‘PHL can enrich the work of the UN Security Council’

FIFTY nations gathered in San Francisco, California in April 1945 and created the United Nations. The Philippines is one of the UN’s original members. A wise man said the signing of the UN Charter in 1945 was an unprecedented development in the history of humankind. For the first time, the world’s most powerful sovereign nation states came together to create an autonomous organization designed to, in the Charter’s words, “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war [and] reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights.”

On January 1, 2004, the Philippines assumed one of the elected seats in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2004-2005. The Council consists of 15 member-states, and each member has one vote. The Council’s five permanent members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Under the UN Charter, all member-states are obligated to comply with the decisions of the UN Security Council.

The Council is primarily responsible for maintaining international peace and security. It also calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle differences through peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council may impose sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

US President Dwight Eisenhower said in 1961: “With all its defects, with all the failures that we can check up against it, the UN still represents man’s best organized hope to substitute the conference table for the battlefield.”

After almost two decades, the Philippines is again seeking a seat at the powerful UN body. President Marcos on Wednesday asked the UN member-states to support the Philippines’s candidature to the UN Security Council for the term 2027-2028. He made the call in a speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, saying the Philippines’s peace-building efforts make it qualified to be part of the Security Council.

“My country’s experience in building peace and forging new paths of cooperation can enrich the work of the Security Council. And to this end I appeal for the valuable support of all UN member-states for the Philippines’s candidature to the Security Council for the term of 2027-2028,” he said.

The President cited the country’s success in achieving “lasting peace and sustainable development” in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by pushing for inclusive dialogue. “The peace that we have forged after many decades of conflict among warring factions and clansmen demonstrates that unity is possible even in the most trying circumstances,” he said.

The Philippines, Marcos added, also takes the same approach in Asia, where it builds partnerships for peace and development through inter-faith and inter-religious dialogue, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “In the face of great diversity, we believe that partnerships form the bridge to unite all of us in promoting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.”

Highlighting the need to reaffirm the UN’s commitment to end war, uphold justice, respect human rights, and maintain international peace and security, Marcos urged the UN members to address the scourge of the proliferation of all weapons, including small arms, light weapons, or improvised explosive devices. He lamented that nuclear weapon continues to be an “existential threat” despite efforts to prohibit its use.

The Philippines has shown to the world its capacity in dealing with terrorists trying to gain a foothold in the country. As the President has said, the Philippines succeeded in achieving lasting peace and sustainable development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. If elected as one of the members of the UN Security Council, the Philippines can truly enrich the work of the UN body by sharing to the world its successful peacebuilding toolkit.