Legarda Looks Forward to Stronger PH-France Partnership in Climate Action, Other Areas of Dev’t

June 27, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today said that she looks forward to stronger cooperation in more areas of development between the Philippines and France as the two nations commemorate 70 years of diplomatic relations.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, made the statement as she joins the official parliamentary visit to France of the Philippine Senate delegation led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.


“The Philippine Senate recognizes the importance of our country’s partnership with France which has substantially complemented our nation’s efforts in addressing current global challenges. This year, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the Philippines and France. We could only see our bilateral relations getting even better through the years,” she stressed.


Legarda, a founding member of the Philippines-France Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association, said that in recent years, the two nations have forged stronger partnership.


In 2012, then French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited the Philippines. It was the first visit by a French head of government to the country. It was followed by the visit of President Benigno Aquino III to France in 2014, and in 2015, French President Francois Hollande’s state visit to the Philippines. Last January, a French Parliamentary delegation, headed by Senator Gérard Miquel, visited the Philippines.


“These interactions resulted in enhanced partnership between our two nations most especially increased economic cooperation and political consultation, and continued partnership in the areas of climate change and sustainable development, among many others. There have also been many opportunities for cooperation in the field of cultural and heritage preservation,” Legarda said.


The Senator added that the two nations are partners in climate action. During former French President Hollande’s state visit to the Philippines, the issue of climate change was a priority agenda. A forum on climate change, the launch of a joint statement on climate action, and visit to Yolanda-affected communities in Guiuan, Eastern Samar were among the highlights of the said visit.


Legarda, together with Nicolas Hulot, then Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet and now Minister of Ecological Transition and Solidarity, helped craft the 2015 Manila Call to Action for Climate Change, which was signed by then Presidents Hollande and Aquino, and was read by the Senator side by side with French actress Marion Cotillard in Malacañang.


Legarda was also invited as the Philippines’ representative to the Summit of Consciences for the Climate in France in 2015 and she afterwards launched a similar summit on the same year at the Philippine Senate.


“I thank the French Government for rallying nations to craft and support the Paris Agreement on Climate Change when it hosted the climate negotiations in 2015. We are facing challenges in the implementation of the Agreement but with the strong commitment of nations, especially the industrialized countries like France, we are optimistic we can meet our goals. I look forward to discussing this further with Minister Hulot,” she said.


Legarda has been working closely with the French Government through the French Embassy in the Philippines and was bestowed the title of Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (National Order of the French Legion of Honor).