President Marcos Heads to Melbourne for ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

PASAY CITY, Philippines — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. departed for Melbourne to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, where he plans to affirm the Philippines' stance on key regional and international issues. Invited by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, President Marcos's participation marks a significant engagement commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between ASEAN countries and Australia.

According to Philippines News Agency, the summit offers a vital platform for the Philippines to express its national positions and prepare for future ASEAN Dialogue Partner Summits. In his departure speech at Villamor Air Base, he emphasized the importance of the event in reinforcing the Philippines' gratitude towards Australia for its consistent support of the rule of law, including backing for the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award.

The President outlined the summit's agenda, highlighting two primary sessions: the Leaders' Plenary and the Leaders' Retreat. During these engagements, Marcos intends to review and enhance ASEAN-Australia cooperation, share insights on pressing global and regional issues, and explore avenues to strengthen bilateral relations.

Additionally, President Marcos announced plans for bilateral meetings with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Manet and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Mark Luxon. The President also aims to connect with the Filipino community in Melbourne and advocate for investment opportunities through the Philippine Business Forum organized by the Department of Trade and Industry.

A key event during the visit will be the inauguration of the expanded Victoria International Container Terminal, showcasing Australia's first fully automated container terminal. Marcos is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Lowy Institute, underscoring the Philippines' active role in global diplomacy and its contribution to a rules-based regional security framework.

President Marcos reassured that the government's engagements with ASEAN and other international partners would continue to prioritize the Philippines' national interest and contribute to regional peace, stability, security, and prosperity. This visit underscores the longstanding diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Australia, established on July 4, 1946, and the significant Filipino community residing in Australia, which plays a crucial role in the bilateral relationship through substantial remittances.