Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo presents the coffee table book on “The Seeds of Peace: The Philippines and United Nations Peace Operations, 1962-2021” to Fourth Committee Chair Ambassador Egriselda López of El Salvador (with Minister Counsellor Liliana Baños Müller), together with Philippine Mission officials (L-R) LtCol. Noel G. Pataray (Assistant Military Adviser), Minister Angelito A. Nayan (Fourth Committee Vice Chair), Col. Randy G. Bance (Military Adviser) and Atty. Rowel G. Garcia (Adviser).
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 11 November 2021 – Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly concluded its programme of work on 11 November 2021, adopting 34 resolutions and three decisions, after a month-long session under extraordinary circumstances.
The Philippines, represented by Minister Angelito Nayan, served as Vice Chair for the main part of the 76th Session, together with Vice Chairs from Liechtenstein and Slovakia. Ambassador Egriselda Aracely González López, Permanent Representative of El Salvador, served as the Committee Chair.
Minister Nayan chaired the Committee’s joint General Debate on 07, 20 and 27 October 2021, and actively participated in the Bureau’s discussions on the Committee’s programme of work.
During the Committee’s joint General Debate held on 22 October 2021, Ambassador Manalo conveyed the Philippines’ position on four (4) key agenda items on the “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects,” “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space,” the “Comprehensive review of special political missions,” and the “Question relating to information.”
On peacekeeping operations under Women, Peace and Security, Ambassador Manalo reiterated Philippine policy on increasing deployment of women peacekeepers at all levels, and in leadership positions. “We support calls for increasing the participation of women in uniformed roles, and to integrating gender perspectives in all aspects of peacekeeping,” he said.
On outer space, the Ambassador noted that the Philippines recently signed an agreement with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to collaborate on various strategic areas related to space science, technology, policy, law, education and capacity building.”
Ambassador Manalo also stressed on the agenda item on information that “Member States and Observers should continue to responsibly harness the power of information to promote peace, inclusivity and development.” On Special Political Missions, he said that the Philippines believes that SPMs should continue to serve as “forward platforms for conflict prevention.”
Ambassador López said in her closing remarks that “the Committee’s agenda, which was once again streamlined amid the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic, provided unique opportunities for delegations to consider items in an in‑depth manner.” The format of its interactive dialogues, especially the question‑and‑answer sessions held with senior United Nations officials, continued to be useful and informative.
The Fourth Committee considers a broad range of issues covering a cluster of five decolonization-related agenda items, the effects of atomic radiation, questions relating to information, a comprehensive review of the question of peacekeeping operations as well as a review of special political missions, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Report of the Special Committee on Israeli Practices and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. In addition to these annual items, the Committee also considers the items on Assistance in mine action, and University for Peace biennially and triennially, respectively. END