The Philippines associates itself with the statement of Indonesia on behalf of ASEAN, and Morocco on behalf of NAM, and thank the PGA for his statement.
I also wish to congratulate Nigeria, Argentina, Canada, Japan, Poland and Egypt as the re-elected Chair and Bureau of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s resolve to continue to implement the reforms of the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative.
In the previous years’ negotiations, we note that C-34 Members consistently demonstrated a shared commitment to improving the way peacekeeping operations are designed and delivered. I am confident that this commitment will continue.
This year, the Philippines is pleased to serve again as facilitator for the informal consultations together with Australia, Finland and Thailand. Thank you for the Chair’s trust and confidence in our Experts.
The Philippines has actively engaged in UN peacekeeping since 1963.
Pursuing a principled policy which allows deployment of Philippine military and police troops and personnel “regardless of the level of security threat,” the Philippine Government has deployed almost 15,000 Filipino peacekeepers to 21 peacekeeping operations and special political missions.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines continues to enhance capabilities in support of future peacekeeping deployments. We will also continue to ensure that our pledges under the UN Peacekeeping Readiness System are met. We are committed to make available all necessary resources for peacekeeping operations within the agreed time frame.
The following are our recommendations on the four (4) priority thematic elements for this year’s C-34 negotiations:
- On Safety and Security, the Philippines puts high priority in ensuring the safety of peacekeepers. We support calls by Member States in building a platform to strengthen information-sharing, policy coordination, and capacity building to further enhance the safety and security of peacekeepers in the field. The C-34 Special Committee also emphasizes the importance of having updated rules of engagement that are attuned to the realities on the ground.
- On Protection, we encourage Troop-and Police-Contributing Countries to prioritize the protection of civilians under imminent threat of danger through using all necessary means when required, in accordance with the UN Charter, mission mandates and applicable international law. Expectations regarding protection tasks must be succinct and clear, connected to political strategies in the field, and focused on prevention. We also recognize the contributions of unarmed civilian protection in peacekeeping operations as part and parcel of local political solutions in creating a protective environment.
- On Partnerships, we reiterate our support for intergovernmental platforms that enable peer learning among Member States on how to build resilience in peacekeeping, encourage constructive dialogues on the challenges in sustaining peace, and pursuing strategic partnerships. We welcome greater collaboration between ASEAN and the UN in peace operations, including through the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the UN.
- Finally, on Women, Peace and Security, we remain committed to increasing the participation of women in uniformed roles, and support the call to integrate gender perspectives in all aspects of peacekeeping. The Philippines is further committed to increasing deployment of women peacekeepers at all levels and in leadership positions.
Given these priority themes, the Philippines hopes this year’s C-34 discussions will not only be productive and constructive, but also provide inputs to the upcoming consultations on “A New Peace Agenda” under the Secretary-General’s Report on Our Common Agenda.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said that “in these challenging times, we need more effective global leadership and greater cooperation to carry on the peace agenda. We must continue to seek and implement sound strategies deeply anchored on a clear political vision and a culture of accountability.”
I thank you. END