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PIA Press Release

PGMA to champion poor nations at APEC Summit in Peru

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (17 November) -- Amid the very low approval ratings of President Arroyo at home, she is ironically enjoying popularity among fellow leaders of both developing and emerging countries.

To her peers in the diplomatic world she is an "advocate" after getting lately the cooperation of wealthy nations to include poor countries in a common international agenda to weather the fallout of the global financial turmoil.

The President has come "to symbolize the emerging economies" in international forums, and her pro-poor programs that her administration implemented long before the worldwide economic meltdown are now being copied by other countries.

In this month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting at Lima, Peru, President Arroyo intends to champion the cause of the developing and "downtrodden" countries where the Philippines belong, in the face of the global financial meltdown.

The President will reiterate her appeal to rich nations to place the poor countries in their priority list in finding solutions to the deepening global financial crisis, said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez.

Only last month at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), President Arroyo introduced what she called "Chang Mai Initiative II", for the "ASEAN +3" countries.

The President's initiative calls for ASEAN and their dialogue partners - Japan, South Korea and China to consider allocating a bigger chunk of the $80-billion CMI as a quick-disbursing fund for the members of the ASEAN whose economies may suffer from the US recession.

The "Chang Mai Initiative II" will be discussed by ASEAN, Japan, South Korea and China during the 2008 ASEAN Leaders Meeting in Chang Mai, Thailand next month.

In the recent United Nations General Assembly two-day meeting on interfaith cooperation for peace, the Philippine-initiated resolution entitled "Promotion of inter-religions and International Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace" which was personally introduced by President Arroyo at the opening on Wednesday of the plenary meeting on Agenda Item 45: A culture of Peace, which was also participated in by world leaders led by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah of Jordan, US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Israeli President Shuman Peres was unanimously adopted.

President Arroyo will also be one of the invited guest speakers of the Clinton Global Initiative scheduled in Hongkong in December 2 and 3. (PIA La Union) [top]

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