The Philippines Exercises Leadership Role on Disarmament, International Security

“The urgent need for significant and tangible progress is underlined by the catastrophic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, as well as the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.” – Ambassador Manalo at the General Debate of the UN First Committee, 09 October 2020. I DFA Photo

Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo represented the country in the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee, where Philippines has served as the Vice-Chair of this year’s First Committee Bureau.

Of the 71 draft resolutions and decisions of the First Committee, the Philippines co-sponsored 28 draft resolutions in its national capacity and as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), of which 12 resolutions address the need to eliminate nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

During the session, the Philippine delegation advocated for the implementation of strong regulations covering conventional weapons and stressed the need to address the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), particularly by armed non-state actors and terrorists.

The Philippines voted yes on the draft decision on the convening of the UN Disarmament Commission, of which the Philippines has been nominated to serve as Vice Chair in 2021. The Philippines also supported a strengthened international cooperation on cybersecurity by voting in favor of two draft resolutions that mandate the continuation of the work of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments.

Ambassador Manalo stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic should prompt Member States to redouble efforts and continue pursuing forward-looking, action-oriented outcomes to fully implement the obligations in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He also emphasized the critical importance of building trust and confidence in all areas of disarmament.

The First Committee is mandated to discuss disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime.

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