Republic of the Philippines
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Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Juliano-Soliman keynotes Philippines update 2012 at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra

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Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman gave the keynote address at the Philippines Update 2012: Peace Prospects and Development Challenges in Mindanao. The Update was organized by the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies (IPS) of the Australia National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) on 11-12 October 2012.

Secretary Soliman gave a presentation, entitled “Weaving Four Decades of Democratic Struggle and People Power,” highlighting that the country, under the Aquino leadership, is trying to “learn from the past, transforming the bad practices and allowing transparent and accountable government capable of achieving its goals for the betterment of the lives of Filipinos in the world.”

The Philippines Update 2012, the first to be held at the ANU since 2005, brings together leading experts in Philippine politics, economics, conflict resolution, and development. The Conference had four (4) panels on 12 October, with the themes: national political developments; national economic developments; peace prospects in Mindanao; and development challenges in Mindanao. The Update, and the conference volume that will be published, will serve as an important opportunity to build closer academic, research and policy linkages between Australia and the Philippines.

During the visit, Secretary met with high-level Australian Government officials, including:

  • H.E. Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia;
  • Hon. Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform;
  • Hon. Mark Butler, Minister for Health and Aging, Minister for Social Inclusion, and Minister for Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform;
  • Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Health;
  • Mr. Peter Baxter, Director General of AusAID;
  • Mr. Rod Brazier, First Assistant Director General of AusAID;
  • Mr. Derek Rooken-Smith, Head of Office of Development Effectiveness of AusAID; and
  • MPs Hon. Ed Husic, Member for Chifley, New South Wales, and Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, Member for Greenway, New South Wales.

Secretary Soliman also met with the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Executive Committee and attended the Roundtable on Poverty Reduction Strategies in Emerging Middle-Income Countries organized by AusAID. She also met with Filipino scholars studying in Australia. Philippine Ambassador Belen F. Anota accompanied Secretary Soliman in all her official calls.

In a dinner hosted by Ambassador Anota for Secretary Soliman at the Official Residence, the Secretary was apprised on the Embassy’s activities, especially in preparation for the visit of H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III on 24-26 October 2012.

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