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1 OCTOBER 2009
OUTPOURING OF SYMPATHY FOR PHILIPPINES IN UNITED NATIONS
NEW YORK—There is an outpouring of sympathy for the Philippines in the United Nations as Manila continues to struggle to cope with the death and devastation unleashed by tropical storm Ondoy over the weekend.
The Philippine Mission to the United Nations said diplomats have been offering words of sympathy and solidarity to the Philippines in their statements before the 64th Session of the General Assembly and in their encounters with their Filipino counterparts.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was among the first to offer condolences when he met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert G. Romulo on Monday, according to Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
In that meeting, the Secretary General offered to rally international humanitarian assistance to allow the Philippines to sustain its relief efforts for the more than half a million people in Metro Manila and surrounding areas who were displaced by massive floods that also left at least 246 people dead and dozens more still missing.
Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said UN General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki also personally expressed words of sympathy when they chanced upon each other at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday.
Ambassador Davide said many diplomats expressed disbelief at the devastation caused by Ondoy, which submerged most of Metro Manila after dumping a month’s worth of rain in just a span of 12 hours.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), of which the Philippines is one of its 118 members, also expressed its sympathy and solidarity to the Philippine Government and to those affected by the tropical storm and triggering the worst floods in the capital in 40 years.
In a statement, Egypt, chair of the NAM Coordinating Bureau, also called on humanitarian and relief and assistance organizations and the international donor community “to promptly provide all the necessary support to the Philippines in their efforts to overcome the effects of the disaster and in delivering emergency humanitarian assistance.”
In its meeting at the United Nations today, Sudan, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, made up of 130 developing countries, including the Philippines, also expressed its concern over the humanitarian situation in Manila.
Ambassador Davide said that among UN Member States that expressed their sympathy to the Philippines are Austria, Canada, Cape Verde, Cuba, Estonia, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, South Korea, Spain and Timor Leste. ###
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