December 05

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Its a Pleasure To Meet You Mr President

APEC Philippines 2015 was the year-long hosting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit which concluded with the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting held on 18–19 November 2015 in Manila. It was the second time the Philippines hosted the summit, the first being the 1996 APEC summit. Many Presidents and world dignitaries were in attendance.

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For the Philippines and especially Save The Children, it was wonderful to get put on a global stage. In other countries, Save is a household name. Sadly, when I tell many HR directors or CEO’s about my job, they have never heard of Save The Children. Thankfully, this is beginning to change.

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I worked my AMCHAM connections to get Save on the guest list at APEC events free of charge. Here more key leaders and decision makers were able to learn about our valuable work and how they can help.

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US Ambassador Philip Goldberg spoke of the importance of giving back to the community and the importance of an NGO’s work in future developing the Philippines. He is a big proponent of Save The Children and praised our work in the Philippines.

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One very interested Filipino was President Fidel Roxas. He spoke with me about his vision for Filipino children in the future.

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The Leyte governor spoke with me of beginning to help Save be widely know in his region.

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The summit was held amid simmering tensions between China and several nations, including the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia because of the former’s aggressive policy of claiming several uninhabited islands in the South China Sea. For the Philippines, many countries pledged more help here coming out of APEC.

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The Philippines was able to put aside the issue in keeping with its hosting duties. The summit was also held just days after the November Paris attacks so a lockdown of major streets near summit venues and hotels was enforced.

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All countries present praised the Philippines. They did an outstanding job hosting the venue which undoubtedly opened many doors for future economic partnerships.

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I think President Obama summed it up best in his APEC speech, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” What perfect timely advise for all of us on Pulse assignments!

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