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

Philippine Statement
Permanent Representative
of the Philippines to the United Nations
General Debate of the First Committee
New York, 11 October 2007

Mr. Chairman,

The Philippines joins other delegations in congratulating you on your election as Chair. We also congratulate other members of your bureau on their well-deserved election.

The Philippines congratulates H.E. Mr. Sergio Duarte on his recent appointment as High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and expresses her appreciation for his statement, which outlines the current international security environment.

The Philippines associates itself with the statements delivered by the Permanent Representative of Indonesia on behalf of the member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement and the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Myanmar on behalf of the ASEAN.

The proliferation and the uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons pose a serious threat not only to peace and security but also to economic development and sustained growth. Developing countries are more vulnerable to the illicit trafficking of these weapons, which have fuelled and prolonged conflicts in various parts of the world, maiming and killing millions. Thus, the Philippines emphasizes the importance of the early and full implementation of the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The Philippines recognizes the role of civil society in addressing the issue of trafficking of these types of weapons through the various mechanisms designed to establish and promote a culture of peace. Faith communities and interfaith cooperation play an important role in implementing the Programme of Action. The Philippines continues to actively encourage these faith communities to call on their respective followers to extend their cooperation to help stem the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.

The world faces an even greater threat with the further development and improvement of certain types of weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear weapons must be eliminated for the survival of mankind and this can best be done through multilaterally agreed solutions in keeping with the UN Charter. Their removal from the arsenals of the nuclear weapon states would deter those countries that wish to acquire them and would also eliminate the chance that they would fall into the hands of non-state actors with the will to unleash such weapons upon civilian populations.

The paralysis that currently plagues the field of disarmament and non-proliferation must be seriously addressed. Member States must make every effort to move the process forward. The Philippines expressed its disappointment over the failure of the Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held in 2005. It is, therefore essential that the preparatory process for the 2010 NPT review conference, which recently begun, must now lead to a substantive and fruitful outcome.

The Philippines welcomes the Final Declaration of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty held in Vienna in September 2007 and calls on the few remaining States that have not yet ratified the treaty to do so at the soonest possible time.

Biological and chemical weapons are just as lethal as nuclear weapons and also equally pose a grave danger to mankind. Thus, the Philippines welcomes the successful outcome of the Sixth Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention.

Recently, and in this same conference room, was held a High Level Meeting on the Tenth Anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The obligation of States Parties to the Convention to destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles was stressed. The Philippines joins the call for States to meet the deadlines as extended by the Conference of States Parties. The Philippines also calls on those few remaining States not party to the CWC to sign and ratify the Convention without delay.

The establishment of nuclear-weapon free zones and the respect accorded to them by the Nuclear Weapon States enhance and promote international peace and security. My delegation reiterates the invitation to the Nuclear Weapon States to adhere to these various zones including the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone by signing the protocol of the SEANWFZ Treaty. My delegation welcomes in particular the willingness of the People’s Republic of China to sign the protocol.

The Philippines is encouraged by the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula, particularly the 3 October 2007 agreement on the second-phase action under the 2005 Joint Statement. My country hopes that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the other participants to the Six Party Talks will continue to build on the positive momentum they have developed and we look forward to the day that we will see a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Chairman,

The Philippines supports the convening of a Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament and would like to see the reconvening of the Open Ended Working Group to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory committee for SSOD IV.

In closing, I would like to stress the importance of achieving success in our work. This can only be attained if we work together through revived multilateral processes. Finally, my delegation would like to assure you Mr. Chairman of our complete support and cooperation in the discharge of your important responsibility.

Thank you.

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