The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has conferred to a Filipino ambassador the highest award on diplomats in recognition of her contributions to promoting ties between the UAE and the Philippines, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Philippine Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana was awarded the Medal of Independence of the First Order from President Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a ceremony led by State Minister Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on December 21.
The DFA said the award was given in recognition of Quintana’s efforts and contributions in promoting closer relations between the Philippines and the UAE as well as in expanding bilateral cooperation to new fields of endeavor.
The DFA said UAE’s Ministry of State expressed its deep appreciation for Quintana’s wide-ranging efforts in building robust and dynamic relations between the Philippines and the UAE.
The ministry also cited the envoy’s contributions towards the Philippines’ strong presence at the World Expo Dubai—an event where the Philippines signed with the UAE a commitment to enter into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that is currently being negotiated.
In her four-year stint in UAE, Quintana advanced bilateral relations with the signing of agreements on consular cooperation, agriculture, investment protection and promotion, space cooperation, the DFA said.
She also started negotiations on artificial intelligence and advanced technology, oversaw bilateral meetings on combatting human trafficking and labor cooperation responsible for the resumption of Filipino household service workers’ deployment to the UAE, facilitated the opening of the Office Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché in Abu Dhabi, and established closer engagement with UAE’s defense conglomerate Edge, it added.
“My primary goal in bringing our two countries closer is for the two sides to discover the intrinsic value of collaborating towards a shared goal, a better life for the next generation of Filipinos and Emiratis alike,” Quintana said.
“I thank the leadership of the UAE for sharing this vision, shown in the support they have given and through this recognition,” the Filipino envoy added.