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17 SEPTEMBER 2008
PRESIDENT ARROYO TO ADDRESS 63RD SESSION OF UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
MANILA--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is pushing through with her planned visit to New York next week to address the opening of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly and to attend high-level meetings with world leaders.
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, in a briefing at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel before the mid-year Philippine Economic Briefing, said the President reconsidered going to the United States upon the "strong recommendation" of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo and Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations
"President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has decided to proceed with her planned visit to New York to attend the High-Level Debate of the 63rd United Nations General Assembly and for other high-level meetings with global leaders," Dureza said.
Dureza said the President's attendance at the UN General Assembly at this time is in the national interest as the UN will be addressing urgent issues that include global poverty and hunger mitigation.
The President, who will be the fourth national leader to speak at the opening of the session on September 23, will deliver the country report on progress made in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), whose resolution is of primary concern to developing countries, including the Philippines.
"This is a rare honor accorded to the Philippines. The participation of the President on that day, speaking alongside other world leaders, will be a positive reflection on the country," the Press Secretary said.
"The President will be able to put forward Philippine concerns on key international issues, and to highlight Philippine progress before the
Dureza said the President will inform the OIC Secretary General of the new peace policy of her government based on consultations with stakeholders in Mindanao.
He said the President would also "express appreciation to the OIC for its continuing support, and will strengthen the dialogue for peace, indicating also the Philippines commitment to harmonious relations with the Islamic world, reflected in the Philippine request for OIC observer status."
Dureza said the President, in her meeting with the UN Secretary General, will discuss the MDGs and international cooperation for food and energy, UN peacekeeping operations in which the Philippines is an important contributor, as well as the regional situation in Southeast Asia where the Philippines plays a lead role in the ASEAN.
The President will also discuss the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the Special Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development, which the Philippines will host in October this year and May next year,respectively.
"Both these initiatives will advance critical Philippine diplomatic efforts. GFMD2 will enhance international cooperation to improve the conditions of global migration for the benefit of millions of migrants from all nations, including the Philippines. The Special NAM Ministerial Meeting, which will be the first-ever on interfaith dialogue, will consolidate Philippine leadership in promoting understanding and trust among different faiths to foster greater peace and development," Dureza said.
While in New York, the President will push for the candidacy of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago for a seat in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
"Securing a seat in the ICJ is of fundamental interest to the Philippines, as it would facilitate Philippine contributions to the progressive development of international law reflecting the perspectives and concerns of developing countries," the Press Secretary said.
While no specific date has been set yet for the President's departure, Dureza said she will leave "in time" for the UN General Assembly on September 23.
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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