One UN Philippines February 2011


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One UN Philippines February 2011

  1. 1. U N I T E D N A T I O N S S Y S T E M P H I L I P P I N E S February 2011“Shoah in Europe” Travelling Exhibit opens in Manila(Above, L-R: Lee Blumenthal, boardmember of the Jewish Association of the Philippines; UNIC Manila NIO Teresa Debuque;Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales; Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary ErlindaBasilio; Ambassador Zvi Aviner Vapni, Embassy of the State of Israel; UN Resident Coordinator Dr. Jacqueline Badcock)The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila, Dr. Badcock said that “the images portrayed in this ex-in partnership with the Jewish Association of the Phil- hibit recall a period in human history that is too painful,ippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and and too terrible for words. Yet, we remember the Holo-the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost), launched caust because it is a constant reminder of a grave andthe Manila opening of the “Shoah in Europe” Travelling terrible injustice that an earlier generation had madeExhibit last February 9, 2011 at the lobby of the DFA and one which we, of this generation and the next, mustBuilding along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. The exhibit at all costs prevent from ever being made again.”opening drew close to 200 guests from the partner or-ganizations, various civil society groups, and the Jewish Ambassador Vapni said that there are three reasons forcommunity in the Philippines. remembering the Holocaust, “First of all, for the sake of those who lost their lives: entire villages, entire commu-Keynote messages were delivered by UN Resident nities, and entire families have been erased to the pointCoordinator Dr. Jacqueline Badcock; His Excellency Zvi that you can’t even name the people that have beenAviner Vapni, Ambassador of the State of Israel to the killed. So our first responsibility is to these unnamedPhilippines; and DFA Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio. victims, to keep some kind of remnant of their existence.
  2. 2. Commission on Human Rights, of which I have the privilege to chair today, is the result of that experi- ence, along with the 1987 Consti- tution that gives it its mandate and sets out the whole gamut of human rights that the Philippine state is supposed to promote, protect and fulfill for the Filipino people.” “I feel a special bond with the victims of the Holocaust,” Chair- person Rosales added, “because I was also a victim of the Marcos dictatorship. I know what it means to be at the receiving end of state repression while fighting for free- dom, justice and human rights. I was detained and tortured, along(Above: Ribbon cutting presided by (from left to right) Deputy Post-Master General Luis Car- with so many others resisting thelos; Ambassador Vapni; DFA Undersecretary Basilio; and Dr. Badcock) dictatorship. The lessons from these two events, the Holocaust that the The second reason is to confront the dark side of human- Jewish people suffered in Europe during the war and the ity. The people who stood guard at the extermination gross human rights violations that the Filipino people suf- camps, the death camps, the people who committed those fered during the dictatorship, are the two guiding inspira- horrible atrocities were also human. We should acknowl- tions that infuse both the institution that I now head and edge this dark side that dwells in all of us as a warning of my life ast a human rights advocate and defender and that what we are capable of. The third reason is to make sure will continue to inspire me to my last breath.” that tragedies such as the Holocaust will never happen again. What happened in Europe during the Second World UNIC Manila National Information Officer (NIO) Teresa War could happen again. And for that reason, the decision Debuque explained that “the spirit that animates the made by the UN, to mark this day all around the world, United Nations (UN)’s observance of Holocaust Remem- and to put an effort into educating people, especially the brance is the concept of ‘Responsibility to Protect,’ which young, about it is extremely important. And we respect was adopted by the 2005 World Summit—the largest gath- and admire this decision.” ering of Heads of State and Government the world has seen. This concept offers new promise for concrete action Meanwhile, DFA Undersecretary Basilio said that “through by Member States. It summarizes the inherent obligation this exhibit, Shoah in Europe, we reaffirm our faith in of every State to protect its populations from genocide, fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. human person and of the equal rights of men and women. It also asserts the responsibility of the international com- Shall it take another Holocaust before we declare that munity to take collective action through the United Na- every one is entitled to all rights and freedom without tions to protect populations from such serious crimes and distinction of any kind such as race, color, language, sex, violations when States manifestly do so. United Nations religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is committed to this con- property, birth and other status? Never is our answer.” cept and has said that, ‘working together, we can deliver on the promise of the responsibility to protect. And we can “We all must be ready to stand in defense of human transform this idea from an abstract obligation into what it rights,” Undersecretary Basilio added. “Let us be vigilant truly is: one of humanity’s highest challenges.’” and be reminded of the lessons of the past; human rights will always be threatened unless we put our hands and A representative of the Department of Education (DepEd), our minds together in order to make the protection and Rizalino Jose Rosales, Chief Administrative Officer and promotion of human rights prevail in all parts of the world.” concurrent Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Assistant Regional Director for the National Capital Region (NCR), At a reception that followed the exhibit opening, Commis- was invited to the reception to signify the DepEd’s support sion on Human Rights Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales for UN General Assembly Resolution 60/7, which urges said that the Holocaust is a “prime example of a ‘never Member States to develop educational curricula on the again moment’ that led to the adoption of the UN Dec- Holocaust. laration of Human Rights. We, in the Philippines, have our own ‘never again’ moment with our experience of the atrocities committed during the Marcos dictatorship. The2
  3. 3. Scenes from the Shoah in Europe Exhibit Opening at the DFA(Above: Logo of Memorial de la Shoah--the Parisbased curator of the Shoah in Europe exhibit) 3
  4. 4. KC Concepcion goes to Uganda on WFP field mission “The day is about to end and I am both pleasantly over- that I can help out in whatever capacity.”, KC said before whelmed and in shock, in an adrenaline-rush and also boarding her flight to Uganda. exhausted. What affected me the most was when we entered little homesteads protected by raw thorn fences KC’s five-day field mission allowed her to visit remote through low and narrow holes to experience a normal areas of Uganda where WFP is working towards lasting day in the lives of a tribe here”—read a text message last solutions to hunger while providing assistance to the most January 20 from KC Concepcion, World Food Programme vulnerable, hungry communities. In addition to interacting (WFP) - Philippines National Ambassador Against Hun- with different WFP programme beneficiaries from women ger, during her trip to Uganda for her first field mission farmers to babies in therapeutic feeding centres, KC was outside the Philippines. also able to observe how people live. After more than two decades of conflict between the WFP is committed to helping the Government of Uganda Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan Government and the communities it serves to find lasting solutions to forces, peace has returned to the northern part of the hunger, applying whatever tool is most effective in a par- country. As a result, over 80 percent of Internally Dis- ticular situation – whether it is food assistance, livelihood placed Persons (IDPs) have moved back to their original support, education and sensitisation, or support for local homes and farms. While Uganda as a whole has enough production and markets. In fact, more than 70 percent of food, hunger challenges remain countrywide due to ac- the food that WFP distributes in Uganda is bought within cess and utilisation challenges in many locations. the country. WFP is the single largest buyer of food and the largest quality-oriented purchaser of grain in Uganda, Prior to this trip, KC had gone on several missions with currently spending over US$50 million a year. WFP in conflict-affected Central Mindanao. “As a Na- tional Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations Being a WFP ambassador for three years now, KC has World Food Program, I represent the UN not only here in significantly helped to advocate against hunger and raise the Philippines but also wherever they think I should go, resources for the organization, gracing several events in this case Africa. I’ve gone to Mindanao several times both locally and internationally. Through an online auction and so this for me is also a learning experience never of her personal items, KC’s Closet Fights Child Hunger having been to Africa. Conflicts all over the world result (, in the same kind of suffering and pain for the affected she was able to raise half a million pesos for WFP. The populations. We share a common predicament as hu- online auction runs until March 2011. All proceeds will go man beings whether in Mindanao or Uganda. I’m just glad to WFP.4
  5. 5. Platform HD2010 goes to Tabaco, Albay and discussed their areas of responsibilities. During the pre- sentation of each group’s outputs to the plenary, Mayor Lagman- Luistro promised to provide coun- terpart funds for every MDG-relat- ed project. “For every peso your barangay invests in MDG projects, the city will give you another peso,” Lagman-Luistro said. Dulce Saret, UN Millennium Cam- paign National Coordinator, said that the impor-ALBAY, Philippines, January 13, 2011—The City of Ta- tance of the MDGs goes beyond compliance with anbaco achieved significant improvements in the Millennium international agreement.Development Goals (MDGs) on poverty, primary educa-tion enrollment and maternal health, data captured from According to Saret, civil society members should continuethe city’s second round of Community Based Monitoring monitoring government. The government must also de-System revealed. liver the MDGs because they are the entitlement of every citizen.The report was presented as part of an MDG Forum orga-nized by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement Further forums and discussions will be organized in Ta-(PRRM) and supported by Platform HD2010. The Forum baco to develop an enhanced citizens’ monitoring tool. Aaimed to develop a Citizens’ Monitoring Tool (CMT) to municipal MDG planning session is set to be conductedmainstream MDGs in local planning and enhance current within the quarter.MDG monitoring systems. Since 2010, PRRM and other members of the UN CivilAddressing newly elected barangay leaders, department Society Assembly (UN-CSA) have been actively imple-staffs and community members, Tabaco City Mayor and menting and participating in various activities of PlatformMDG advocate Krisel Lagman-Luistro opened the Forum HD2010. The result of a partnership among UNDP,urging participants to “think global, act local” to achieve MDG-F and the UN Millennium Campaign, Platformthe MDGs. HD2010 is a special project that recognizes the important role of civil society in MDG processes, especially in lightPRRM President Isagani Serrano compared the country’s of the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Declaration.progress on the MDGs with others in the region, highlight-ing the MDGs as minimum goals which should be priori- The UN Country Team in the Philippines was one of thetized above all others. six recipient countries of this initiative last year. The UN- CSA, composed of 67 civil society networks and organi-Participants took part in focus group discussions where zations, serves as its implementing partner in the country.they identified the current programs which addressedMDGs, debated about potential projects to address gaps,4
  6. 6. President Aquino issues proclamation on IYV+10Last January 12, President Benigno “Noynoy” AquinoIII issued a proclamation, declaring the year 2011as the 10th Anniversary of the International Year ofVolunteers (IYV+10), and adopting the Filipino IYV+10theme: “Volunteering for the MDGs! Build Hope,Change Lives: Volunteer!”In the Philippines, IYV+10 activities are being spear-headed by the United Nations Development Pro-gramme (UNDP) and the United Nations Volunteers(UNV), together with the lead government agency for vol-unteer activities, the Philippine National Volunteer ServiceCoordinating Agency (PNVSCA).The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2001 as theInternational Year of Volunteers or “IYV” (UNGA Resolu-tion A/Res/52/17 of 1997), in order to enhance the Recog-nition, Facilitation, Networking and Promotion of volunteerservice. In 2008, the UN General Assembly issued aresolution which re-affirmed the significance of volunteer-ism for the achievement of the Millennium DevelopmentsGoals and called for marking the 10th anniversary of theInternational Year of Volunteers (A/Res/63/153). As thefocal point for IYV+10, UNV together with more than 40international volunteer organizations around the world,launched IYV+10 on December 5, 2010--the InternationalVolunteer Day globally.The launch of IYV+10 in the Philippines was held onDecember 5, 2010.Join us for Volunteering for the MDGs in the Philippines!For further actions in 2011, please visit the website ofUNV and PNVSCA at and 1. Poster on “ IYV + 10, Volunteering for the MDGs” 2. Brochure on “Volunteering for the MDGs”The following materials about IYV + 10 are available and 3. Indicative Action Plan for the Celebration of IYV + 10more volunteer initiatives are appreciated for achieving andthe Millennium Development Goals in the Philippines by 4. Monthly Theme Calendar.2015:UNITED NATIONS PHILIPPINESUN Cooordination Office In an effort to work as one and share informa-30th Floor, RCBC Plaza tion among agencies, the UN in the PhilippinesYuchengco Tower, Ayala Avanue, Makati City is publishing this e-newsletter. ContributionsTel: 9010100 website: may be sent to (copy furnished to by: every 21st of the month.United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manilawww.unicmanila.org4