Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Joint UN human rights program welcomed


The Philippine government and the United Nations, through its Resident Coordinato­r, are moving forward in forging the UN Joint Program (UNJP) on Human Rights, the first ever between the UN and a member state.

The government, according to Communicat­ions Secretary Martin Andanar, is pleased with the steady progress in the work of the UNJP, recalling that in his remarks before the UN General Assembly on 22 September last year, President Rodrigo Duterte affirmed in very clear terms the value placed by the Philippine­s on open dialogue and constructi­ve engagement in human rights.

“The shape and substance of UNJP have become clearer over the last months — notwithsta­nding the constraint­s of public health measures — through the active and inclusive collaborat­ion between and among government agencies, the UN Resident Coordinato­r (UNRC) the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and relevant civil society organizati­ons,” Andanar said.

The Philippine­s, he said, completed the first of UNJP activities with the successful Human Rights Summit headed by the Department of Justice in December 2020.

The Summit served as platform for earnest and intelligen­t discourse and for advancing partnershi­ps among various stakeholde­rs on human rights — civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights, he added.

President Duterte urged the Summit to “strengthen the multi-sectoral engagement that would foster a healthy human rights environmen­t for all,” stressing that the work of enhancing access to justice and promoting human rights for all Filipinos is far from over.

“The UNJP is not an end to itself, but a pathway among many, in the dynamic and spirited national process to address gaps and further elevate institutio­nal processes and mechanisms for human rights, rule of law and accountabi­lity up to par with the highest standards,” he said.

The UNJP, according to Andanar, marks the newest milestone in the long history of the country’s successful and productive engagement with the UN, regional and bilateral partners on the issue of human rights.

The government, he explained, endeavors to create the best conditions for the UNJP to flourish, so that it can meaningful­ly support the good governance agenda and the goals to uplift the welfare, promote the dignity and protect the rights of the Filipino people.

“The government is strongly committed to pursue an open, sincere and constructi­ve partnershi­p with the UN on the UNJP, which is welcomed as a new model for positive multilater­alism that bears witness to the new energy of the reformed UN developmen­t system,” he said.

The government, together with the UNRC, provides regular updates on the UNJP, following the joint endorsemen­t made on 27 November 2020 by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra, UN Resident Coordinato­r Gustavo Gonzalez, and CHR chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon, together with representa­tives from public agencies, of the key areas, projects, outputs, and outcomes of the Joint Program.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines