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PIA Press Release

RP signs two key UN pacts

UNITED NATIONS, New York (via PLDT) (26 September) -- The Philippines signed on Wednesday two United Nations (UN) agreements which Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said only shows the country's respect for the rights of persons with disabilities and interest in useful reforms.

The two agreements are the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.

Romulo said the signatories "engage themselves to develop and carry out policies, laws and administrative measures for securing the rights recognized in the convention, and abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination."

He stressed that the convention is not asking for any new rights for the disabled, nor asking for anything that they don't already enjoy, but only that "persons with disabilities enjoy the same opportunities in society that everybody else already enjoys."

The above convention is one of the fastest negotiated treaties in the history of the United Nations, what with its adoption last December after only three years of negotiation, according to Romulo.

The Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Nov. 23, 2005, "seeks to enhance the legal certainty and commercial predictability of electronic communications used in relation to international contracts."

The 2005 convention addresses the following:

  • the determination of a party's location in an electronic environment; the time and place of dispatch and the receipt of electronic communications;
  • the use of automated message systems for contract formation; and
  • the criteria to be used for establishing functional equivalence between electronic communications and paper documents including "original" paper documents as well as between electronic authentication methods and hand-written signatures.

    In committing to the said convention, Romulo said the Philippines is "deeply interested in useful reforms that can spur the development of cross-border online commerce in the developed and developing world."

    This, especially because the Philippine economy is "growing and closely tied to international commerce," and because the Philippines is a "country on the leading edge of the information age," he said. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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