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PH-UN working together for human rights program

Philippines and United Nations organizing a joint program on human rights

MANILA - The Philippines informed the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and members of the Human Rights Council that the government is in regular coordination with the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Manila preparing a framework for the United Nations to support national efforts to uphold the human rights-based approached in governance within the country’s vibrant government institutions.

In a statement released late Friday, the Philippine Mission in Geneva said consultations on a joint program have been going on for several months between the UNRC and UN agencies and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Justice (DoJ).

In a recent briefing to High Commissioner fo Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the Human Rights Council said the government expects that discussion on the joint program will be concluded by year-end.

Ambassador Garcia emphasized that the DFA and DOJ with other government agencies including the Philippine National Police, have proposed the elements of multi-year joint program on the basis of priorities of the government to further strengthen various technical aspects of the country’s rule of law, accountability and human rights mechanisms.

Ambassador Garcia reiterated the Philippine government’s long-standing commitment and openness to engage and cooperate with the UN system, in its efforts to strengthen national institutions to protect and advance the rights and dignity of the entire population.

He added the Philippine government is encouraged that Human Rights Council’s discussions took note of the positive steps taken by the country to enhance its domestic human rights and accountability mechanisms.

According to the Philippine Mission to Geneva, the constructive, forward-looking approach between the United Nations and the Philippines will be in support of UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres’ directive for the UN system to strengthen actions to further develop national capacities and support state institutions to respond to human rights challenges.

Secretary General Gutteres, in his remarks to the Human Rights Council in February this year, he said the UN is “committed to strengthening their support to Member States to build their own human rights institutions and make full use of the tools of the United Nations to meet the challenges of ‘today and tomorrow.’’

In his briefing to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ambassador Garcia underlined consultations to invite the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) to support national programs related to the strengthening of its accountability mechanisms which include platforms for data-sharing and operational coordination between the government, the Commission on Human Rights and civil society actors, a police tool to record, tract and act on, reported incidents of human rights violations and the national monitoring and implementation of the country’s obligations in human rights instruments. (Melo M. Acuña)

Ambassador Evan P. Garcia. (Philippine Mission to Geneva photo)

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