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Philippine Statement
Delivered by
Ms. Marie Yvette Banzon
Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations

Informal consultations of the General Assembly
on the System-wide Coherence Panel's
Recommendations on Human Rights as a cross-cutting theme

24 July 2007

Excellencies, distinguished Co-Chairs,

The Philippines associates itself with the statement delivered by Cuba on behalf of the G77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement.

My delegation is grateful for this opportunity to participate in these discussions on the United Nation’s work on human rights in the context of the system-wide coherence discourse. We thank you for this opportunity to express appreciation for the continuing efforts to enhance the implementation of responsibilities in the field of human rights within the UN system.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Indeed, while the recommendations can be lauded for the common objective to strengthen the human rights responsibilities of the UN country presence, the Office of the High Commissioner as focal point in the Secretariat and to improve the mainstreaming of human rights among all UN agencies and programs, my delegation would be interested to know more about the practical terms by which these would be executed. In this respect, for us, what remains to be the most important measure of the effectiveness of these entities’ work would be the extent to which their programs, activities and policy guidance support and enhance the work of governments in pursuing the development and human rights goals for their peoples, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

We are particularly interested in the recommendation to strengthen the role of UN country teams to support countries in their efforts to protect and promote human rights. As the report rightly put in context, the role of the UN’s country presence is assist countries’ efforts. This assistance is normally carried out within a framework of cooperation that is mutually drawn up and approved based on a set of national and local priorities identified by the government. It is therefore important that the UN country presence does not veer away from its role of supporting government efforts and initiatives and that it should engage in a spirit of genuine dialogue and cooperation. We also believe that the work of the UN, particularly the country teams, will only be effective when they remain driven and work in harmony with the priorities and ongoing efforts by government, including in the area of human rights.

We would therefore welcome further ideas on how to improve the UN country teams’ work, including on human rights, in the context of strengthening its supporting and assisting role to the governments.

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