Manila (30 June) — Representatives and guests from 81 foreign nations provided international prestige today to the inaugural event in Manila for new Philippine President Benigno “P-noy” Aquino III, the 15th president of the country.
The Malacanang Protocol Office, said representatives of some 81 countries and international institutions and organizations attended the inauguration of Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Most prominent among the foreign guests were Timor–Leste President Jose Ramos Horta and 21 states have sent high-level and ministerial-level delegates, who started arriving in Manila one after the other since last Monday.
The United States was represented by Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and The Holy See by the Apostolic Nuncio to Korea The Most Reverend Osvaldo Padilla.
Also in attendance were China’s National People’s Congress Vice Chairperson Madame Yan Junqi, Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Osamu Fujimura and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, Spain’s Defensor del Pueblo Enrique Mugica, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yong-Boon Yeo, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Minister of State of the Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Abaid Madani;
Brunei Darussalam Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma, Cambodian Minister of Information Khieuk Kanharith, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Dr. H.R. Agung Laksono;
Korea’s Chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection Kim Hwang-Sik, Laos’ Chief of Cabinet to the President Souban Srithirath, Malaysia’s Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Senator Dato’ Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Thailand’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Depatment Ongart Klampaiboon, and Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang.
Other foreign dignitaries who were witness to the historic event included Organzation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Assistant Secretary-General Samir Diab, Peru Ambassador to Indonesia Jorge Castaneda Mendez and members of Parliament that included Australia’s Julie Owens, Canada’s Jim Abbott and New Zealand’s John Hayes.
Representatives of international organizations included the United Nations’ Resident Coordinator Jacqueline Babcock, Food and Agricultural Organization’s Kazuyuki Tsurumi, International Committee of the Red Cross’ Jean-Daniel Tauxe, International Labor Organzation’s Linda Wirth, and International Monetary Fund’s Dennis Bothman.
Other representatives of international organizations included: International Organization for Migration’s Duc Tran, United Nations Children’s Fund Vanessa Tobin (represented by Colin Davis), UN Development Programme Renaud Mayer, UN High Commission for Refugees Rico Salcedo, UN World Food Programme Stephen Anderson, World Banks’ Bert Hoffman, and World Health Organization’s Dr. Linda Milan.
Laos’ Souban Srithirath said he wants to convey to President Aquino, “my very best wishes for great success.”
“I want to wish him, sincerely, great success in his work as the new President,” Horta briefly said.