If PH leaves UN, it will be 6th in list of nonmember states
MANILA, Philippines — If Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s musing about the Philippines leaving the United Nations should come true, the country would join a handful of other states that are not part of the international community of nations, including Taiwan which is struggling for world recognition as a nation amid a prevailing one-China policy adopted by most countries.
Research made by INQUIRER.net showed four other states without UN membership — the Holy See, the government of Roman Catholic Church based in the Vatican; Kosovo, whose declaration of independence in 2008 is not recognized by Serbia; and Palestine, which is still struggling for international recognition as a country with its own territory; and Northern Cyprus, a self-declared state recognized only by Turkey.
Taiwan would very unlikely become a friend as the Duterte administration, which had already tightened its embrace of China while the Holy See would be unappealing to President Rodrigo Duterte, who had called God “stupid” for testing man’s faith through the Original Sin.
That would leave the Philippines with only two other nations to keep company with outside the UN — Kosovo and Northern Cyprus.
On Monday, July 15, Sotto told reporters at the Senate that he would support a retaliatory move against the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for adopting a resolution to investigate the killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, with its members voting 18 for and 14 against, with 15 abstaining.
Sotto said it might even be preferable to pull out the UN altogether.
He said he found it illogical for the UNHRC to adopt the resolution when it should have counted the 15 abstentions as no votes.
Because of the council’s “illogical” rules, Sotto said he would support any decision that would be made by Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who suggested that the Philippines follow the example set by the United States, which withdrew from the UNHRC in 2018 over its alleged bias against Israel.
“As a matter of fact, he might want to complete the action, include the UN [in membership withdrawal],” said Sotto, a highly popular comedian before his foray into politics.
Sotto said it would be up to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to make the move. But he pointed out that, “if we detach ourselves from the UN,” it would save the Philippines some P445 million a year in mandatory contributions.
Sotto, however, failed to do the math completely.
In the aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in 2013, nearly P21.8 billion in funds from and coursed through the UN were given to the Philippines to help survivors of the strongest storm to ever hit land get back on their feet, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
In the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, now Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organization funded projects worth P139 million to rehabilitate farms and fisheries destroyed or damaged by armed conflict between Moro rebels and the Philippine government.
The Global Fund, a UN-connected campaign helping fight deadly diseases, had released P13.4 billion by August 2016 for projects to fight HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in the Philippines.
There are many other projects funded by the UN that help the Philippines improve education and health programs.
Withdrawing from the UN, too, would leave a black mark on a record made by what could be the Philippines’ most respected diplomat, the late Carlos P. Romulo, who became the first Asian president of the UN General Assembly from 1949 to 1950.
Romulo also represented the Philippines at the UN Security Council when the country was elected to a seat in the UN’s most powerful body in 1957.
The Philippines was one of the founding members of the UN after the Second World War, signing the UN Charter along with other countries in San Francisco in 1945, while the world was still bleeding from the war.