His Excellency
    Enrique Austria Manalo
    Secretary for Foreign Affairs
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    Statement summary

    ENRIQUE A. MANALO, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said the UN spirit calls upon all to decisively respond to existential threats such as global warming, degrading ecosystems, diseases and food insecurity.  “We must configure our work to the realities of our time, placing people and communities at the heart of our agenda, refocusing consensus through differences and recognizing the agency of many voices, not only the powerful few, in shaping our shared future,” he added.  The Philippines advocates for the peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with international law, he emphasized, adding:  “This has always been our position with respect to the disputes in the West Philippine Sea, inasmuch as we are prepared to defend our sovereignty, sovereign rights and territorial integrity.”

    Humanity remains in danger from too many destructive and disruptive weapons in existence, he continued.  With thousands of nuclear warheads still present and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty unrealized, heightened arms races and new ways of warfare - including in the cyber and space domains — have transformed the strategic landscape in the twenty-first century.  “The rule of law must reign all the more,” he stressed.  Advocating for the peaceful uses of outer space and greater responsibility among States to reduce space threats, he also stressed that new technology cannot be weaponized or misused in any way that subverts democracy and freedom, challenges international humanitarian law, exploits the vulnerable and violate human rights.

    Further, he called for industrialized countries to abide by their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.  The continued reform of the UN Development System is key to ensuring that the Organization delivers transformative development outcomes. “Solidarity sets the ground for international cooperation as we reinforce the global health-security system, following the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he emphasized, reiterating calls for equity in the provision of vaccines.  “We must never again witness a global emergency of such scale wherein those in most need will be provided for last,” he added.  The Philippines will continue to advocate for the human rights of vulnerable groups, especially women, children, Indigenous Peoples, migrants, persons with disabilities, refugees and older persons, he declared.


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    Portrait of His Excellency Enrique Austria Manalo (Secretary for Foreign Affairs), Philippines
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