Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd were among the 90 world leaders who went to Beijing to watch the August 8 opening ceremonies of the 29th Olympics Games.
The heads of state were officially received by Chinese President Hu Jintao in a lavish state luncheon. President Arroyo shared the table of President Hu, Madam Liu Xonqing, and 26 world leaders, who included President George Bush, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, and Malaysian King Tuanku Mizai Zainal Abidin.
President Arroyo met with PM Rudd and discussed several matters concerning Philippine-Australian relations. President Arroyo invited the Prime Minister to Manila in October, in time for the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the Philippine-Australian Ministerial Meeting (PAMM).
The GFMD is an international consultative body involving 115 governments that develops for their respective countries policies, programs, and actions on matters regarding migration and socio-economic development. Initiated ten years ago by then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the GFMD seeks to strengthen the links between migration and development policies in practical and action-oriented ways.
The PAMM is the regular formal meeting between the Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Secretary for Trade and Industry and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is a high-level meeting for the two countries to discuss matters concerning bilateral relations, which covers security cooperation, development assistance, trade, and institutional exchanges.
President Arroyo also requested Australia’s support for the Philippine candidature to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at elections to be held in September 2008. The Philippines’ candidate to the ICJ is Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a senator and one of the country’s leading experts on international law.