President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, May 11, called on leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) not to ignore the scourge of illegal drugs on the youth.
“We cannot turn a blind eye on the scourge of illegal drugs that threatens our youth and the future of our societies,” said the President of the Philippines, the current chairman of ASEAN.
In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in his speech at the Opening Plenary: ASEAN at 50 Years Young during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN 2017, Duterte said the youth is certainly a key sector that we must invest in.
“The ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020 encourages youth entrepreneurship, employment and employability, awareness, volunteerism, and resilience” he said in his remarks at The Ballroom of Sokha Hotel.The Chief Executive, who is also the chairman of the ASEAN this year, said the plan deserves full support as ASEAN youth are “among the best and most creative, intelligent and innovative in the world.”
“We must empower them to be the best version of themselves,” the President said.
According to Duterte, a committed stand should be taken to dismantle and destroy the illegal drugs trade apparatus.
He further noted that the commitment to realize a drug-free ASEAN community should be reaffirmed.
In the same speech, President Duterte said ASEAN is becoming a significant global player.
“It plays a key role in promoting peace and stability in the region. And it is an emerging economic powerhouse,” he said.
The President, however, noted that while the ASEAN’s achievement is celebrated, it should be recognized as well that more needs to be done for our people.