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16 OCTOBER 2008
RP CALLS FOR PROGRESS IN UN DISARMAMENT COMMITTEE
NEW YORK—The Philippines echoed its call for progress in international disarmament efforts, especially in curbing the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons, as the United Nations again tackles the issue during the 63 rd Session of the General Assembly.
In his statement during the recent general debate of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the General Assembly, Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative, joined other Member-States in urging the international community to move the disarmament agenda forward.
Speaking before members of the committee, Ambassador Davide underscored the importance the Philippines places on the efforts of the United Nations to curb the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.
“The Philippines’ main concern remains to be the proliferation and the uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons or SALWs,” Ambassador Davide said, adding that SALWs are easily acquired and easily transported and smuggled because of their small size, and are easily used with minimum training.
“Given their mass spread and proliferation, SALWs have killed and maimed a great number of combatants and innocent civilians alike,” he said.
In his statement, Ambassador Davide also called for the elimination of nuclear weapons and support for international agreements that promote peace and nuclear non-proliferation such as the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” (NPT) and the “Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty” (CTBT).
The Philippines is a state party to both international agreements which form the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, said Ambassador Davide, adding that the country is a major contributor to both, specifically the CTBT.
“The Philippines is proud to be a contributor to the CTBT with its hosting of three facilities that form part of the International Monitoring System,” Ambassador Davide said as he cited the seismological monitoring stations in Davao and Tagaytay and the radionuclide station in Quezon City.
“The International Monitoring System created by the CTBT, aside from being able to detect nuclear explosions given its 337 facilities all over the world, also has civilian uses such as tsunami warning,” the envoy pointed out.
Ambassador Davide also cited Philippine support for the Landmine Treaty and the Cluster Munitions Treaty that was negotiated in Dublin in May this year. “Landmines and cluster munitions have an adverse impact on civilian populations since many of them are left unexploded long after a conflict has ended and they victimize innocent civilians including children.”
“The Philippines as one of the largest contributors of Peacekeepers to the United Nations would like to see the elimination of these types of weapons since they could end up harming our troops while they are serving abroad carrying out the mandate of the 192-member United Nations,” he added.
In ending his statement, Ambassador Davide urged the Member States of the world body to show the political will necessary so that progress can be achieved in the complex field of disarmament and where progress means the promotion of peace for all nations.###
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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