Press Release
March 21, 2023

Zubiri and Romualdez Hold Luncheon for Foreign Dignitaries ahead of the APPF 2023

On Tuesday, Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri and Speaker Martin Romualdez hosted a luncheon at Shangri-La The Fort for the ambassadors and consuls of member countries of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), in preparation for the 31st Annual Meeting of the APPF, which will be hosted by the Philippine Congress from November 23 to 26, 2023.

The APPF brings together the parliaments of twenty-eight (28) member countries in the Asia-Pacific region, covering Southeast Asia, Oceania, Northeast Asia, and the Americas.

As one of the founding members of the forum, the Philippines hosted the Second Annual Meeting of the APPF in 1994. APPF 2023 is the first time that the Philippines will be hosting the event since then.

"The Philippines has consistently participated in APPF's Annual Meetings as we find great value in the various deliberations with our fellow parliamentarians, especially on key issues relating to regional security, transnational crime, free and fair trade, climate change adaptation and sustainable development, migration, and most recently, on global health pandemics and ensuring post-pandemic economic recovery," said Zubiri in his message during the luncheon.

The Philippines' hosting of APPF 2023 also comes in the same year that the country has officially joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) region, after the Senate concurred to its ratification in February.

"This is a great start for the President's administration, to show that the Philippines is once again open to the international community, in this period of post-pandemic recovery."

Present at the luncheon were dignitaries from the member countries of Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Laos, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States of America, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, and Mongolia.

Addressing the dignitaries, Zubiri stressing that the upcoming APPF meeting is testament to how "the Philippines is ready once more to re-engage with the world and ready to take on our responsibility as an active member in our community of nations and especially, in the affairs of the Asia-Pacific region."

Also at the luncheon were Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, who headed the Philippine Delegation to the APPF 2022 in Bangkok, and who formally conveyed the Philippine's acceptance to host this year's meeting; Rep. Maria Rachel Arenas, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Glona Labadlabad, who chairs the House Committee on Interparliamentary Relations and Diplomacy; DFA Usec. Maria Theresa Lazaro; Usec. Jesus "Gary" Domingo; and Asec. Henry Bensurto Jr.

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