Republic of the Philippines

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Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand speaks on the Philippines and "The United Nations"

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Upon the invitation of the United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ), Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia H. Benavidez spoke on “The Philippines and the United Nations” at the Rutherford House Lecture 3, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) on 21 June 2013. This is part of the series of lectures on the engagement of countries with the United Nations, a Global Public Policy Project at the School of Government, VUW and UNANZ. Senior diplomats are invited to give their countries’ perspectives on the United Nations system.

Mr. Karim Dickie, a Committee Member of UNANZ and co-organizer of the Diplomat’s Seminar Series opened the session and introduced Ambassador Benavidez.

In her presentation, Ambassador Benavidez started with the importance and priority that the Philippines accords to an evolving United Nations which has remained true to its mandate of the promoting international peace and security, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms amidst challenges and opportunities in an ever-changing global landscape. As a Charter member of the United Nations, the Philippines continues to deeply value the UN’s vital role and contributions from promoting health and sustainable development to fighting poverty and hunger, addressing climate change and instability, extending humanitarian assistance, appealing for global outpouring of support during disasters and calamities, championing the observance of the Rule of Law, opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, pledging its troops to various peacekeeping operations, leading the way in the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of individuals, particularly those of migrant workers and their families, promoting inter-faith dialogue as an instrument of peace, and trail blazing initiatives to uplift the plight of women, children, the differently abled, and the economically marginalized through the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Ambassador Benavidez highlighted the Philippines’ priorities in the UN anchored on the Philippines’ adherence to the universally accepted values and principles of democracy, freedom, the peaceful settlement of disputes and the rule of law in accordance with the principled foreign policy of the Philippines. She enunciated the Philippines’ relentless pursuit of finding a peaceful, durable, lasting and rules-based solution in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and universally recognized principles of international law in the face of the Philippines’ most serious challenge to its maritime security, integrity of its national territory and protection of its marine environment and maritime zones. Emphasis was made on continued efforts and strengthened cooperation between and among governments, UN bodies, civil society and other stakeholders to attain UN’s goals and contribute to ensuring that the United Nations continues with its work diligently, effectively and efficiently.

After the Q & A portion and Ambassador Benavidez’s interaction with the participants, Mr. Graham Russell, President of UNANZ gave the vote of thanks and said that this first ever presentation on Philippines-United Nations commitment and collaboration has been highly informative and comprehensive. Ambassador Benavidez thanked VUW and UNANZ for the opportunity to feature the Philippines in the UN presentation series.

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