In Foreign Relations, Leadership Matters

Article excerpt

NEWS that the President is appointing Dr. Alberto G. Romulo her Foreign Affairs Secretary at once signifies that important changes in the countrys foreign policy are forthcoming.

It is about time.

It is noted that aside from commitment to principles, the position of foreign secretary requires a deep sense of history and tradition and above all, love of country.

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Of course, as the diplomats diplomat, a foreign affairs secretary is also expected to possess a sense of fairness and decency and to act with grace and humility.

Which means he knows how to play hard and play honestly.

And he should be a man of extraordinary talent and vitality to be able to maintain personal contacts with his counterparts around the world to exercise leadership to advance his countrys national interest.

As a former Senate Majority Leader, Secretary of Finance, and Executive Secretary ("Little President"), Dr. Romulo (Ph.D. in Law, Universidad Central de Madrid, and an accountant for all that), will bring to the premier Cabinet post a wide range of expertise, probably unprecedented in the history of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

With the rich Romulo family background in diplomacy, he is unarguably the best qualified to call the turns of Philippine foreign policy at this critical time.

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As we confront the changing trends in international relations it may not be easy to find common grounds to be able to establish foreign policy priorities.

Long-term objectives based on clear policy direction may also take some time to pursue a set of foreign policy agenda.

And in the international arena, good ideas alone may not be enough if not supported by capabilities. …