MUNICH, Germany (17 February) – Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. this weekend attended the 55th Munich Security Conference held in Germany’s federal state of Bavaria from 15 to 17 February 2019. It was the first time the Philippines participated in the premier global platform for dialogue and debate on international security issues.
Secretary Locsin was one of around 50 foreign ministers attending the forum alongside some 35 heads of state and government and 30 defense ministers.
Secretary Locsin with, from left, CDA Pono, Asec. Aquino, Usec. De Vega, and Minister Ponce
Secretary Locsin delivered stakeholder inputs at the transnational security roundtable discussion “The Smuggle is Real: New Impulses for Countering Illicit Flows” alongside Kenyan Foreign Minister Monica Juma, Europol Executive Director Catherine de Bolle, and US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.
“Our counter-terrorism efforts will remain anchored on respect for human rights and the rule of law. And always with this in mind: that a state’s first, and foremost, and overriding responsibility is to protect the law-abiding against the lawless; and the innocent against those who threaten their safety and wellbeing. To that responsibility my President has made an iron, unwavering and total commitment” Secretary Locsin said.
He also attended the plenary discussions, which featured German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and Romanian President and EU Council President Klaus Iohannis among the speakers.
Secretary discusses bilateral cooperation with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Aidarbekov.
On the sidelines, he had bilateral meetings with Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
He was joined in Munich by Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Ma. Amelita C. Aquino, Charge d’affaires, a.i. Lillibeth V. Pono, Minister and Legal Adviser Ma. Angela Ponce from the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, Director for Central Europe Indhira Banares, and Protocol Officer Alfredo Labrador V.
“That we’re taking part in this forum for the first time in more than half a century is a clear signal of our desire to engage closely with Germany and other partners to come up with viable solutions to pressing security concerns,” Ms Pono, who coordinated the Philippine participation in the conference with her team at the Embassy, said. (end)