DFA chief honored by Cory’s NY school
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario was conferred a Doctor of Laws degree (honoris causa) by the College of Mount Saint Vincent, the alma mater of the late President Corazon Aquino, in New York on Thursday.

The honorary degree was conferred on Del Rosario in recognition of his “principled commitment to democracy, integrity, and the rule of law both at home and around the globe.” 

“Albert del Rosario, as secretary of foreign affairs, you are celebrated for fulfilling President Aquino’s vision both within the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and in relations with other nations. You have reformed the organization and the culture of the department, shifting it from seniority and patronage to merit, efficiency, and accomplishment. With your leadership, the department tirelessly advocates for the protection of Filipino workers abroad, including the many victims of human trafficking. With your leadership, the department effectively promotes economic cooperation and development. And with your leadership, the department now seeks the peaceful, legal resolution of territorial disputes in the South China Sea – one of the world’s most perilous and potentially consequential international conflicts,” read Charles Flynn, president of The Mount, who conferred the degree on Del Rosario.

The foreign affairs secretary said he is humbled to be honored by Saint Vincent after President Aquino and his mother, Corazon.

“My visit today has a highly valued significance as I have just become the fourth Del Rosario graduate of Mount Saint Vincent,” Del Rosario said

during the convocation ceremony attended by his family, The Mount’s Board of Trustees, faculty members, students, and DFA officials.

Fifty years ago, Del Rosario and his wife, Gretchen, lived just a short walk from the Mount Saint Vincent campus. Three of Del Rosario’s sisters were Mount graduates. 

Del Rosario said the DFA shares The Mount’s commitment to institutional integrity and commitment.  

“I consider the honor bestowed on me today as recognition also for the hardworking men and women of the Philippine Foreign Service,” he said.

After the conferment of the honorary degree, Del Rosario discussed key Philippine foreign policy advocacies such as migration governance, the Philippines-US alliance, and the South China Sea.

On migration, he underscored that the Philippine policy focuses on two important considerations: that migration must be a shared international responsibility; and migrants’ human rights must be fully respected in all circumstances.

On the Philippines-US alliance, Del Rosario emphasized that because of shared history democratic values and aspirations, the enduring partnership between the two countries has contributed to peace and stability in the region and the world.

On the South China Sea issue, he said that with the growing support from the international community in peacefully resolving disputes in the area, including through arbitration, the Philippines believes that the final outcome of the arbitration process would pave the way for a settlement of the territorial row.

“The Honorary Doctor of Laws that the Mount Saint Vincent has conferred upon me will always be my treasure as well as my inspiration,” Del Rosario said. – With Rainier Allan Ronda

ACIRC BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHARLES FLYNN COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT DEL DEL ROSARIO MOUNT MOUNT SAINT VINCENT PRESIDENT AQUINO ROSARIO SOUTH CHINA SEA
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