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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
Allow me, at the outset, to convey once more the Philippines’ congratulations on your assumption of the Presidency of our General Assembly at its 64 th session. I am confident that with your gift of understanding and wisdom and the wealth of your experience in multilateral diplomacy, you would breathe fresh and invigorating air in the work of this most representative parliament of nations, and crown your stewardship with victories.
The Philippines also congratulates the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on the work of the Organization. The report is, no doubt, a product of the mind, heart and soul of a man who wants nothing but a United Nations that can truly fulfill its vision and mission in these challenging times. The report deserves careful consideration not only here at the seat of the United Nations, but also at our respective capitals. His account of the state of the world and how the United Nations grappled with trans-boundary challenges illustrate the need for both collective resolve and action of the entire UN membership.
In this regard, the Philippines fully aligns itself with the Statement delivered by Permanent Representative of Thailand on behalf of the ASEAN. Nonetheless, it wishes to stress a few points.
My delegation supports the general principles enunciated in the Secretary-General’s recommendations for a new multilateralism, and his conclusions in forging an effective way forward with the UN at the hub of his call for a new multilateralism.
This new multilateralism calls for priority to be accorded to transboundary challenges such as climate change, economic growth, food security, global health, disarmament and non-proliferation, and the fight against terrorism.
However, prioritization without a time-bound scope of work could lead to an interminable debate. For example, the tendency to look beyond the high-level climate change meeting in Copenhagen this coming December reveals possible indecisiveness at reaching concrete agreements in Copenhagen. Copenhagen must be a defining moment on climate change with the results of the Climate Change Summit convened by the Secretary General last 22 September in mind. Only residual issues or issues on the modalities of implementation of agreed courses of action to be reached in Copenhagen should be remitted to the next year’s climate change event in Mexico City.
In the field of financing for development, the United Nations will organize next year the fourth high-level follow-up conference on the Monterrey Consensus. Parallel and marginal issues should not obscure the very purpose of the Monterey Consensus, that is, the allocation of at least 0.7 percent of GNP by the developed countries for official development assistance to the poor countries. Very few of these countries have succeeded in meeting this target. This forthcoming conference should explore how most of the developed countries could meet their ODA commitment under the Moneterrey Consensus in a timely manner.
On food security, there is a need to expand the horizon of multilateral cooperation from the traditional supply and demand dimensions to include the futures market dealing with commodity trading in general as this market has the capacity to distort food security due to sheer commercial greed. There should, therefore, be a specific timeframe to consider how futures market can be mainstreamed in the food security planning process.
Global health is another crucial area for global cooperation. The rapid manner by which nations, international organizations and the peoples of the world responded to such pandemics as the recent swine flu (H1N1) is indeed inspiring. However, actions in this regard have dealt mostly with post-outbreak measures. Of equal importance are pre-emptive or preventive measures and this dimension of work should also be time-bound through a reporting system monitored at the multilateral level.
Nuclear Disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation deal with broad, highly politicized and sensitive concerns, which are nonetheless crucial in ensuring a sense of security for the world as a whole. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which meets every five years, stands out in the firmament of the disarmament regime. The 2010 NPT Review Conference under the Philippine Presidency will meet next year after a long hibernation period characterized by lack of progress in the accomplishment of its goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Nonetheless, there are positive indicators that augur well for a successful 2010 NPT Review Conference. While consensus on moving the NPT process forward is anticipated, every effort should likewise be exerted to qualify, wherever possible, areas of convergences through timeframes of implementation.
The fight against terrorism, a detestable scourge at the national, regional and international levels, has increased in intensity worldwide and international cooperation in this regard deserves to be sustained. To enhance the effectiveness of this global campaign, there should be an agreed time-bound element in terms of putting into force legislative measures and regulatory measures at the national level in the combat against terrorism.
The agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is the best model of a time-bound international cooperation that sets forth 15 years as a specific target in the realization of the eight MDGs. Accomplishment of the targets is easily measurable and monitored. Unless the United Nations specify timeframes or timetables for the accomplishment of agreed courses of action, we will be hampered from delivering global public goods, particularly to the most vulnerable of our peoples in a timely fashion.
The Philippines submits that specifying time frames is a very effective way of re-engineering the United Nations, and should be at the core of a new multilateralism. Otherwise, it may be lost in the sound and fury of rhetorics.
Finally, Mr. President, let me put on record the profound gratitude of the Philippines to the Member States which have expressed condolences, sympathies and compassion to the victims of the typhoon Ketsana which have caused death and devastation to the Philippines.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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