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17 JANUARY 2007
RP TO CONTINUE PARTICIPATION IN UN PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS
CLARK FIELD----The Philippines will continue its participation in expanding and enhancing peacekeeping operations in conflict areas around the globe.
Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane reiterated this assurance that was earlier given by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
In the ongoing two-week United Nations peacekeeping course in Clark Field, Pampanga, Ebdane informed the participants from 23 UN member-states that the Philippines is "looking forward to a larger (Philippine) peacekeeping presence in conflict areas worldwide."
Ebdane also announced that the Philippine government has finalized its revisions of the Policy Framework and Guidelines Governing Philippine Participation in UN peace operations.
The revisions include the creation of the Philippine Interagency Council for UN Peace operations chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs with the Department of National Defense and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as members.
He stressed the hosting by the Philippines of the UN logistics course is a concrete manifestation of Manila's firm commitment to multilateral peacekeeping, collective world security and the role of international law.
The Philippines is one of the top troop-contributing countries in Asia with more than 600 troops and police officers deployed in Afghanistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Georgia, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Timor Leste, and Sudan.
Also speaking during the opening ceremonies was Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for the Office of United Nations and other International Organizations Evan Garcia.
"As a founding member of the United Nations, the Philippines stands firm in the belief that peacekeeping continues to be a key and indispensable instrument for the maintenance, of world peace and security and that the UN plays a crucial and fundamental role in this regard," Garcia said.
He added that while the Philippines is keenly aware of its limited resources and its own preoccupation with development and nation-building, it remains deeply committed to participate and send peacekeeping troops to areas where it is critically needed.
"We are committed to ensure that the Philippines sends only highly qualified, skilled, professional and dedicated troops and police personnel to participate in UN peacekeeping operations," he noted.
Lt. Col. Rafael Barbieri, course director, said the UNLPC, which is being pilot tested in the Philippines, is intended to increase the capacity of Member-States to plan and manage the administrative and logistics aspects of their future involvement in UN peace operations.
Barbieri said the UNLPC program will cover the United Nations logistics procedures and the troop and police contributing countries internal procedures.
"The analysis of the internal procedures that major troop and police contributing countries are carrying out will contribute to enhance the peacekeeping community's logistics procedures and will help emerging troop and police contributing countries in setting up their national system," he said.
The course is being participated in by representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Korea, Kyrgyztan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Philippines is represented by officers from the Department of Foreign
Affairs, the Department of National Defense, the Department of Interior and
Local Governments, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine
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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