News Release

Statement of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on the Philippines and United Nations Joint Program

The Philippine Government and the United Nations, through its Resident Coordinator, are moving forward in forging the UN Joint Program (UNJP) on Human Rights, which is the first ever between the UN and a Member State.

The government is pleased with the steady progress in the work of the UNJP, recalling that in his remarks before the UN General Assembly on 22 September 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte affirmed in very clear terms the value placed by the Philippines on open dialogue and constructive engagement in human rights.

The shape and substance of UNJP have become clearer over the last months – notwithstanding the constraints of public health measures – through the active and inclusive collaboration between and among government agencies, the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and relevant civil society organizations.

The Philippines completed the first of UNJP activities with the successful Human Rights Summit headed by the Department of Justice in December 2020. The Summit served as platform for earnest and intelligent discourse and for advancing partnerships among various stakeholders on human rights – civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights.

President Duterte urged the Summit to “strengthen the multi-sectoral engagement that would foster a healthy human rights environment for all”, stressing that the work of enhancing access to justice and promoting human rights for all Filipinos is far from over.

The UNJP is not an end to itself, but a pathway among many, in the dynamic and spirited national process to address gaps and further elevate institutional processes and mechanisms for human rights, rule of law and accountability up to par with the highest standards.

The UNJP marks the newest milestone in the long history of the country’s successful and productive engagement with the UN, regional and bilateral partners on the issue of human rights.

The government endeavors to create the best conditions for the UNJP to flourish, so that it can meaningfully support the good governance agenda and the goals to uplift the welfare, promote the dignity and protect the rights of the Filipino people.

The government is strongly committed to pursue an open, sincere and constructive partnership with the UN on the UNJP, which is welcomed as a new model for positive multilateralism that bears witness to the new energy of the reformed UN development system.

The government, together with the UNRC, provides regular updates on the UNJP, following the joint endorsement made on 27 November 2020 by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra, UN Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez, and CHR Chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon, together with representatives from public agencies, of the key areas, projects, outputs, and outcomes of the Joint Program.