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25 April 2014 - A 19-member delegation composed of professors and officers of the National Defence College of the Philippines (NDCP) and members of Class 49 taking up a Masteral Program on National Security Administration (MNSA) conducted a Regional Security and Development Studies (RSDS) visited Wellington, New Zealand from April 7 to 15. The RSDS visit is part of the MNSA curriculum and aims to enhance the strategic thinking of the MNSA students by exposing them to security issues affecting the Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.

The Philippine Embassy in collaboration with the relevant ministries of New Zealand prepared a comprehensive, informative and interactive program that covered courtesy calls, briefings, exchange of views and discussions with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Victoria University in Wellington on a wide range of matters and issues on defence, security, the regional architecture and key developments affecting Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region. They also visited the Parliament, historical and cultural places in the Greater Wellington area.
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Ambassador Benavidez and the delegation had extensive and interesting discussions on the key features of Philippines-New Zealand relations focusing on the political, defence, security and economic cooperation at the bilateral, regional and international levels, people-to-people ties and the profile of the Filipino community across the North and South islands during the briefing held at the Sentro Rizal at the Philippine Embassy Chancery on April 9.

The dinner hosted by Ambassador Benavidez for the Philippine delegation and New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Defence officials at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) on April 08 provided another excellent opportunity for interaction and networking among the guests.

The visiting delegation was headed by Professor Chester B. Cabalza, Course Director, NDCP together with other NDCP officials and 16 members of Class 49 composed of officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, officers from the Foreign Service Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Institute and officers from the Armed Forces of Malaysia and Sri Lanka. They reiterated their deep appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez, Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, the officials from New Zealand and all those who have contributed to their highly successful, enlightening and enjoyable visit to New Zealand. END

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