THE Department of Foreign Affairs announces with much sorrow the demise last May 3 of former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. The Department, its officers and staff are saddened by the passing of one of the country’s illustrious and well-loved public servants.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Siazon led a distinguished career in the Philippine Foreign Service from 1966 to 2010. He was Philippine Ambassador to Austria from 1975 to 1986, during which term he also served as Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations (Vienna). He was the first elected Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) from 1985 to 1993. He will be remembered as responsible for the smooth transition of the organization into a specialized agency. He also initiated and vigorously pursued the reform of UNIDO to enable it to meet the challenges of industrialization faced by developing and newly independent countries in the post-Cold War years.
He served as Ambassador to Japan twice, from 1993 to 1995, and from 2001 to 2010. During his second tour of duty in Japan, Ambassador Siazon worked for the conclusion and ratification of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership (PJEPA), the first bilateral free-trade agreement entered into by the Philippines.
As Foreign Affairs Secretary from 1995 to 2001, he shepherded Philippine Foreign Policy during a period of economic expansion and political optimism in the Philippines, and laid the groundwork for enhanced regional cooperation to safeguard national interests including the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States of America.
He was widely known in international circles as a gifted individual, as can be seen in his training as a political scientist and a physicist. He spoke five languages, and he is specially remembered as one of the foremost Filipino experts on Japan. The
Department of Foreign Affairs will miss one of its most gifted sons.
The Department extends its deepest sympathies to Mrs. Kay Siazon, their children Dan and Ken and their respective families.
[The Manila Times joins the DFA in expressing deep condolences to the family of former Foreign Secretary Siazon.]