ASEAN Centre in MGIMO-University the MFA of Russia


President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte Conferred MGIMO Honorary Doctorate

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte Conferred MGIMO Honorary Doctorate


On October 5th the University hosted a solemn ceremony of granting President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte an Honorary Doctorate degree. The President met with the University administration and Russian MFA officials, gave a lecture to students and professors, visited the exhibition of Russian artists entitled "To the Islands of Sampaguita".

Among the Russian officials present during the meeting were Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, Vice-Rector Artem Malgin, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev, Director of the Third Asian Department at Russian MFA Nikolay Nozdrev, Director of MGIMO ASEAN Centre Viktor Sumsky. The solemn ceremony also gathered such honorable guests as Ambassador of the Philippines to Russia Carlos Sorreta, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Russia Thanatip Upatising, Ambassador of Malaysia to Russia Datuk Mat Dris Haji Yaacob, Ambassador of Brunei to Russia Haini Hashim, Ambassador of Myanmar to Russia Ko Ko Shein.

Having announced the decision of the Academic Board of the University to grant a honorary doctorate degree to Rodrigo Duterte, Vice-Rector Artem Malgin offered a graduation gown and a certificate to the President and gave him the floor for a traditional doctorate lecture.

Rodrigo Duterte started his speech by saying that "Russia has a special place in my heart. It’s a great honor for me to speak here today before the future leaders of Russia». The President believes that Russia as well as the Philippines has always been fighting for the right to exist and for its independence. This is what brings our peoples together. The President also talked about security issues, stressing the importance of multilateral cooperation in countering international terrorism and transnational crime.

Speaking about globalisation and mutual understanding between peoples, Rodrigo Duterte noted: "Today, at the time of many challenges, it is important  to soften the border between “self” and “other” and to see a part of “self” in the “other" and vice versa.

As is tradition, the doctorate lecture was followed by Q&A session. The students asked about President’s opinion on the settlement in South-China sea, the cooperation between Russia and the Philippines in countering international terrorism, the fight against drug trafficking, social life in the Philippines and whether the citizens of this country are interested in learning the Russian language.

Rodrigo Duterte’s speech became a preface to an open course "ASEAN Academic Days", which will be held on October 7th-23d in MGIMO. The lectures will be delivered by prominent professors and experts from the South-East Asia.