Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at U.N. headquarters. AP/Craig Ruttle

Things Cayetano said at 32nd UN general assembly
( - September 25, 2017 - 9:44am

MANILA, Philippines — Last Saturday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano delivered President Rodrigo Duterte's message to the international community at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Here are the issues tackled by Cayetano in his 15-page speech before world leaders.

War on drugs

  • As a responsible leader, the Philippine president launched a vigorous campaign against the illegal drug trade to save lives, preserve families, protect communities and stop the country’s slide into a narco-state.
  • As of August 2017, the drug trade had penetrated at least 24,848 barangays. This is 59 percent of the total of 42,036 of the smallest government units spanning our archipelago, the ones directly in touch with our people.
  • While drug addiction calls for rehabilitation, drug trafficking surely calls for stern measures—though always consistent with the rule of law. The President has and will always have zero-tolerance for abusive cops, as time will show.
  • The drug trade has penetrated even law enforcement.
  • But we cannot live with drugs because drugs will not let us live. We can no more live with drugs than with terrorism, which, the United Nations admits, and as we have discovered is funded by the drug trade.

RELATED: Cayetano: Drug war 'necessary instrument' for Filipino human rights

Counterterrorism and violent extremism

  • We should hold no illusion that the threat posed by the Islamic State will be over with the collapse of its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and very soon in Syria. Rather, we should all be ready to confront a very potent threat that has spread to other parts of the world.
  • The Armed Forces of the Philippines shall regain full control of Marawi from Islamic State-inspired terrorists.
  • Terrorism is a global problem that no country can tackle alone.
  • The Philippines welcomes the creation of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office to bring into a cohesive whole the work on counterterrorism by Member States and the UN. 

RELATED: AFP will regain Marawi, Cayetano assures UN

Rule of law

  • The issues are numerous, intertwined and complex. Territorial claims, Sovereignty rights, security and protection of marine life and resources, to name a few.
  • The Philippines, as ASEAN Chairman this year, looks forward to commencing negotiations on the long-overdue code of conduct in West Philippine Sea/South China Sea.
  • We thank the individual
  • ASEAN states and China for their utmost cooperation in this endeavor.

Human rights

  • We should never tolerate human rights abuses but neither should we tolerate misinformation, fake news on and politicization of human rights, for these undermine our collective efforts as the United Nations to uphold the universality of human rights and dignity of human life.
  • But why debate security versus human rights? Security and human rights are not incompatible.

RELATED: Ignoring issues raised, Philippines claims 'victory' in UN review

Peace and security

  • Today, the Philippines patiently builds stronger relationships with the international community through the ASEAN and the United Nations. We remain a friend to all and an enemy to none—to bridge, to build, a more peaceful, secure and stable world.

Sustainable development

  • There is a link between increasing poverty, corruption and a deteriorating environment. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte seeks to reverse this linkage by addressing the adverse effects of climate change – to which the Philippines is most vulnerable – through disaster risk reduction and through strict implementation of laws protecting the environment.Roa Duterte seeks to reverse this linkage by addressing the adverse effects of climate change – to which the Philippines is most vulnerable – through disaster risk reduction and through strict implementation of laws protecting the environment.
  • As we seek to improve conditions for foreign nationals living and working in the Philippines, we advocate the fundamental concept of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We call on the UN to elevate migration in its agenda.

Disarmament and non-proliferation

  • On July 7, the Philippines joined 121 other member-states in securing our world from weapons of mass destruction by adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Three days ago, I signed the Treaty. The Philippines calls on Member States with nuclear weapons to likewise sign on.
  • The Philippines joins the call on the DPRK to put a stop to its provocations, which bring us closer to an unimaginable scenario: a war to end all wars because no one will be left to fight new ones.

— Patricia Lourdes Viray

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