It is only but fitting that the Liberal Party of the Philippines (LP) will host the first Liberal International (LI) Congress in Asia as it is LI's first Asian full member. "We are proud of the Liberal Party. In just more than half a year after receiving the support of the people, LP showed difference. It is a party of the people, party of leaders that deliver promises when in government. We believe that President Aquino's election and leadership will inspire other LI leaders," says Mr. Emil Kirjas, LI Secretary General.
Kirjas joined Liberal Party of the Philippines Secretary General Congressman Jun Abaya in announcing the hosting of the 57th Congress of the Liberal International at a media event today at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.
Dr. Neric Acosta, Secretary General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats and Mr. Jules Maaten, Country Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty were also present. Their organizations are co-organizers of the Congress.
This year's Congress will take place on 16-20 June 2011 with the theme "Human Rights and Trade". Human rights and free trade are among the values LI espouses. It believes that human rights are a pre-condition for progress and stability and that poverty in large parts of the world can be alleviated through freedom to travel and to trade.
Around 300 high-level officials of LI member parties, including members of parliament, ministers, diplomats and heads of state and government, are expected to participate. Liberal International is the world union of liberal parties on all continents and was founded in 1948 in Oxford (UK). Liberal parties are now in government in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, U.K., Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland and Senegal.
Recent LI Congresses include: "Education for the 21st Century", Cairo, Egypt, 2009; "Democracy and Development", Marrakesh, Morocco, 2006; and "Freedom and Security", Sofia, Bulgaria, 2005. The most recent LI event in the Philippines was the ALDE-CALD-LI meeting in Manila, Cavite Province and Tagaytay in 2006.
According to Kirjas, "gaining more support worldwide, winning day by day more elections, this global Congress of the liberals will be an opportunity for parties with similar values to discuss solutions and visions revolving around Human Rights and free trade. The 2011 LI Congress will allow the membership from over 80 countries to learn of Aquino's ability to develop administration that is a benchmark of good governance, that is also able to show solidarity with the international community in bringing issues like Human Rights, democracy and free trade to the forefront."