NEW YORK — Following a State Visit to the People’s Republic of China from August 30 to September 8, 2011, President Benigno S. Aquino III will be undertaking his second official visit to New York and Washington, D.C. from September 18 to 23.
This year’s visit to the U.S. aims to “enhance the country’s strategic profile by “underscoring the Aquino government’s demonstrated commitment to its good governance and anti-corruption agenda.” In addition, the visit will also highlight the administration’s economic agenda and accomplishments after a year in office, meet with present and potential U.S. investors, apprise the Filipino Community about the Aquino administration’s accomplisments and share the latest developments in the country.”
His visit will also highlight the Philippines’ selection as a member of the Steering Committe of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) where President Aquino is scheduled to deliver his keynote remarks on “The Power of Open: A Global Discussion”. “He is the only head of state invited to address the opening ceremony of this all-day multistakeholder, ministerial-level conversation focused on the role of openness in improving responsiveness, fostering accountability, creating efficiency, fighting corruption, and similar themes.”
President Aquino was invited by U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian Dilma Rousseff to the official launch of the OGP in New York on September 20.
The Philippines is one of eight countries, and one of only two from Asia, that are members of the Steering Committee of OGP. The other seven countries are: the U.S., Brazil, the UK, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, and South Africa. The Steering Committee members were selected based on the following criteria: Fiscal Transparency, Access to Information, Disclosures Related to Elected Officials, and Citizen Engagement.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, “the selection of the Philippines as a Steering Committee member is an international acknowledgement of the Aquino administration’s demonstrated commitment to and innovative practices in open governance and anti-corruption.”
President Aquino is also scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the IBM Centennial Forum called “THINK: A Forum on the Future of Leadership” marking IBM’s 100th anniversary. The forum will be attended by more than 700 leaders from government, business, the academe and science, as well as up-and-coming leaders from across the globe.
Fordham University in New York will confer a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the President. The university had also conferred an honorary degree on his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, on September 1986.
As part of Fordham tradition, the names of over 30 world leaders conferred a degree are carved on the steps of the “Terrace of the Presidents” at Keating Hall. His name will be carved next to that of his mother.
While in New York, President Aquino will have a roundtable meeting with high level business executives belonging to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce.
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick invited the President to deliver a public lecture during the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C.
President Aquino’s lecture will center on the theme of citizen empowerment, good governance and fighting corruption as agents of poverty reduction before an audience composed of finance ministers, central bankers and country representatives.
Meanwhile in Washington D.C., he will visit Senator Daniel Inouye, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate and Chairman of its Appropriations Committee, to thank him for his continued support of Philippine causes in the U.S. Congress.
The President will also meet with the Filipino communities in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Virginia. This would be the first meeting between President Aquino and the Filipino community in the area, where approximately 110,000 Filipinos reside.