At the outset, allow me to express condolences on the passing of Gail, your Senior Adviser on Human Rights.
We also stand in solidarity with the people and Government of Tonga.
The Philippines aligns itself with the statement delivered by Cambodia on behalf of ASEAN.
Four months ago, you introduced the Five Rays of Hope to underscore your “promise” to deliver for people, for planet and prosperity.
We commend your accomplishments to date, we support your initiatives and priorities, and look forward to participating in the UN-mandated events this year.
The following are the priorities of the Philippines for the remainder of this Session in the context of your Five Rays of Hope:
- On recovering from COVID-19, we reiterate our call for vaccine equity and reaffirm our support to the WHO, and its initiatives to end the pandemic. We strive for a comprehensive and inclusive recovery utilizing all available socio-economic instruments to protect our hard-earned development gains.
In this regard, we would like to know your thoughts on the possible outcome or output of the High-Level Meeting on Universal Vaccination.
- On rebuilding sustainably, we look forward to the 2022 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) where our country will present its third Voluntary National Review (VNRs) on SDG implementation. As Co-Chair of the Group of Friends on VNRs, we are ready to support VNR presenters this year. We also intend to follow-through the mapping exercise by the UN System on support provided to middle-income countries.
We recognize that the Ocean Decade as an opportunity to advance sustainable ocean management. As an archipelagic state, we will actively support and participate in all oceans-related conferences and meetings, and help ensure that 2022 will be a “super year” for our Oceans.
- On responding to the needs of the planet, our recalibrated development thrusts focus on: (i) sustaining ecosystem services and mitigating biodiversity loss; (ii) improving environmental quality; and (iii) increasing resilience of communities, individuals, and economic sectors, including our ambitious climate commitments.
We are committed to fulfill our NDC pledge of reducing and avoiding 75% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, contingent upon the support of our international and bilateral partners – especially much-needed climate finance – for its successful implementation.
- On respecting the rights of all, the Philippines will continue our work in advancing the rights of people in vulnerable situations including children, older persons, migrants, persons with disabilities, and indigenous peoples.
- On revitalizing the United Nations, we actively support the revitalization process, the UN reform agenda, and reform of the UN Development System. We look forward to the thematic debates on Our Common Agenda.
I wish to briefly mention three other issues:
- We look forward to commemorating the 40th anniversary of two landmark documents: UNCLOS, the constitution of the oceans, a keystone of the rule of law in the maritime regime; and the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, an important and historic contribution to global peace that remains relevant and pertinent today when challenges to security and the rule of law persist.
- The nexus between terrorism, organized crime, and illicit small arms trafficking is becoming starker. We look forward to addressing this nexus in BMS8 on the illicit trade in small arms and its international tracing instrument. We further reaffirm the primacy of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
- We attach importance to the convening, preferably in March or April, of the 10th NPT Review Conference. We are committed to increasing the Philippine footprint in UN peacekeeping.
At the General Debate last September, my President said that “the Philippines has limited resources during these extraordinary times…But what we can do for humanity and to uplift human dignity, we will.”
The Philippine priorities I just presented embody our contribution to help uplift human dignity.
I thank you.
 8th Biennial Meetings of States to consider the national, regional and global implementation of the Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects and its International Tracing Instrument.
 Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)