PH’s top envoy to the UN chairs Asia Pacific Group; extols Queen Elizabeth’s life of service

by Ricky Rillera

Ambassador Antonio Manuel R. Lagdameo delivers his remarks at the UN | Credit UN Photo Library

NEW YORK – In its first in-person after more than two years of virtual consultations, the new Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Antonio Manuel R. Lagdameo, chaired a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Sept. 28.

The ambassador acknowledged the improvements in the global health situation today with the recent allotment of vaccines, which help address the Omicron sub-variants. These developments, he said, motivated his delegation to hold the first APG meeting since he assumed his new assignment.

“We can support monthly in-person meetings should this be the modality that we will follow in the succeeding months, but with due regard to the safety and health advice of the relevant state and UN authorities,” he said.

As current Chair of the Asia-Pacific Group, the Philippines leads discussions on regional issues, including the Group’s candidatures and nominations to the United Nations and various UN bodies.

The established UN practice for meetings is set every end of the month. But as September is when the UN General Assembly opens with most Heads of State and Foreign Ministers participating in a week-long event, the Philippines called the meeting in mid-September.

Ambassador Ariel R. Peñaranda, Deputy Permanent Representative, introduced the chief delegate to his fellow permanent representatives from the region, including the ASEAN permanent representatives.

On behalf of the APG, Lagdameo delivered a statement at the UN General Assembly Plenary on Sept. 15 to commemorate the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. He said Queen Elizabeth II “had lived through momentous historical events of domestic, regional, and global importance.”

“The Queen leaves behind an indelible imprint, as her ideas inspired many ordinary people to work towards economic progress and the greater good,” the ambassador said. “Her Majesty lived an outstanding life of service, who showed to the world that it is possible to improve human relationships and elevate the human condition.”

Ambassador Lagdameo recognized the Queen’s significant work and contributions as a philanthropist and said that her passing “inspired many people with her enduring legacy and a life dedicated to service.”

In a separate statement, as a Philippine national, he said, “Her Majesty is an enduring symbol of royal tradition, international cooperation, and trust in the rule of law.”

He also referred to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s message, stating that the Queen would be remembered for exemplifying “a true monarch’s great dignity, commitment to duty, and devotion to all those in her realm.”

Lagdameo served as Ambassador to the United Kingdom in March 2017 before his assignment in New York. He had previously served in the same capacity from 2009 to 2010.

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