Duterte showed political will at UN assembly – Go

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has again demonstrated his political will to fight for the rights and welfare of the Filipino people in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)’s 76th session on Wednesday, Sen. Bong Go said.

“In the face of the many challenges, we stand firm that no Filipino will be neglected under the leadership of our President, ” Go said yesterday.

He praised Duterte’s speech at the UNGA, saying that it is “always an honor for the country’s leader to speak before the world’s nations and show the status and stability of the Philippines.”

He said the President’s speech is timely and appropriate in light of the various international challenges afflicting the world. Duterte stood firm in representing the country and its principled positions on key global issues, he added.

“The President’s speech was very timely and meaningful because he paid attention to important issues around the world today, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, migrant workers rights, South China Sea, refugees and UN reform,” he said.

In his speech, the President also referred to an earlier pledge of the country to contribute to the COVAX Facility, which supplies vaccines to UN member states.

The President also stated that the government accepts its share of responsibility when it comes to climate change and will do its part to address the global issue.

“He also reminded (listeners of) the importance of cooperation between neighboring countries against the effects of climate change, ”said Go.

The President also called for the end of the kafala system, calling it a “behemoth that chains the weak, the desperate and the voiceless to an existence of unimaginable suffering.”

“Nothing can justify the continued existence of this unjust system. While reforms have been made, the kafala system must be dismantled – sooner rather than later – in the name of justice and basic decency,” Duterte added.

The kafala is a system used to monitor migrant laborers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in Gulf Cooperation Council member states and a few neighboring countries in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Duterte described the 2016 arbitral judgment in the West Philippine Sea issue as a “win-win solution for all,” stressing that the conflict must be addressed peacefully as stated in the Manila Declaration on Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.

The President, at the same time, stressed the Philippines’ “longstanding humanitarian tradition” as the government agreed to accept Afghan refugees, adding that the global community must do its best to “help the Afghan people and all those who continue to suffer.”

“President Duterte has shown his concern to the world in the face of various crises. This is proof that the spirit of bayanihan can be an example even in our relations with other countries,” Go said.

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