• Melo Acuna

President Duterte to speak before the United Nations' 75th General Assembly

President Duterte to speak before the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

MANILA – For the first time in his term of office, President Rodrigo Duterte will participate at the High-Level General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

In a statement from the Office of the President, it was learned the High-Level General Debate will take place from September 22 to 29,2020. He will speak on the first day of the High-Level Debate on Tuesday, September 22,2020 within the 0900-1445H window, New York time.

This will be the first time President Duterte will address the UN General Assembly, the main deliberative organ of the UN where all the 193 Member States are represented. This General Assembly marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations’ establishment.

This is also the first time that the High-Level General Debate and other high-level meetings of the United Nations General Assembly will be done virtually due to the restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s theme is: “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism - confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.”

President Duterte will talk about the country’s positions on a wide range of issues of importance to the country, including the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, peace and security, including terrorism and geopolitical developments in the Asia Pacific, sustainable development and climate change, the rule of law, justice and human rights and matters about the situation of migrant workers and refugees, peacekeeping and UN reforms.

The High-Level General Debate will be presided by Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th United Nations General Assembly.

During the Midday Briefing hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Roberto Borje said President Duterte will be the 12th speaker for the morning session.

“He will speak after the Presidents or representatives of Brazil, the United States of America, Turkey, People’s Republic of China, Chile, South Africa, Cuba, the Russian Federation, Jordan, Republic of Korea, and Qatar. Speaking after President Duterte are the leaders of Iran and France.

Asked if President Duterte will speak about the seeming tug-of-war between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China for potential allies in ASEAN, Undersecretary Borje said President Duterte is expected to discuss the country’s position on geopolitics among other issues. (Melo M. Acuña)

Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Robert Borje (Screen grab from PTV4).

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