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24 JULY 2008
G77 TAPS RP DIPLOMAT TO COORDINATE ECOSOC RESOLUTION
NEW YORK—The Group of 77 and China has tapped a Filipino diplomat to act as coordinator for an important resolution that would allow the United Nations to continue extending training to diplomats, especially those from developing and least developed countries.
Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, informed Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo that Second Secretary Jimmy D. Blas was given the responsibility to help ensure the adoption of the resolution by Ambassador John W. Ashe, Chairman of the Group of 77 and China.
Mr. Jimmy D. Blas
Ambassador Davide said that as the Coordinator for the Group of 77 and China, Blas will be the point person for the draft resolution on the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) that will be submitted for adoption by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) during its substantive session this month.
"The focus of the resolution is the sustainability of the core diplomatic training accorded to diplomats of the member-states of the United Nations, in particular those representing developing and the least developed countries," Ambassador Davide said. "There is a progressive increase in the demand for training and capacity development on multilateral affairs and aggressive fund-raising activities must be adopted to enable UNITAR to carry out its mandate of training and research."
Underscoring the importance of the resolution, Ambassador Davide said that each and every new diplomat in a multilateral setting has benefited from the orientation courses offered by UNITAR. These include orientation courses on the United Nations system; briefings; and workshops on the drafting of UN resolutions; negotiation and mediation; multilateral conference diplomacy; chairing of international conferences; effective interventions; and public speaking and presentation skills.
As UNITAR relies on the voluntary contributions of member-states to carry out its activities, Ambassador Davide said the decline in contributions for core diplomatic training has raised the possibility of cessation of service by UNITAR with the negative consequences for all diplomats, in particular the developing and least developed countries.
Last year, member-states agreed to broaden UNITAR's donor base to ensure a more predictable and adequate support for its activities. In his report to the ECOSOC, the Secretary General recommended that an annual subvention of $600,000, representing half of the costs for such training, be granted to UNITAR, to cover costs relating to it. ###
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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