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Department of Foreign Affairs-15October2009 Updates

RP Participates in High-Level Aviation and Climate Change Meet

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 01:33 AM PDT

PR-860-09, 15 October 2009 – The Philippines participated in the High-Level Meeting on International Aviation and Climate Change held in Montreal last October 7-9.

Led by Minister and Consul General of the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa Joseph Gerard B. Angeles, the Philippine Delegation ensured that the Philippines will be cooperating in the most effective manner possible with the process leading to a successful new climate agreement – one that builds upon the strengths of those involved and that targets an environmentally-sustainable response as its legacy to future generations.

All eyes in the climate-change community were turned to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as it agreed on its inputs to the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

ICAO’s inputs focused on how international aviation emissions should be treated in the new agreement.

Participating States agreed to work through ICAO to achieve a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of two percent over the medium term until 2020. They also agreed to keep working towards medium and long-term goals, including exploring the feasibility of goals of more ambition such as carbon-neutral growth and emissions reductions.

Such fuel efficiency improvements, or other aspirational emission reduction goals, would not attribute specific obligations to individual States. The different circumstances, respective capabilities and contribution of developing and developed States to the concentration of aviation Greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere will determine how each State may contribute to achieving the global aspirational goals. END

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Secretary Romulo and UNESCO DG Matsuura Sign Joint Communiqué on 1ST RP-UNESCO Country Programming Document

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 01:23 AM PDT

PR-859-09, 15 October 2009 – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo and UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura signed a Joint Communiqué announcing the first RP-UNESCO Country Programming Document (PH-CPD).

The PH-UCPD, which will serve as the framework of cooperation between the Philippines and UNESCO, identifies specific programmes and projects in the fields of education, science, culture and communication which they will jointly focus on from 2009 to 2011.

The Secretary was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Rora Navarro-Tolentino, Secretary-General Preciosa Soliven of the UNESCO Philippine National Commission, Presidential Adviser on Education Dr. Mona Valisno and Ms. Josefina Ricafort, Committee Secretary of the House of Representative’s Committee of Basic Education and Culture.

Following his meeting with the DG Matsuura, Secretary Romulo delivered the Philippine Policy Statement at the General Conference, calling on UNESCO to provide leadership in its areas of expertise and a “strong partnership” with member states that is responsive to their urgent needs.

He also thanked the international community for its support and assistance for the victims of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and, in the light of these natural disasters, underscored the need for concerted global action on climate change.

Secretary Romulo also met with Director-General elect Mme. Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, who will assume office in November. Secretary Romulo pledged the support of the Philippines to Mme. Bokova, the first woman Director General of UNESCO.

The Philippines is a member of UNESCO’s Executive Board, its governing body, until 2011. END

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Financial Donations from the International Community at US$103.31 Million

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 01:01 AM PDT

PR-858-09, 15 October 2009 – International donors continue to pour in much-needed financial assistance for the victims of typhoon Ondoy with total donations amounting to US$103.31 million (or approximately P4.80 billion) as of today.

A significant portion of the financial contribution came from international organizations with US$76.03 million (or P3.53 billion). These include contributions in cash or in kind from the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, among others.

Donations from the Philippines’s bilateral and multilateral/regional partners follow with US$21.70 million (or P1 billion) and US$3.64 million (or P169.53 million), respectively.

Philippine bilateral partners who donated in cash or in kind are Australia, Singapore, the United States, Japan, China, Canada, Italy, South Korea, Thailand, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Bahrain, Sweden, Brazil, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom and Great Britain, the Czech Republic, among others.

Other sources and their contributions are:

Total NGOs US$1.06 million (or P49.3 million)
Filipino communities US$395,659 (or P18.4 million)
Individual donations US$22,569 (or P1.05 million)
DFA personnel at Posts US$18,114 (or P842,301)
Private individuals US$22,569 (or P1.05 million)
Others US$434,343 (or P20.2 million)

The National Disaster Coordinating Council, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine National Red Cross and other agencies are authorized to receive the donations or pledges. Donations without corresponding monetary value are not included. END

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Mexican Fifth Grade Student Donates Personal Savings to Typhoon Victims

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 12:49 AM PDT

PR-857-09, 15 October 2009 – Philippine Ambassador to Mexico Alejandro M. Ortigas III reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that fifth grade student Alejandro Luna Flores called on him on October 9, 2009 to express sympathy for the victims of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and to hand-over a donation of $410 Mexican Pesos (approximately P2,451 Philippine Pesos) for Filipino children who are victims of the calamities.

The young Alejandro, who was accompanied by his parents who are both lawyers, and his 6-month old brother, took the amount straight from his “alkansiya” (money box).

Alejandro developed an interest about the Philippines during a summer class and since then, started collecting items about the Philippines, including two-peso Philippine bills.

In his letter to Ambassador Ortigas, Alejandro said he likes reading the history of the Philippines, and one of his favorite tourist destinations in the country is Chocolate Hills in Bohol.

Ambassador Ortigas said that he intends to ask a friend in a chocolate and cookies business to match hundred times the donation of Alejandro, so it can benefit more Filipino children.

Alejandro presented the Philippine Embassy a rooster art work in blown glass, a product of the State of Hidalgo, which his father said symbolizes the cockfighting influence of the Philippines to Mexico. In turn, Ambassador Ortigas gave Alejandro a Philippine table flag and other mementos.

The young boy said he hopes to visit the Philippines someday. END

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Cuban Church Prays for RP Typhoon Victims

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 12:20 AM PDT

PR-856-09, 15 October 2009- Havana’s International Christian Church (ICC) worship service on Sunday, 11 October 2009, offered prayers for the victims of typhoons Ketsana (Ondoy) and Parma (Pepeng) in the Philippines and other disasters elsewhere in the world.

In his message to the ICC congregation, Philippine Ambassador MacArthur F. Corsino said that every calamity bears a challenge and a lesson to turn to God and grow in spirit. “It is in times of greatest fear, pain and suffering that we realize our nothingness and turn to God,” he said.

Prayers were also offered for victims of the earthquake in Indonesia, the tsunamis in the Samoan and Tonga Islands and flood victims in other parts of Asia.

The ICC was co-founded 19 years ago by Flor Toledo-Juarez, a Filipino-Cuban married to the ICC’s supervising minister, Rev. Rodolfo Juarez. It is attended by diplomats, other expatriates and English-speaking Cubans. END

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