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04 SEPTEMBER 2008
RP SAYS UN MUST REMAIN IN FOREFRONT OF FIGHT VS INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
NEW YORK—The United Nations must remain in the lead in the fight against international terrorism by decisively facilitating international cooperation and coordination to address this global threat, the Philippines said today.
"The Philippines has consistently maintained that the UN must remain at the forefront in combating international terrorism," Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., said in the statement on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which he delivered before the UN General Assembly.
Ambassador Davide said UN agencies must now decisively facilitate international cooperation and coordination efforts by calling on Member-States to come out with measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; prevent and combat terrorism; build State capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and strengthen the role of the UN system; and ensure the respect for human rights for all, the Rule of Law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism.
"These tasks must create a seamless web of activities aimed at addressing international terrorism and maintaining the Rule of Law," Ambassador Davide said. "Needless to stress, the tasks are formidable and demand courage and political will."
"Even as we continue to cooperate and coordinate our efforts in the international arena in this regard, we must also maintain the requisite attention and vigilance within our borders to address the elements and conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; and to hold terrorism in check before it spreads its wickedness, violence, iniquity and immorality, and imposes a reign of fear, destruction and death," he said.
In implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Ambassador Davide said the Philippines formulated a comprehensive political, social and economic package for peace and security; a comprehensive legal package that brings terrorists to justice, plugs the loopholes in the legal system and ensures the protection of human rights; and a broad alliance for technical support, cooperation and preparedness.
"From the Philippines' experience, economic development, social justice, human rights protection and political and judicial reforms are powerful instruments against extremism and terrorism," Ambassador Davide said as he also cited the cooperation between the government and civil society in addressing these problems through interfaith and intercultural dialogue and understanding.
The ambassador also said that Philippine implementation of the global strategy was boosted by the enactment of the 2007 Human Security Act that defines and penalizes terrorism and the conspiracy to commit terrorism.
"The Act declares it to be the policy of the Philippines to protect life, liberty and property from acts of terrorism, to condemn terrorism as inimical and dangerous to the national security of the country and to the welfare of the people, and to make terrorism a crime against the Filipino people, against humanity and against the law of nations," he told the General Assembly.
Ambassador Davide also mentioned the continuing program of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of capacity building and technical training and preparedness in combating terrorism. He cited the long standing commitments on training on law enforcement, customs clearance and border control with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States and with the governments of the European Union.
He said the Philippines also spearheaded the creation of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation's Anti-Terrorism Task Force in a move to secure the Asia Pacific Region from terrorist acts.
According to him. the Philippines has also joined forces with the other ASEAN member states in adopting a Convention on Terrorism which calls for greater cooperation among ASEAN member States in combating all acts of terror.
"These counter-terrorism efforts in the bilateral and multilateral levels aim at securing the Philippines maritime borders, trade, aviation, remittances and cross-border financial transactions," he said. ###
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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