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16 NOVEMBER 2010
PH bats for balanced counter-terrorism approach; more responsible travel advisories at UN Security Council meeting
14 November 2010 New York - The Philippines strongly urged members of the United Nations Security Council to take a "balanced" approach in the international campaign against terrorism and called on governments to "exercise due care and diligence" in issuing travel advisories, particularly those that relate to "possible terrorist attacks."
In his statement during the Security Council meeting here Monday, Philippine Deputy Permanent Representative Carlos D. Sorreta underscored the need to take on a holistic approach in addressing terrorism, pointing out that for counter terrorism strategies to be effective, "they must be comprehensive and must be addressed by a combination of hard and soft approaches."
Deputy Permanent Representative (DPR) Sorreta said that balance must also be achieved in the issuance of travel advisories.
"Travel advisories are taken very seriously. Once issued, travel issues cannot be taken back," DPR Sorreta said during the statement, adding" While the Philippines recognizes the responsibility of States to protect their citizens, we believe Governments must exercise due care and diligence in issuing travel advisories."
DPR Sorreta stressed, "advisories affect not just traveling citizens but also the lifeline and the economy of a country that is the subject of a travel advisory."
DPR Sorreta explained that in travel advisories, "Governments must clearly distinguish between threats posed by ordinary criminal elements and those by terrorists, two very distinct categories."
In one of the Philippine Permanent Mission's strongest statements yet on the subject, DPR Sorreta said during his speech that when a travel advisory cannot distinguish between the two (ordinary criminals and terrorists), the advisory is "a diservice to the country issuing it and the country that is subject to it."
The Philippines was recently the subject of travel advisories from the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia warning against travel to the country after an alleged “cargo bomb" against the United States were foiled on Friday last week.
The Philippines has sought clarification from the concerned Governments regarding the issued travel advisories.
In a separate statement, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Libran N. Cabactulan said, it is important for the Philippines to express its position with the Security Council, especially when the body was discussing items relating to counter-terrorism.
The Philippines has raised the issue of travel advisories in the ASEAN Summit and its related meetings and the APEC. Today, we raised this to the UN Security Council.
"The Security Council has the primary responsibility under the UN Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is the most appropriate venue to discuss ways forward in the collective fight against terrorism and to express concerns at how the international community is addressing terrorism, including travel advisories," said Permanent Representative (PR) Cabactulan.
The Security Council is made up of five permanent members - China, France, the Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States and 10 non-permanent members on rotation. This year, these are: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Uganda. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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