• Legarda sees stronger PH-France climate ties

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    A senator on Tuesday said that she expects a stronger cooperation between the Philippines and France in climate change, among other areas of development ,as both nations are set to commemorate 70 years of diplomatic relations.

    “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,” Senator Loren Legarda said in a statement.

    “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,” she added.

    Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, is set to join the official parliamentary visit to France of the Philippine Senate delegation led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd.

    She is also a founding member of the Philippines-France Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association.

    The senator pointed out that visits of top French officials to the Philippines the past years have resulted in enhanced partnership —especially increased economic cooperation and political consultation, and continued partnership in the areas of climate change and sustainable development, among many others.

    She recalled how then French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited the Philippines in 2012, being the first visit by a French head of government to the country.

    It was followed by the visit of President Benigno Aquino 3rd 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.

    Moreover, she said that the two nations are partners in climate action citing the time former French President Hollande visited the Philippines and prioritized the issue of climate change.

    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.

    “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,” Legarda said.

    “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 added.

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