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28 SEPTEMBER 2009
ROMULO URGES UN MEMBER STATES: LET’S CONTINUE WORKING
TOGETHER TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO CONFLICTS AND CRISES
NEW YORK—Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo has urged Member States of the United Nations to continue working together to find meaningful solutions to the conflict and crises confronting the world today.
“We stand on the cusp of history. It is in our hands, here in the United Nations, to shape these changes and trends so that we will leave to succeeding generations a lasting legacy of a world of greater justice, compassion, and well-being,” Secretary Romulo told the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Speaking mostly in Spanish, Secretary Romulo said that although there are signs of global recovery, the international community could not afford to be complacent nor return to business as usual. “Our drive for enhancing global development has clearly slowed, while the challenges to peace remain starkly before us,” he said.
In his statement, Secretary Romulo outlined five priority areas that the Philippines wants the United Nations to give focus to during the 64th Session of the General Assembly: nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation; the global financial crisis; interfaith and intercivilizational dialogue; migration; and climate change.
“Nuclear weapons and their technology are a threat to international peace and security, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is our central mechanism to contain and eventually eliminate this threat, Secretary Romulo said, adding that the May 2010 NPT Review Conference, to be presided over by the Philippines, provides the next opportunity for the world to act in a concerted manner.
Saying the global financial and economic crisis is placing intolerable strain on the poorest of the poor, Secretary Romulo called on the international community to exert more efforts to manage the crisis by encouraging equitable recovery, fairer globalization and faster poverty alleviation.
“We cannot ignore the impact of the global crisis elsewhere in our interdependent world. The Philippines thus joins other nations in this General Assembly in calling for a united effort in the United Nations to act for the common good of all our peoples,” he pointed out.
”We reiterate our call on all countries to resist protectionism, in order to expand trade and investment flows, and on developed nations to maintain their ODA (official development assistance) commitments,” Secretary Romulo said.
“The voice of the developing world must now be fully heard in reforming international financial and development institutions in order to forge a more equitable and stable global economic system and thus avoid future crises.”
Secretary Romulo pointed out that among the groups most adversely affected by the crisis are global migrants who include the more than 8 million Filipinos overseas.
“The international community has a shared responsibility, to ensure their protection, taking into full account the special vulnerabilities of the gender and family dimensions of the issue,” he said, as he urged all nations to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and to avoid unfair restrictions and treatment of migrants.
Secretary Romulo said Member States must also carry forward the momentum brought about the Summit on Climate Changte into the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the road to Copenhagen this December.
“The world expects nothing less from us,” he said as he reiterated the Philippine call for the concerned developed countries to present their firm greenhouse gas emission targets and to assist developing countries mitigate and adapt to worsening climate change by fulfilling their UNFCCC obligations to provide technological and financial support.
Secretary Romulo said the international community must also focus on the urgent need to reduce tension and conflict fueled by perceived differences in religion, faith and civilization. “If left unattended, such conflict can fester, causing greater tension and untold human suffering and violence, which extremists can exploit,” he said.
According to him, the urgency of this matter has prompted the Philippines and many partner nations and organizations to promote greater interfaith dialogue, within the United Nations system as well as on regional and national levels. “By building bridges of understanding, this global advocacy enhances peace and development,” he pointed out.
”The Philippines is deeply honored to assist and cooperate with all nations in the task of building a future where peace and prosperity reign unceasingly for the benefit of all mankind,” he said. ###
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