Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Ambassador makes presentation at the New Zealand Defence Force Advanced Command and Staff Course

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Upon the invitation of the New Zealand Defence and Staff College, Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez made a presentation on “The Philippines and New Zealand as Friends and Partners in the Asia-Pacific Region” on 14 October 2014 at the New Zealand Advanced Command and Staff Course, Trentham Military Camp, Upper Hutt. There were 35 participants from the New Zealand Navy, Army, Air Force, international military representatives from Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, USA, Vietnam and civilians from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Primary Industries. Lt. Col. Emil J. Cruz from the Philippine Army is among the participants. Topics focused on Philippine Foreign Policy and its three pillars of preservation and enhancement of national security, promotion and attainment of economic security and protection of Filipino nationals abroad, Philippines-New Zealand Bilateral Relations and the Philippines’ Strategic Approach to Regional Security and Development.

Ambassador Benavidez highlighted the Philippines’ resolute and relentless efforts to reach a durable and lasting solution to the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea case through the peaceful settlement of disputes, adherence to the rule of law and compliance with universally accepted international processes. She gave an overview of the political, defence and security, economic cooperation and people-to-people ties between the Philippines and New Zealand, the peace building efforts through the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the regional security architecture with vital contributions from the Philippines and New Zealand.

Ambassador Benavidez thanked the New Zealand Defence and Staff College for the much valued opportunity to present crucial developments, opportunities, challenges and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. RNZN Commander and Commandant, NZDF Command and Staff College, N.E. Philpott conveyed appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez for her support and comprehensive and enlightening presentation.

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