PH, UN sign accord on human rights
The Philippines has entered into a three-year agreement with the United Nations to safeguard and promote human rights in the country through institutional programs in key state agencies.
Gustavo Gonzalez, resident coordinator for the United Nations, described the joint program as a “critical milestone” since it was the first “national-level” cooperation on human rights between the Philippines and the United Nations.
The project, which will be funded with a P12.9-million donation from Australia, was signed on Thursday by Gonzalez, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
The signing of the agreement came a month after a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court asked the tribunal to officially open an investigation into the allegations that President Duterte committed crimes against humanity in pursuing his deadly war on drugs.“Respect for human rights is fundamental to all of the UN’s work,” Gonzalez said in a statement.
“This is the first-ever UN joint program on human rights in the Philippines where we put together the capacities and resources of the United Nations in support of a wide range of national institutions,” he said.
Show of commitment
The project, the UN official added, was also a show of “commitment that we will keep taking action for human rights, in ways that have an impact, and where it is most needed.”
Guevarra said the agreement signified the government’s sincerity to “infuse its law enforcement and investigative operations with a human rights dimension in a nonpolitical setting.”
Locsin, on the other hand, said the project “embodies the partnership, trust-building and constructive engagement between the Philippines and the UN on human rights promotion and protection.”
“I commend all government agencies and the UN bodies involved for the tireless work in developing this program,” Locsin said.
The agreement was signed in compliance with UN Human Rights Council resolution 45/33, which was adopted on Oct. 7, 2020, to push for capacity-building and technical cooperation in protecting human rights in the Philippines.
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