UDHR70: A commitment from civil society

10 December 2018, 14:00 to 18:00 h

Room VII, Palais des Nations


Amb. Maria Teresa T. Almojuela

Deputy Permanent Representative

Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor for the Philippine Mission in Geneva to be invited to participate in this event, which is a positive response of the organizers to the call made last year by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for public activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The numerous events in Geneva since last week testify to the sincere and spirited commitment of States and stakeholders to affirm the symbolic importance of the UDHR and more importantly to manifest its meaning concretely in our work and in the everyday lives of all human beings.

We welcome the keen interest of the many organizations represented here to be engaged in this great project of humanity – the UDHR – to uphold the dignity of all human beings, regardless of race, nationality, gender, age and faith. We recognize the role of the civil society, NGOs and faith-based organizations in this project, because human rights needs its vanguards and champions in all places and all corners of the society.

We attach significant attention to human rights education, believing that awareness of human rights empowers individuals and communities as participants and builders of just and humane societies. The Philippines has a national framework on HRE where the NHRI and the civil society participate actively.

In the Human Rights Council, the Philippines co-sponsored a resolution on Human Rights Education. The resolution recognizes the role of human rights education in the prevention and eradication of intolerance and discrimination. It also encourages States and stakeholders to strengthen efforts and advance implementation of HRE with special emphasis on women, girls, children, and those in vulnerable situations, in accordance with the Agenda 2030’s “leaving no one behind.”

In the UN, the Philippines has been one of the leading countries actively pursuing interfaith and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace. In the past years, we have hosted high-level ministerial meetings on interfaith dialogue which fostered shared commitments from governments to develop and strengthen policies and programs at all levels and across all sectors that will contribute to the promotion of a culture of peace, and respect for diversity within the constitutional order and particularities of each country.

In line with this advocacy, we believe in the critical role of faith-based organizations in enriching the conversation on this universally-shared aspiration to pursue the good of every person and promote and protect human rights. The conversation can only flourish when it is inclusive, and when informed by the perspectives of many parties coming together in good faith. The UDHR is at the heart of this conversation and the gathering point for all that seek the good and dignity of each person.

In our fifth term as member of the Human Rights Council from 2019 to 2021, the Philippines is committed to continue these advocacies and to contribute actively to this conversation of encompassing importance. We hope that the conversation we have this afternoon will foster greater solidarity among those present to continue to fully realize the letter and spirit of UDHR, such that the majesty of this document shines in the life of each and every human being, in all corners of the world.

Thank you.

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