President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. departed for the United States on Sunday morning, Sept. 18, to participate in high-level discussions at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Before leaving the country, Marcos said it is important for the Philippines to participate actively in the UNGA “to make certain that our voice is heard.”
“The UN is where the countries of the world congregate to discuss the most pressing challenges facing our people. Thus, it is important for us to participate in the General Assembly and to make certain that our voice is heard,” he said in his departure speech.
The President is expected to deliver the national statement on Sept. 20 to articulate the country’s expectations of the United Nations, the role the country will play and its contributions to strengthening the international system.
He said he will share the Philippines’ vision in people-centered development, highlighting his administration’s goal for economic recovery, food security, and agricultural productivity.
He also intends to affirm the country’s commitment to the ideals of the UN, citing its contributions to peaceful settlement of disputes and of international law.
Aside from addressing the UNGA, the Chief Executive will deliver key messages in several economic briefings during his working visit to New York in order to expand and strengthen the Philippine-US trade and investment relations and attract potential US investors and partners.
“I will also participate in business activities to forge more partnerships to advance our national economic and sustainable development in general,” Marcos said.
“I will be joined in these meetings by key private sector representatives who have been and will continue to be our partners in this endeavor. More vibrant PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) will allow us to achieve the better normal that we all aspire for,” he added.
He is also expected to meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres and other world leaders, including the country’s long-standing allies to discuss opportunities for stronger cooperation in food security, agriculture, renewable energy, and climate change, which, he said, are among the key priorities of his administration.
The President said he will also take time to meet with the Filipino community there, some will be coming from Canada.
“And of course, I will be visiting with the Filipino community there. I am told our kababayans as far as from Canada will participate in this gathering,” he said.
“It will be my chance to thank (them) for their support, affirm their important role in the continuing work of nation-building and strengthen our cooperation on matters that redound to the benefit of Filipinos here at home and abroad,” he added.
More than 150 heads of state and government will be participating in this year’s High-Level General Debate, the first to be held completely in person since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
This is also the first time Marcos will set foot in the US after not being able to visit the country for years due to a court’s contempt order issued against him. Now, that he is the President, he has “diplomatic immunity” to travel to the US.
Marcos was sent off by high-ranking officials including Vice President Sara Duterte and his chief legal counsel Juan Ponce Enrile at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sunday morning.
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