Philippines to turn over ASEAN chairmanship to Singapore

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) — Singapore will host the next summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2018.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to turn over the chairmanship  to Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a ceremony at the end of the 31st ASEAN Summit. Hosting of the regional bloc’s meetings is rotated among the 10 members annually.

Among the highlights of the Philippines’ chairmanship are the signing of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of Rights of Migrant Workers, approval of the framework agreement on a code of conduct on the South China Sea, and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the regional grouping..

Related: ASEAN to sign Consensus to protect, promote migrant workers' rights

However, the Philippines has also been criticized for what is seen as its softer stance in the South China Sea disputed as shown in the Chairman's statement at the 30th ASEAN Summit in April.

The closing ceremony ends the Philippines’ hosting of ASEAN meetings. It follows ASEAN's commemorative summit with the European Union and the East Asia Summit earlier in the day. The EAS is composed of ASEAN members, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit — which covers a proposed free trade agreement among ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand — also take place Tuesday.

The events follow the ASEAN Summit and the regional organization's separate summits with the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, and India.

The ASEAN was founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. It has since grown to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.