Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has openly sent a stern message to other developing countries that the Philippines “will not forgive” any maltreatment of its people, including the non-inclusion of Filipinos in their respective pandemic responses.
Speaking at the recently-concluded 45th Annual Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 (G77) and China on Nov. 30, Locsin stated this as he reaffirmed the country’s commitment on the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of migrants.
Locsin said that as a Global Compact for Migration (GCM) Champion country, with its people living and working in most countries of the world, the Philippines will stay at the forefront of the protection of the rights and the promotion of the welfare of migrants wherever they may be.
“Legal or illegal, they are our people; we will not forgive their maltreatment,” he said. “They are a godsend to their countries of origin, transit, and destination. Therefore, include them in national COVID responses.”
He also reaffirmed the country’s commitment to work with G77 and China, the group of 134 developing countries and the largest negotiating bloc in the United Nations (UN), in ensuring vaccine equity and called for stronger global mechanisms to end delays in the production and distribution of vaccines.
Locsin further conveyed the country’s “unwavering support for the WHO (World Health Organization), its COVAX Facility and the COVAX Advance Market Commitment” noting that President Duterte “is giving US$ 1 million dollars to COVAX” as he underscored that “the only weapon against the pandemic is global vaccination.”
The Philippines top diplomat also outlined the country’s socio-economic priorities and its commitment on climate action, disaster risk reduction, protection of biodiversity, and strengthened support for middle-income countries.
He informed the meeting that the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) shows the country’s strong commitment to 75 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction and avoidance by 2030. He reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the successful adoption of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
He thanked the G77 and China for their solidarity with middle-income countries and conveyed to the group that the Philippines, a middle-income country, will follow-through the mapping exercise to be conducted by the UN system for a clear overview of support to middle-income countries.
The G77 and China remains the country’s strategic partner in advancing Philippine interests in the UN on various issues such as among others, the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, migrants, health, food security, education, middle-income countries, climate action, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, financial inclusion and south-south cooperation.