The Foreign Service Institute was privileged to have Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani conduct a lecture for the junior diplomats attending the Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course Batch XX on 24 June 2013. The lecture, entitled “Decision-Making in Foreign Policy Formulation,” falls under the ambit of the module on Foreign Policy, which seeks to discuss and examine thoroughly the interests and the positions of the Philippine government on various significant issues. Of specific interest is the decision making process in the formulation and challenges in implementing Philippine foreign policy.
Senator Shahani graciously shared her experiences, first as the daughter of a former ambassador and Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Narciso Ramos, then as an ambassador herself, as an Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations and as a member of the Philippine Senate.
She also emphasized that while the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is the lead government agency in charge of crafting the country’s foreign policy and conducting foreign relations, it must necessarily consider the inputs of other pertinent agencies of the government and private sector. She added that the DFA recommends policies and possible courses of action, but it is the President of the Republic, as the chief architect of Philippine Foreign Policy, who ultimately makes the decisions.
An open forum followed Senator Shahani’s presentation which provided a venue for a fruitful exchange of views and ideas with the cadets.