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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
H.E. Bayani S. Mercado
Deputy Permanent Representative of the
Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations

43rd Session of the Commission for Social Development
on the occasion of the
Tenth year review of the World Summit for Social Development

9-18 March 2005

Mr. Chairman,

Along with the other speakers, I wish to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Chair and the bureau for their vibrant leadership in the preparations for and discussions in this meeting. My delegation continues to hope that the re-commitment to the core principles and strategies for social development will reverberate into tangible results -- nationally and internationally-- at the soonest.

Mr. Chairman,

At this juncture, we have heralded so many times that genuine development is a people-centered development. This can mean no less than effective cohesion between economic and social policies which, for the Philippines, translates to the pursuit of pro-poor growth. Over the period 2001-2004, we have more aggressively implemented policies to address the most critical threats to macroeconomic stability and social development. Even while external and structural challenges are present, we continue to work towards durable peace and a stable economic foundation as we pursue development within the overall framework of strengthening human capital by improving basic social services, enhancing participation of all, particularly the vulnerable, and improving governance. These elements, in essence, form the framework of the Philippines’ anti-poverty efforts. At the international level, we hope that, through these efforts, we can do our share in achieving the goals of the Millennium Summit, primarily in halving the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015.

Mr. Chairman,

In order to truly achieve a “society for all”, we believe that not only do we need to recognize the rights of different sectors of society, but we also need to empower them as an essential requirement. Enabling them to be productive members of the community through the promotion and facilitation of employment will render them as active drivers of their own development. The Philippines has pursued social integration of the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups by ensuring that policies are complemented with the necessary programs and projects. Our interventions continue to be guided by following approaches: the strategic participation of local government units; integrated delivery of basic social services; targeting of the depressed areas; the strengthening of cooperation with civil society; and the emphasis on the family as the center of social development. The youth comprise a considerable percentage of the Philippine population so that a great part of socio-economic programs are aimed both at protecting their rights and providing them with the environment and capacity to participate productively in society.

The movement of people, as a driver and result of globalization, behooves us to give a particularly strong focus on the value of migration in development based on the effective recognition and protection of the human rights of migrants. In this respect, true promotion of social integration should include paying attention to the human side of migrants, rather than merely looking at them as a faceless phenomenon.

Mr. Chairman,

The reality of resources is a challenge that we continue to face. As we recommit ourselves to the goals of the Summit, we recognize that we would need to be more creative in mobilizing the needed resources. The Philippines continues to seriously strive towards the 20/20 Initiative, reflecting our sincere aspiration to achieve social development goals. We ensure that basic social services are given the necessary support, even while pressures requiring increased fiscal prudence presently challenge us. We therefore call on the international community to revisit this Initiative and to explore new instruments and means of mobilizing resources if only to make certain that we meet our targets before 2015. Relatedly, we urge all concerned bodies, in the context of all types of development assistance, to put social development in the center of all their strategies.

Mr. Chairman,

The different plans and programs of action that we have successfully established for the different sectors of society provide us with the strategic approach to ensuring that the rights of all people are realized and that everyone can participate in the development process. However, only through a comprehensive approach to the issue of development that seamlessly synthesizes the economic and social dimensions can we ever hope to have something that works for people’s lives and well being.

I thank you.

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