February 2021 | International Law Alerts | Foreign Policy / Bilateral Relations


The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli paid tribute to the International Organization for Migration (IOM-Libya) for the assistance it has been extending to the Embassy and the members of the Filipino Community during the recent conflict in Tripoli and the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hjayceelyn M. Quintana was given first-hand experience of the Philippine Bangkóta Pavilion by Expo officials and engineers, during a recent inspection tour on 31 January 2021.

Non-resident Philippine Ambassador to Palestine Akmad A. Sakkam met with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki at the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Amman, Jordan on 09 February 2021.

The two sides explored ways on how to deepen Philippines-Palestine relations on various aspects. Ambassador Sakkam and Minister Al-Maliki discussed the possibility of conducting political consultations between the two countries, increasing business opportunities for both sides, exchange of knowledge and expertise, particularly in the field of agriculture, and strengthening people-to-people ties.

The Philippine Delegation was successful in elevating and mainstreaming in the IOC Executive Council the discussion on the importance of assessing the value of ocean science and the development of national ocean economy accounts and ocean-climate risk assessments, demonstrating the value of investments in nature-based climate adaptation solutions, and the mainstreaming of the ocean considerations in sustainable economic development plans.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V interacted with more than 100 Japanese business and media executives at the on-line session facilitated by ASEAN-Japan Centre held on 09 February 2021.

The participants were eager to hear about developments on Philippines-Japan relations, investment opportunities in the Philippines, and updates on the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Bill, and the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, as well as on the promotion of agriculture, tourism, and English language training in the Philippines

Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Christopher B. Montero welcomed the interest of the BD BEBC to explore opportunities for enhanced trade and investment between Brunei and the Philippines, particularly economic exchanges that will support the development of small and medium business enterprises in Mindanao.

19 February 2021 – The Philippine Embassy in Damascus conducted the first-ever virtual dialogue entitled, “Sandigan sa Syria: Virtual Dialogue Series” led by Philippine Embassy in Damascus Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) Vida Soraya S. Verzosa, together with the wards of the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC), the wards’ Next-of-Kin (NOK) in the Philippines, and the Compass PH via Google Meet last month at the Embassy Chancery.

Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hjayceelyn M. Quintana led the inaugural rites for the establishment of the Office of the Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché (OPHILDAFA) in the UAE on 21 February 2021.

The OPHILDAFA in the UAE provides a new channel of communication that further manifests President Duterte’s independent foreign policy and adds a new milestone to the 46-year old diplomatic relationship between the Philippines and UAE.”

Philippines joined the other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states at the first Special ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Meeting of the year in the 32nd Meeting of the AICHR on 04-05 February 2021.

The Philippines welcomed the participation of AICHR Myanmar to the Meeting, with Deputy Assistant Secretary Tirol-Ignacio saying that “Our thoughts are with Myanmar and her people as they face this new challenge in their national lives.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office (MOAO) hosted the 159th Maritime Forum (MF159), which was conducted virtually on 28 January 2021.

Foreign Affairs Acting Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and Association to Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Affairs Elizabeth P. Buensuceso in her welcome address congratulated the Maritime League for successfully conducting the Maritime Forum, despite the pandemic

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. received Colombian Ambassador Marcela Ordoñez Fernandez and Brazilian Ambassador Antonio Jose Maria De Souza e Silva in a back-to-back courtesy call on 16 February 2021 at the Department of Foreign Affairs, in line with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations of both countries with the Philippines this year.

Secretary Locsin and Ambassador Ordoñez committed to further advance bilateral cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism, transnational crime, disaster risk reduction and management, climate change, gender and development, early childhood care, technical assistance, South-South cooperation in areas of former combatants, reintegration and youth empowerment.

“Peace, justice and human rights are interrelated pursuits. An integral part to the Philippine commitment to human rights is the continuous strengthening of its domestic accountability mechanisms.” This was the key message of Secretary of Justice Menardo I. Guevarra in his Dignitary Statement at the High-Level Segment (HLS) of the 46th Human Rights Council session (HRC46) in Geneva, Switzerland (via pre-recorded video statement).

The Philippine delegation, led by Acting Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, and Denmark’s side vowed stronger cooperation between the two countries during the second Philippines-Denmark Bilateral Consultations held via teleconference on 23 February 2021, marking the start of the year-long celebration of 75 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Denmark.