MANILA The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), 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 celebration in Taguig City Thursday night.
"Our active participation in the United Nations has always been and shall always be an indispensable part of Philippine foreign policy," he added.
Manalo said Manila is committed to promoting inclusive education, maintaining world peace as well as protecting human rights even as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) seeks to review the country's human rights situation over its anti-illegal drugs campaign.
"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," Manalo said.
Speaking before representatives of the Philippine government and members of the diplomatic corps, he said Manila taps 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 added.
Although Manalo did not expound on the UNHRC resolution, he said does not view the adoption as helpful.
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 said.
Manalo said 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 said.
On the goal of attaining inclusive education, he said 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.
Attaining the SDGs
Meanwhile, the Philippines is working to achieving 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.
The PDP 2017-2022 is geared toward implementing the Ambisyon 2040, the country's collective long-term vision of a strongly-rooted comfortable and secure life for Filipinos.
According to a joint press statement by the DFA and the UN, the Philippines has shown progress in achieving the global goals based on the report of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
On decent work and economic growth or SDG 8, it recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of over 6 percent as well as the lowest national unemployment rate in almost 15 years.
The Green Jobs Act further promoted decent jobs that are environment-friendly, protect the ecosystem and biodiversity, and reduce waste generation and pollution, it said.
The DFA also cited a "significant growth rate" in the household income per capita of the bottom 40 percent of the population as well as the initiatives that resulted to the Bangsamoro Organic Law, supporting SDGs 10 (reducing inequalities) and 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions), respectively. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency