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19 APRIL 2010
ROMULO CITES LONG-STANDING PHILIPPINE COMMITMENT TO CAUSE OF NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT & NON-PROLIFERATION
NEW YORK— As a country that has been committed to the cause of nuclear disarmament since the creation of the United Nations, the Philippines today called on the international community to redouble its efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Recalling the nuclear disarmament advocacy of General Carlos P. Romulo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo told the United Nations General Assembly that the Philippines was among the first to call for a world free from nuclear weapons. “General Romulo was a witness to some momentous events, but he would die never having seen his lifelong dream of a world free from nuclear weapons come true,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo recalled before the General Assembly on Monday where he reiterated the commitment to nuclear disarmament his uncle made on behalf of the Philippines in the early days of the world body. In his remarks, Secretary Romulo said that at the commemoration in San Francisco of the 40th year of the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1985, General Carlos P. Romulo summed up the difficult, early challenge faced by those committed to nuclear disarmament. “The ink was obsolete before it was dry,” General Romulo, one of the original signatories of the Charter and the fourth President of the General Assembly, said of the document he signed barely three weeks before the atomic bomb changed the world forever. Almost 65 years after General Romulo signed the United Nations Charter, the Philippines will try to make a difference by seeking to advance the stalled nuclear disarmament agenda in next month’s Review Conference of the State-Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) here in New York. Taking the lead is his nephew Alberto, who will head the Philippine Delegation to the review conference that will be chaired by a career diplomat who served under him, Libran Cabactulan, now the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
“More than at any time in history, I believe that today there is more hope and good reason to dream of a world free from nuclear weapons. I believe we are at a crucial turning point,” Secretary Romulo told diplomats taking part in the thematic debate on “Disarmament and World Security: Challenges for the International Community and the role of the United Nations.” “The current global climate presents the best opportunity to make progress in the field of nuclear disarmament,” Secretary Romulo said, citing recent positive developments such as the recent signing by the United States and Russia of the START Treaty that could help the Philippines ensure a successful outcome of the NPT Review Conference.
In his speech, Secretary Romulo said the review conference, which will be held from 3 to 30 May, presents the international community with a new and unprecedented opportunity to make genuine progress on the issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. “The Philippines is hopeful that the review conference will have the full support and cooperation of all State Parties, indispensible to ensure the conference its success,” he said, adding that the Philippines will lead in an open, inclusive, and transparent manner. “One delegation will not be favored over another and equal importance will be accorded to all States Parties and their positions,” Secretary Romulo said, pointing out that wide consultations have been held with delegations and stakeholders in Geneva, Vienna, New York and other venues. “Delegations must come to New York in May prepared to extend maximum flexibility in the negotiations—every delegation fully appreciating and understanding each delegation’s position,” he told diplomats. “This is the only way to make progress, to agree on the substantive issues, and to finally come to a conclusion beneficial and for the good of all humanity.” “With the rare opportunity that lies before us in the United Nations, and with greater hope in our hearts, it is now up to us to work together to fulfill all our dreams of a world at peace – of a world free from nuclear weapons,” he said.
“Our world faces many challenges in the field of disarmament and world security, but I have no doubt the indomitable spirit of man and his ability to rise and overcome challenges will prevail,” the Secretary added.###
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