MANILA – Speaker Martin Romualdez on Thursday asked member-countries of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) to support the Philippines' bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations (UN) Security Council for the term 2027-2028.
In a press conference on the sidelines of the 31st Annual Meeting of the APPF at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, Romualdez said the Philippines, as a responsible member of the global community, stands prepared to actively contribute to global peace and stability.
"As a result, we request valuable support of all APPF member-states for the candidature of the Philippines for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2027-2028," Romualdez said.
Romualdez said he is "very optimistic" that the forum would be effective in garnering support from states to strengthen the country's campaign for a UNSC seat.
"We are collaborating with our other friends in the region for our candidature for the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council," Romualdez said
"Right away, this forum is paying off dividends. We are very confident… we shall be successful," he added.
Citing the Department of Foreign Affairs, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said 15 out of the 27 member-countries have already committed their support to the Philippines' candidature.
Zubiri, however, did not identify the names of the countries, arguing that he does not want to "telegraph our punches".
"Eleven more to go that we need to court," Zubiri said.
This year’s APPF being held at Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City is attended by at least 275 parliamentarians from 18 countries in Asia-Pacific region.
Among the participating member-countries include Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Laos, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States of America, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, and Mongolia.
APPF is a multilateral parliamentary forum between member-countries in Southeast Asia, Oceania (islands in the Pacific Ocean), Northeast Asia, and the Americas.
The Philippines was last elected to the UNSC in 2004 where it also pushed for continued support for assistance that was tailored to the needs of the young state.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. first announced the country's UNSC bid during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2022, saying the Philippines' peace-building efforts make it qualified to be part of the security council.
The DFA earlier said some states have formally committed in writing that they will support Manila’s candidature either unilaterally or through some kind of mutual arrangement but many “have not yet made a formal decision."
The elections will be held during the 81st UN General Assembly in 2026.
The UNSC consists of 15 member-states, with China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States serving as permanent members.
Under the UN Charter, all member-states are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
Peace and stability
In the same media briefing, Zubiri said APPF will focus on maintaining peace and stability in the region.
He said all participating parliaments have submitted resolutions on political, security, economic and trade matters, as well as regional cooperation.
Zubiri said 10 resolutions fall under strengthening the capacity of parliaments to promote peace and stability; five under combating transnational crimes and women’s participation and leadership; four under gender and sustainable development goals; four under human development and inclusive growth, four under regional cooperation through education and culture; three under critical infrastructure; and two under universal health care.
The Philippines is one of the founding members of the APPF, and sponsored the first meeting in 1994, and hosted it for the second time.
Zubiri said 275 delegates from 19 countries, including the Philippines submitted resolutions on political, economic and trade, regional cooperation, among others.
He said delegates from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mexico, Federal States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Russian Federation, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines submitted a total of 37 draft resolutions to working groups.
“We will be discussing (the resolutions) heavily in plenary and working groups over the next day. These cover everything from climate action to transnational crime, universal health care to critical infrastructure,” Zubiri said.
He said the working groups and the drafting committees would consolidate similar resolutions into a single resolution with parliamentarians working together to come up with a language and courses of action that are agreeable to all parties.
On the last day of the forum, Zubiri said participants would produce a joint communiqué that would reflect the discussions and developments of the APPF 31. He said the resolution would be signed by all heads of delegations and would serve as a guiding document for multi-lateral cooperation and partnerships.
“We see our hosting of the APPF as a coming-out party for the Philippines – a signal of our active presence as a partner in pursuing peace, prosperity and progress in the Asia Pacific region,” Zubiri said.
Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he envisions strengthened cooperation among Asia Pacific economies for the development of critical infrastructures in the face of global risks such as cyberattacks, natural disasters, and other disruptive events. (PNA)