U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swore in a new envoy to the Philippines in a ceremony held at the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC on November 3, 2016.
Sung Kim was sworn in by Kerry as new ambassador-designate to the Philippines in a ceremony attended by Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, former U.S. Ambassadors to the Philippines Counselor Kristie A. Kenney and Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Assistant Secretary of State Danny Russel, Philippine Chargé d’Affaires to the United States Patrick A. Chuasoto, and friends from the Embassy of the Philippines and the greater Filipino American community.
In his remarks, Secretary Kerry underlined the history and the people-to-people ties that have built the “indelible” relationship between the United States and the Philippines, reiterating that “the United States continues to place a high value on the close ties that exist between our countries.”
Secretary Kerry described Ambassador-designate Kim as one of the U.S. Department of State’s finest diplomats: “Over the years, Sung has won just about every honor that the State Department gives, and many of them he has won more than once. He has earned a reputation for sound judgment, for hard work, for great intelligence, and for deep humility. The bottom line is: there is no one better qualified than Sung Kim to represent the United States of America and to be our Ambassador to the Philippines.”
In his acceptance speech, Kim expressed his pride in being selected as the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines.
“I’m thrilled to have the honor of representing our country in the Philippines, our oldest ally in Asia and one of our most special friends anywhere. The U.S. and the Philippines are and will continue to be close friends, partners, and allies.”
He reiterated Kerry’s points on the depth and warmth of U.S.-Philippine ties: “When President Obama visited the Philippines in 2014, he talked about the spirit, the kalooban, that defines the extraordinary warmth, vitality, and strength of our relationship. That spirit is embodied in deep people-to-people ties between our two countries. There are 4 million Filipino Americans in the United States. Generous and committed to family and tradition, Filipino Americans give back to their communities both here in the United States and in the Philippines. And together with the many Americans residing in and visiting the Philippines, they help build bonds that unite and strengthen both our countries.”
U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Kim to succeed Philip Goldberg, who recently ended his three-year term as ambassador. The U.S. Senate confirmed Kim’s nomination last September.#