MANILA – As the Philippines continues to grapple with the complexities of the 21st century, the United Nations (UN) has steadfastly remained its most trusted ally.
Here's a look at some of the milestones that have defined and shaped this solid partnership, highlighting the country's engagement with the UN in its thrust to uphold its commitment to international cooperation while pushing forward its sustainable development, peacebuilding, and humanitarian initiatives.
In June 1945, the Philippines made a mark when it became one of the 51 UN founding members and one of only four Asian nations to sign the UN Charter.
During its formative years, our country captured global attention when the Philippine ambassador to the UN, Carlos Romulo, became the first Asian president during the fourth UN General Assembly from 1949 to 1950.
This international recognition was again replicated in the 1960s, when then Ambassador Salvador Lopez was named Chairman of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights, now the UN Council on Human Rights, a position that was previously helmed by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Since the 1960s, the Philippines has carved its name as one of the staunch supporters of UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions, actively deploying Filipino peacekeepers since 1963.
In 1964, the Philippines became one of the co-founders of the G-77 coalition, mandated to promote collective economic interests among members of the UN.
In several decades, the Philippines has consistently made its presence felt in the international arena, with Filipinos such as Carlos Romulo, Jacinto Castel Borjal, Lauro Baja Jr., Delia Domingo-Albert, and Bayani Mercado being hailed as presidents of the UN Security Council, in charge of maintaining international peace and security.
Data also shows that the UN is staffed by Filipinos, carrying the Philippine flag behind their backs as they work in various capacities in the headquarters of the world's biggest international diplomatic organization.
As the country gradually recovered from the ravages of World War II in the latter part of the 1940s, the UN became a trusted partner, providing financial and other forms of assistance, which paved the way for development programs and initiatives.
Over the years, the UN has become an enabling partner of the government.
Through its various globally-established subsidiaries, specialized agencies, and programs, it has steadily supported the country's development agenda, working closely with local authorities to address pressing issues such as human rights, healthcare, poverty, and climate change that beset the country.
In the field of human rights, the country's active participation in the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 was a milestone for women as it gave birth to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), a landmark document that advances women’s rights and gender equality worldwide.
For the Philippines, the BPfA became a guiding principle in establishing an agenda for women's empowerment as it called for mainstreaming gender into national plans and policies.
Likewise, the UN's support for the Philippines in its thrust to help the government achieve the national development goals and the 2030 Agenda, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in 2015, is a strong expression of its commitment to uplift the human condition in the country.
As the country navigates a post-pandemic world, the Philippines hopes to further strengthen its partnership with the UN, pledging its commitment to uphold peace and security, development, and humanitarian action in the global arena as it addresses its own crises with the help of its most trusted ally. (PNA)