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PIA Press Release

PHL stresses protection of civilians in armed conflict areas

Manila (3 December) -- The Philippines stressed the "utmost importance of protecting civilians," in light of continuing concerns in areas in conflict or potential areas of conflict around the world at a recent United Nations Security Council meeting last November 22, 2010.

Speaking at the open debate of the Security Council, Permanent Representative to the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan told the Security Council that "the Philippine Government attaches special importance to the issue of protection of civilians in armed conflict."

"The Philippine Government is firmly committed and continues to work seriously and with global stakeholders to protect civilians in its national territory and around the world," Ambassador Cabactulan said in a separate statement.

"We are particularly concerned over the security of Filipinos overseas that may be caught in-between clashes in areas of conflict or in areas of potential conflict," he added.

Ambassador Cabactulan said the Philippines has taken into account the reports and recommendations of the UN Secretary General on the matter, adding that the Philippines has in fact, "taken appropriate measures to integrate them in the implementation of its national policies and work plan."

"With an estimated nine million Filipinos overseas, it is our duty to ensure that our nationals are protected wherever they go," Ambassador Cabactulan said.

"As we continue to work for global peace and security, we must remain vigilant in preventing the outbreak of any conflicts. In the event of conflict, however, we must make sure that our nationals are protected. There is much work that needs to be done," he explained.

During the Security Council meeting, Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Yves Daccord gave their respective briefings and shared their perspectives on the latest developments regarding protection of civilians in armed conflict in troubled areas around the world.

Ambassador Cabactulan expressed appreciation to the Security Council for its consistent and untiring engagement in this issue, both at the thematic level and country-specific cases.

At the same time, he commended the United Kingdom for its able and competent chairmanship if the Informal Expert Group on the protection of civilians since its establishment in January 2009.

The Philippines was among the 53 speakers who delivered a statement before the Security Council. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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