GMA News Online : Marcos committed to high-level of accountability on human rights issues —UN official

10 June 2022

By ANNA FELICIA BAJO | GMA News Online

Ensuring "high-level" of accountability in the aspect of human rights was among the topics discussed during the meeting of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez on Friday.

"We suggest that the gains that we have as part of the UN joint program, they have to be preserved and we need to continue in enhancing accountability in terms of human rights and making sure that we adopted as part of the Human Rights Council Resolution 4553 the six concerns of the High Commission and they are addressed. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. confirmed its commitment," Gonzalez said in a statement.

He said Marcos even shared that he is conducting a number of consultations to ensure the best way of supporting the human rights agenda.

"So this was quite encouraging and as I mention, we reiterate the support of the United Nations. We mentioned that the UN program is the best forum to get the government, civil society organizations, the Commission on Human Rights, and the UN working together," he added.

In a press conference after the meeting, Gonzalez was asked if the human rights concerns under the Duterte administration were discussed.

He replied: "No. What we discussed as you know in October 2020, there was a Human Rights Council resolution 4533 that calls for technical cooperation."

Gonzalez stressed that the UN and the Philippine government should work closely in addressing the issues of human rights in the country.

"It means the UN and the government needs to work together in addressing some concerns on the human rights and he's very much interested, for example, in ensuring a consultation for the nomination of the new Commission of Human Rights," Gonzalez said.

"This is the topic that he immediately raised and he mentioned also the importance of ensuring high-level of accountability in terms of the human rights and we also refer to the October session of the Human Rights Council where the new administration will be ready for a successful session," he added.

Gonzalez also disclosed that he and Marcos discussed the preparation for the UN General Assembly, which will be held in September.

"This UN general assembly meeting will be the first time that the President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will be in front of an important number of head of states so this is great and I think a historic opportunity for the President and for the Philippines to share the new vision, the new challenges, and at the same time the new opportunities," he said.

Peace, climate change

Meanwhile, sustaining peace especially in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was also tackled during the meeting.

"President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. confirmed its engagement, commitment, to make sure that peace… they are ensured and at the same time, he recognized the importance in investing in peace to get a full recovery from the COVID-19 and build development," Gonzalez said.

Climate change was also discussed given that the Philippines is Number 4 when it comes to the risks caused by climate change, according to Gonzalez.

He noted that Marcos has a deep understanding about climate resilience as the latter also shared the effects of strong typhoons in the country.

"We discussed about the impact of natural disaster and he has a quite in-depth understanding of what is climate resilience, the importance of getting the Philippines as role model in terms of green economy, climate resilient economy, and he even shared his understanding of the impact of the super typhoons and his plans in addressing natural disasters," he said.—AOL, GMA News