Bongbong Marcos to tackle climate change, rule of law, in UN General Assembly -- DFA | Global News

Bongbong Marcos to tackle climate change, rule of law, in UN General Assembly — DFA

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 04:20 PM September 15, 2022
Marcos UN Assembly

President Ferdinand Marcos beams as he addresses members of the Filipino community in Singapore on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (Photo from his Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is expected to tackle climate change, the rule of law, and food security at the 77th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to be held in New York, the United States, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

DFA Assistant Secretary Kira Azucena said the President is expected to discuss his administration’s priorities in his speech at the UN’s high-level general debate, which he is expected to deliver at 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 20.

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READ: Marcos to speak at UN General Assembly on Sept. 20

This year’s theme of the general debate, she said, is “a watershed moment, transformative solutions to interlocking challenges.”

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“We can expect the President’s statement to identify these challenges and the solutions to address them, the role of the UN, and how the Philippines intends to contribute to these efforts,” Azucena said in a briefing.

“The President’s statement will also articulate his administration’s priorities which include climate change, the rule of law, and food security,” she added.

Azucena said around 152 heads of state and government are expected to participate in the high-level debate.

Marcos to talk about West Philippine Sea, Hague’s arbitral ruling?

While in New York, the President will have the opportunity to meet some heads of state. Azucena said he would also meet with some key UN officials.

She, however, said the DFA cannot yet disclose the names of the world leaders who will be meeting President Marcos in New York.

“The President’s participation in the 77th UN General Assembly is important because it marks his first engagement with the UN, which the Philippines recognizes as the world’s most important multilateral organization,” she said.

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The DFA official added that this year’s UN General Assembly is “significant” as it will be the first one to be held completely in person since the pandemic started in 2020.

Azucena said former President Rodrigo Duterte attended the UN event in 2020 and 2021 virtually via pre-recorded videos.

Marcos to talk about West Philippine Sea, Hague’s arbitral ruling?

When asked if President Marcos will discuss in his speech the country’s assertion on the West Philippine Sea and uphold a 2016 decision by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that favored Manila’s diplomatic protest against Beijing’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea, Azucena said the final speech of the President still has yet to be vetted.

Azucena said that in the draft statement prepared by the DFA for President Marcos, there is a “very strong diction” on the rule of law, and the rule of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

However, the speech of the President usually undergoes vetting by his office, she added.

“In the draft statement that the DFA prepared for the President, there is a very strong diction on the rule of law, on the rule of UNCLOS. But, of course, the statements on the speeches of the President are usually vetted by the OP. Beyond that I cannot offer any further comments,” the DFA official said.

Investments, pandemic recovery

For his part, DFA Assistant Secretary JV Chan Gonzaga said Marcos’ US trip also aims to bring investments for the country’s economic recovery.

“Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and with much uncertainty and disruption around us, the President is not sparing any effort to address the economic challenges facing the country today,” he said in the same briefing.

“The President has made it very clear from the initial discussions preparatory to this trip to New York that it will be more than his debut on the world stage. He gave unequivocal instructions that his meetings, whether with fellow world leaders, or with US corporations, should focus on finding necessary partnerships or synergies that will benefit the Philippine economy and the Filipino people,” Gonzaga added.

The DFA official said Marcos is set to speak before an economic briefing that aims to bring in investments for the Philippines.

“As such, the other most important speech that the President will deliver in New York, aside from his UNGA address, will be at the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB). The PEB is expected to attract institutional investors, senior corporate executives, business analysts, and even academics, think tanks, and entrepreneurs,” he said.

Marcos is also expected to participate in roundtables with targeted sectors, some US companies, the US Chamber of Commerce, US-ASEAN Business Council, and the US-Philippines Society.

Malacañang said the President would leave the Philippines for New York on September 18 and return on September 24.

Aside from the participation in the UN General Assembly, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles has no other scheduled activities in the US.

/MUF
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TAGS: President Marcos, UN General Assembly, United Nations
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