PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. called for a strengthened Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-US collaboration to address maritime security issues and transnational crime.

“Let us continue our cooperation in fighting against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and also in combating marine plastic debris and marine pollution,” Marcos said during his intervention at the 10th Asean-US Summit in Cambodia on Saturday, November 13.

Marcos also asked for the US’s support in fighting climate change and protecting the environment, particularly the work of the Asean Center for Biodiversity, which preserves Asean’s varied ecosystems and mainstream biodiversity across relevant sectors to increase resilience against climate change and its impacts and natural disasters.

He said the center’s role is critical in mitigating emerging and reemerging infectious zoonotic diseases and pandemics.

Marcos also welcomes the efforts of the US government in combatting transnational crime, terrorism and trafficking in persons.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres cited Marcos for his “unwavering commitment and advocacy” for youth empowerment, peace-building and security initiatives.

During the meeting, Marcos touted the launch of the Philippines’ National Action Plan (NAP) on youth, peace and security in August, which is the fourth of its kind in the world.

“As I mentioned during our meeting in New York, we intend to enhance our role in peacekeeping operations, especially where there is a huge concentration of overseas Filipinos,” Marcos said.

He also reassured the UN that his government will support and collaborate with them in the global effort to fight climate change and other environmental issues.

Marcos earlier said addressing climate change is a “collective responsibility” of all nations.

“Addressing climate change is our collective responsibility and developed countries should play a bigger role in global efforts to mitigate its risks, its effects, its damage and loss. Developing countries are more vulnerable, lose more when these climate shocks hit and have fewer resources to cope with the adverse effects of these shocks,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)