"The UN General Resolution A/Reso/60/251 provides obligations of Council Members. It requires they uphold the highest standards in human rights promotion and protection and cooperate fully with the Council," Human Rights Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said.
UN/Elma Okic
With seat in UN Human Rights Council, Philippines obligated to uphold human rights
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - October 15, 2018 - 10:11am

MANILA, Philippines — As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Philippines would be obligated to uphold the highest standards in human rights promotion and protection, the Commission on Human Rights said.

CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said Sunday the commission would monitor the country's human rights pledges after winning a seat in the UN council.

UN General Resolution 60/251 requires the Philippines to cooperate fully with the council, including special procedures mechanisms, Dumpit said.

"Recognizing further that the promotion and protection of human rights should be based on the principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue and aimed at strengthening the capacity of Member States to comply with their human rights obligations for the benefit of all human beings," the UN resolution read.

The CHR commissioner added that the election of the Philippines to the UNHRC was expected as the Asian group fielded as many candidates as there were seats in the council.

"Much work needs to be done to address the continuing serious human rights violations in the country," Dumpit said.

The CHR stands ready to engage the Philippine government and call on it to fulfill its obligations as a member of the UN rights council.

"On the 5th election of the Philippines to the Council,  the issuance of a standing invitation to the special procedures will demonstrate its genuine commitment 'To continue to engage actively with the human rights treaty bodies, special procedures and other mechanisms of the Human Rights Council,'" Dumpit said.

Former CHR Chairperson Etta Rosales, meanwhile, said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo does not understand the implication of the Philippines' election to the UNHRC.

Panelo earlier insisted that the country's retention of its seat in the UN council is a recognition of the Philippines' respect for human rights, as well as the government's crackdown against illegal drugs.

"Truth be told, there wasn't much competition. The point is, they didn't elect us because they believed in the war on drugs," Rosales told ANC's Early Edition.

The Philippines got 165 out of 192 votes during the elections at the UN General Assembly last week to become one of the 18 member-states that would sit in the UNHRC from 2018 to 2020. The Philippines was one of the 18 candidates vying for exactly 18 open seats in the council.

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