DESPITE the resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the Philippines’ drug war, Manila on Thursday renewed its commitment to the United Nations Charter saying its active participation in the organization remains an “indispensable part” of its foreign policy.
“We the Philippines reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations’ founding principles and of course its continuing and growing relevance and importance in a world that is marked by rapid shifts, changes, and increasingly complex challenges,” DFA Undersecretary Enrique Manalo said in a speech during the 74th UN Day celebrations.
“Our active participation in the United Nations has always been and shall always be an indispensable part of Philippine foreign policy,” he said.
The Philippines, Manalo said is committed to promoting inclusive education, maintaining world peace as well as protecting human rights.
Recognizing that the menace of illegal drugs is a social illness that breeds corruption and tears apart the fabric of the society as well as debasing human dignity, the Philippines is adopting a holistic and comprehensive approach in its anti-illegal drugs campaign,” the Undersecretary stressed.
He said Manila has a wide-ranging method in addressing the drug problem through supply reduction, law enforcement, prosecution, and rehabilitation.
“The Philippines has domestic mechanisms in place to safeguard and ensure accountability especially in the anti-illegal drugs campaign,” he explained.
It can be recalled that the UNHRC has adopted a resolution that seeks to review the country’s human rights situation over its drug war.
Manalo said does not view the adoption as “helpful”.
“We don’t think that the resolution was really very helpful but that’s just another issue. All I want to say is that the Philippines is very much an active participant of the UNHRC, we have contributed very much to human rights, we are a signatory to numerous UN human rights declarations and treaties,” he noted.
Manalo said that the Philippines remains one of the few countries in the world with a Magna Carta for Women, a comprehensive human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women, adding Manila’s commitment to ensuring gender equality also extends to UN peacekeeping.
“As of October this year, 10 of the 19 Philippine peacekeepers in six UN peacekeeping operations are women. The 10 deployed female peacekeepers translate to about 53 percent of our total Philippine troops deployed, which is higher than the UN’s 16 percent target deployment for women peacekeepers,” he shared.
On the goal of attaining inclusive education, he reported that the Philippines also achieved a “near-universal primary enrollment rate” or 90 percent in 2017.
“This year, even more Filipinos received basic education with over 27 million enrolled. Over 600,000 out-of-school youth and adult learners benefitted from the alternative learning system and tuition is free in state-run colleges, universities as well as technical-vocational institutions,” he said.
The Philippines is also working to deliver the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) or the 17 global goals set by the international organization for the year 2030 through its Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.
“The plan serves as the main mechanism of SDG implementation in the Philippines,” Manalo said.