By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Nov. 29 (PNA) – President Benigno Aquino III left on Sunday for three working visits in Europe, including Paris, France where he will join other world leaders in the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21).
In his departure speech at the Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the President said he will take the opportunity to share with other countries in COP21 the Philippines’ best practices in facing the challenges of calamities.
”The COP21 in Paris is a good opportunity for us to take a step and highlight the importance of uniting against climate change,” President Aquino said.
In the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the President said the Philippines will serve as representative of the countries which are mostly affected by natural calamities that have become frequent and stronger due to effects of climate change.
In 2009, the developed countries met in Copenhagen, Denmark in an effort to come up with solution to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions but they failed to form a consensus in the conference.
President Aquino said France President Francois Hollande is one with the Philippines in combating the effects of climate change.
”When he visited our country last February, he joined us in launching the Manila Call to Action on Climate change,” the President said.
The President said he will also take the opportunity to express the country’s sympathy for the victims of the recent Paris terrorist attack that killed at least 128 people.
”We are one with them in condemning this kind of violence,” President Aquino said.
While in France, President Aquino will also meet some prominent company officials to invite them to invest in the Philippines.
From France, the President will fly to Rome, Italy to meet President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
”We will sign there an agreement that would improve the welfare of our countrymen there. We will also meet our Filipino community,” the President said.
President Aquino will then proceed to Vatican City to reciprocate the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines last January.
Aside from expected meeting with the Pope, President Aquino will also witness the unveiling and blessing of a mosaic sculpture of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. (PNA)