The fourth Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) between the United States and the Philippines was held on March 6-7 in Washington, DC. The 2014 dialogue reaffirmed the continuous close partnership between the two allies. The dialogue was co-chaired by officials from both countries, including Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Evan P. Garcia and Undersecretary of National Defense Pio Lorenzo F. Batino for the Republic of the Philippines, and Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Kelly Magsamen for the United States.
During the dialogue, both countries reiterated their commitment to strengthening joint cooperation and training in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, particularly in light of the destructive Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines last year. The United States government also acknowledged the Filipino government’s efforts to enhance measures addressing human rights issues, including labor rights.
The two sides also discussed deepening economic and scientific ties through the Partnership for Growth and the bilateral Agreement on Scientific and Technology Cooperation. The Partnership for Growth will see more progress on trade and investment between both countries, while the Agreement on Scientific and Technology Cooperation will see more academic and student exchanges in the future.
The dialogue also centered on security issues, including reaffirming the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, and the 2011 Manila Declaration. Beyond that, both governments agreed to expand cooperation on maritime domain awareness, disaster response preparedness, law enforcement, and nonproliferation.
Jefferson Lee is a Graduate Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington.