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17 MAY 2007
PHILIPPINES NO. 4 IN UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ELECTION
NEW YORK –The Philippines proved critics of its human rights record wrong when it landed in the top five in today’s race for 14 seats in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said that Manila’s fourth place finish demonstrates the international community’s continued confidence in Manila’s commitment to uphold, protect and promote human rights.
Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the Philippines received 179 votes or 43 more votes than it had during last year’s elections. India topped the elections with 185 votes followed by Indonesia and Madagascar with 182 votes each.
“The reelection of the Philippines to the United Nations Human Rights Council is a vindication for the Philippines and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,” Ambassador Davide said, referring to the campaign launched by non-government organizations to frustrate the Philippines’ reelection bid because of alleged human rights abuses.
This was the Philippines’ first election victory under the watch of Ambassador Davide who assumed as Permanent Representative only three months ago. This reelection follows Manila’s successful one-year term as member of the 47-member Council. With the reelection, the Philippines will serve another three-year term until 2010.
In Manila, Secretary Romulo welcomed confirmation of the Philippines’ election to the Council and thanked the country’s partners in the community of nations for their “overwhelming support.”
“Our reelection to the Council is a clear vote of confidence for the Philippines and President Arroyo’s efforts to move further forward the global agenda of upholding and protecting human rights,” Romulo said.
“With this fresh mandate, the Philippines has been given another opportunity to strengthen further its advocacy in key human rights areas,” Romulo added. “This fresh mandate likewise underscores the success of our Foreign Service Posts in harnessing and sustaining global support for Philippine initiatives in the United Nations.”
Secretary Romulo cited in particular the efforts of Ambassador Davide and Ambassador Enrique Manalo, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
In its reelection candidature, the Philippines indicated voluntary commitments that include strengthened resolve to address politically-motivated killings of media members and activists, sustained leadership in promoting interfaith dialogue, continued advocacy of the rights of migrant workers and commitment to making the Council a more efficient and effective organization.
Aside from the Philippines, India, Indonesia and Madagascar, the other member-states that were elected to the Council are Qatar, Italy, Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Nicaragua, Bolivia, South Africa, Angola and Egypt.
The Human Rights Council was created by the 191-nation UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the adoption of Resolution No. 60/251.END
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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