism
— focused mostly on increasing capacity building, training,
information exchanges, and networking — which the
Philippines hopes can be adopted at this Summit. At the very
least, the Philippines expects a Declaration on
Counterterrorism should the formal language of the Convention
be impossible to agree upon in the next two weeks, Cruz
added. He nonetheless expressed “high hopes” for the
Convention during this Summit, pointing to the already robust
CT cooperation in the region and the existing national CT
legislation in most ASEAN countries (although not yet the
Philippines).

¶4. (C) Also under the rubric of “building a community of
caring societies,” the Philippines is looking for:
— a “Cebu declaration” confirming this goal, which also
will explicitly reflect support for the Millennium
Development Goals;
— acceleration of community building targets to bridge the
development gap within ASEAN; and,
— heightened awareness of HIV/AIDS and calls for additional
funding.

¶5. (C) The second “strategic thrust” of the socio-cultural
pillar is to manage the social impact of economic
integration, which DG Cruz confirmed ASEAN now wants to
achieve by 2015 rather than by the initially envisioned 2020
goal, including by:
— promoting welfare and protection of migrant workers;
— encouraging freer movement of specialized labor, notably
(Philippine) nurses but perhaps eventually broadening to
include other professions such as accounting and
architecture;
— urging resumption of Doha development round (as per ref
a, DG Cruz separately confirmed that the Summit would seek a

MANILA 00004855 002 OF 003

balanced statement along the lines of the APEC Leaders’
statement) as well as conclusion of other free trade
agreements. Cruz noted that WTO chief Pascal Lamy, as well
as the President of the Asian Development Bank, will have a
working dinner with ASEAN Economic Ministers to discuss trade
issues, while the 30-person ASEAN Business Advisory Council
(three from each member) will meet separately with the ASEAN
leaders; and,
— seeking greater energy security, including by increased
use of biofuels, which DG Cruz underscored has the additional
developmental advantage of promoting agriculture.
DG Cruz also emphasized that greater economic integration and
CT efforts would have a positive impact on the situation in
the Philippines’ Muslim Mindanao, and expressed appreciation
for the assistance provided by many ASEAN partners, including
the U.S.

¶6. (C) To highlight the third socio-cultural goal of
enhancing environmental sustainability, the leaders will note
with approval a “Cebu resolution” agreed upon by ASEAN
environmental ministers, which calls for strengthened
environmental laws, mitigation measures on the impact of
climate change — notably the haze/fire problem in the region
— and support for the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, located
in Los Banos, the Philippines. The Philippines is also
seeking closer cooperation on illegal trade in wildlife,
illegal logging, and coordinated responses to natural
disasters. DG Cruz noted with appreciation Singapore’s and
Malaysia’s assistance, along with that of the U.S., in
response to the Leyte landslide earlier this year in the
Philippines. He added that the ASEAN members were
increasingly also seeking better cooperation regarding their
nationals in conflict situations, noting that during the 2006
fighting in Lebanon, Philippine nationals fleeing to Syria,
where the Philippines does not have an Embassy, were able to
rely on the Indonesian Embassy for help, as others had during
the Gulf War, when Filipinos sought assistance at the
Indonesian Embassy in Yemen.

¶7. (SBU) The ASEAN leaders will also receive a report from
the Eminent Persons Group with recommendations for an ASEAN
Charter as part of its final socio-cultural goal of promoting
an ASEAN identity. They will appoint a drafting group, with
an expectation of a draft for approval at the ASEAN Summit in
Singapore in December 2007, according to Cruz.

ASEAN Summits
—————–

¶8. (C) DDG Valeriano predicted very little new substance to
the ASEAN China, ASEAN Japan, ASEAN South Korea, and
ASEAN 3 Summits, although he said that each would likely
touch upon the issue of North Korea and reiterate support for
the Six Party Talks, along the lines of statements the
Philippines has already issued on behalf of ASEAN. If a new
round of talks has not begun by these meetings on December
12, the leaders may again offer Cebu or the Philippines as a
venue for talks, Valeriano added. The leaders will also
review current assistance projects, including technical
training and education, according to Valeriano.

East Asia Summit
—————-

¶9. (C) DG Cruz noted that the Foreign Ministers of France
and Timor Leste will sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
at the ASEAN Summit, which will make these countries eligible
to participate in the 2007 East Asia Summit but not at the
December 13 session. As in the initial EAS last year,
participants will include the leaders from ASEAN members,
China, South Korea, Japan, India, New Zealand, and Australia.
Despite earlier expectations that Russia would have acceded
to the TAC in time for President Putin to attend this Summit,
Russia has “not been too active” and has been “slow with
initiatives,” according to Cruz, and its eventual
participation is no longer as certain.

¶10. (C) DDG Valeriano predicted that the key themes of a
EAS statement will focus on counterterrorism, North Korea,
protection of migrant workers, and energy security, without
any surprises. The meeting should last only a few hours, he
noted.

MANILA 00004855 003 OF 003

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