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19 NOVEMBER 2012
On the occasion of the Manila Declaration’s 30 th anniversary:
UN special stamps sheets, Panel Discussion by American Branch of International Law Association and approval by UN Sixth Committee highlight commemorative events
Above: Distinguished International Law expert and Columbia University Law School adjunct Professor Roy S. Lee provides a backgrounder on the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes during the panel discussion held at the International Law Weekend organized by the American Branch of International Law in New York. Below: Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Libran N. Cabactulan joins Prof. Lee and other members of the panel Legal Adviser of the Ghana Ministry of Foreign Affairs and African Union Commission on International Law member Ebenezer Aprekku (center) and Legal Adviser of the United States Mission to the United Nations Mark Simonoff (far right). END
19 November 2012 New York, New York The thirtieth anniversary of the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes was commemorated meaningfully here by events that highlighted the Declaration’s importance to the United Nations as well as the international legal community.
The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) rolled out a special stamp sheet on the Manila Declaration’s 30 th anniversary on 14 November 2012, exactly 30 years after the instrument was adopted by the General Assembly in 1982. The stamp sheet features an illustration designed by San Francisco-based and Emmy-nominated graphic designer Zaldy Serrano that draws from the tricolors of the Philippine flag and the Philippines’ commitment to global peace.
The special stamp sheet likewise featured quotes on the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes as well as of the Manila Declaration from the President of the General Assembly Vuk Jeremic, the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario.
The Manila Declaration also features photographs of the Philippines’ contributions to the peaceful settlement of disputes throughout its membership in the United Nations, including the holding of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations meeting in Manila in 1980, the Philippines’ Presidency in the Security Council, the Philippines’ involvement in the United Nations peacekeeping missions and the Philippines’ successful presidency of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
Produced by the UNPA and conceptualized together with the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations, the special stamp sheet will be available for purchase from the UN Postal Centers.
Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Libran N. Cabactulan said that the special stamp sheet was an “innovative way of raising public awareness on the Manila Declaration.”
“Pursuant to the Official Statement of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario, the Philippine Mission has been working very hard to raise public awareness on the Manila Declaration through as many venues as we can at the United Nations and in New York City, with special attention to the legal community,” said Ambassador Cabactulan.
The roll out came as the United Nations’ Sixth Committee (Legal) adopted by consensus last week the draft resolution on the commemoration of the Manila Declaration’s thirtieth anniversary. With this action, the draft resolution is scheduled to be considered by the General Assembly in December this year.
“This move by the Sixth Committee, building on the recommendation of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations, moves us closer to the adoption by the General Assembly. We thank our partners in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as well as other regional organizations for throwing their full support to this initiative which includes an exhortation to all Member States to live by the principles contained in the Declaration,” said Ambassador Cabactulan.
“The Philippines’ initiative comes at a most opportune time. The President of the General Assembly Vuk Jeremic has chosen “bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means” as the overarching theme for this session. The commemoration of the Manila Declaration is an occasion to reaffirm our commitment to the Declaration’s principles,” said Ambassador Cabactulan.
NAM spoke strongly in support of the Philippine initiative to commemorate the Manila Declaration throughout the meetings held to consider the Philippine proposal.
Chile, on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) reiterated the importance of the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means and thanked the Philippines for its initiative that drew “prominent consideration” on the question of the peaceful settlement of disputes.
CELAC said that it “supports the adoption by the General Assembly of the draft commemorative resolution recommended by the Special Committee, and recalls –as recognized by delegations at the Special Committee- that the Charter of the United Nations provides the basic framework of the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means. It is also important to take into account the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.”
Finally, in the run-up to the November 14 anniversary, the American Branch of International Law (ABILA) held a panel discussion on the Manila Declaration on International Disputes and its modern day applicability.
Held at the Fordham University Law School at the Lincoln Center Complex during the International Law Weekend from October 25-27, the panel discussion featured Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Libran N. Cabactulan, United States Mission to the United Nations Legal Adviser Mark Simonoff and Ghana’s Legal Advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Member of the African Union Commission on International Law, The Honorable Ebenezer Aprekku. Moderator was international law expert and distinguished professor at Columbia Law School Roy S. Lee. END
Robert E.A. Borje
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