LPUPAIR holds 2024 IR in Praxis: Philippine Perspectives on Multilateral Relations with Asec. Chan-Gonzaga and Asec. Melicor from DFA

Written by: Pauline Tucay, Chelsea Eseller & Kyle Del Rosario

The College of International Relations (CIR) and the LPU Project for Asian and International Relations (LPUPAIR) successfully held IR in Praxis: Philippine Perspectives on Multilateral Relations at the JPL Hall of Freedom on May 22, 2024 as part of CIR Days 2024 . Esteemed resource speakers, Assistant Secretary Mardomel Celo D. Melicor of the Office of Middle East and African Affairs and Assistant Secretary Jose Victor V. Chan-Gonzaga of the Office of American Affairs from the Department of Foreign Affairs shared their experience and expertise on multilateral and bilateral relations, with a particular focus on the importance of multilateralism from the Philippines’ perspective, its own approaches and the efforts the country makes, aligned with its national interests.

Asec. Melicor discussed Philippine multilateralism with emphasis on our relations with the Middle East and Africa and identified the Philippine embassy locations present in both regions. Additionally, he also emphasized the importance of establishing additional Philippine embassies in the discussed areas in order to expand the assistance capability of the country to other nations in need. This will not only contribute to the commitment of the Philippines to global stability and human rights, but also in pursuit of expanding its global position, exploring economic opportunities, and most especially, promoting cooperation on the international stage.

Asec. Chan-Gonzaga, on the other hand, elaborated the importance of the Philippines’ multilateral relations by emphasizing its objectives and its positive impact to the nation. He also explained the essence of the shared responsibility for being involved which is crucial in tackling global challenges as well as in multilateral diplomacy itself. These challenges found in protection of migrant workers, human rights, peacekeeping, humanitarian action, among others, are also part of Philippine efforts the country makes as a “bridge-builder” and a “strong voice for developing countries.” He also discussed the Philippines’ current priorities and how the country is leveraging multilateral cooperation in the region, aligned with the aforementioned objectives and in sectors of the world that need attention.

Asec. Chan-Gonzaga concluded with a motivating message for aspiring diplomats that tackling global challenges is difficult, however it is important to maintain a strong sense of purpose – the very reason why they should remain committed to service toward a world of peace and prosperity. The event was further enriched with an open forum wherein students opened up discussions on domestic and global issues and trends related to Philippine multilateral relations.

The LPU Project for Asian and International Relations (LPUPAIR) is a partner organization of the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR), and a college-based organization of the College of International Relations at the Lyceum of the Philippines University–Manila. Aligned with its mission to cultivate networks and promote global understanding of diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region, LPUPAIR host events that contribute to the culture of theory and data-driven research in the College of International Relations and LPU Manila through various lectures and discussions.