Author Archives: teresadebuque

UN Secretary-General’s Message for International Migrants’ Day, 18 December 2018

Migration is a powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism and understanding. It allows millions of people to seek new opportunities, benefiting communities of origin and destination alike.

But when poorly regulated, migration can intensify divisions within and between societies, expose people to exploitation and abuse, and undermine faith in government.

This month, the world took a landmark step forward with the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Backed with overwhelming support by the membership of the United Nations, the Compact will help us to address the real challenges of migration while reaping its many benefits.

The Compact is people-centered and rooted in human rights.

It points the way toward more legal opportunities for migration and stronger action to crack down on human trafficking.

On International Migrants Day, let us take the path provided by the Global Compact: to make migration work for all.


UN Secretary-General’s Message on International Universal Health Coverage Day, 12 December 2018

Today, the world marks the first International Universal Health Coverage Day. We do so because good health is a fundamental human right and crucial to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Quality physical and mental health services should be accessible to everyone, everywhere.  Tragically, that is not the case for half the world’s population.  And each year, 100 million people are driven into poverty because care cost far more than they could afford.

Such dire circumstances should befall no one – and do not have to. Many countries around the world have shown that it is possible to provide universal health care. They have also demonstrated that improving health is a smart investment in human capital that helps to promote economic growth and reduce poverty.

Strong leadership and community engagement are essential in ensuring that all people get the healthcare they need. On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to a world with health for all.


Mindanao studes top UN human rights film tilt

Three 17-year-old high school students from Mindanao bagged the Grand Prize in the United Nations (UN) Philippines’ short film competition, “What Human Rights Mean to Me.”

Kian Cablinda, Angelo Famador and Scylla Reina Angcos—all students of Central Mindanao University Laboratory High School in Bukidnon province—won the top award for their film, entitled “To Be a Child.” They received their trophy and prizes at the Awards Night held last 5 December 2018 at Cinema 7 of SM Mall of Asia.

The human rights film contest was organized by the UN Philippines to mark the 70th anniversary this year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The contest was open to teams of three Filipinos, 13-18 years old.

Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon, chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), said, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a 70-year-old document, but sadly, it remains largely unfulfilled. There is a direct assault on the idea of human rights that we need to push back against. And the best way to do so is to make sure that we continue to inform, make people aware, and to mobilize people to act for and on behalf of the words in the human rights treaty. And what better way than to use the language of young persons—technology, visual arts—what human rights mean to them.”

Meanwhile, UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren said, “We need to make sure that the voices of young persons are heard– and that we open pathways for meaningful participation in decisions that affect them.”

He added, “It is very clear, peace, economic progress, social justice, tolerance – all this and more, today and tomorrow, has to include and draw inspiration from the voices of the young.”

The winners were selected by a panel of judges composed of Director Jose Javier Reyes, Director and Cinemalaya president Laurice Guillen, Chair Chito Gascon, and Mika Kanervavuori, senior human rights advisor for the UN Philippines.

For this occasion, the symbol for the anniversary of the human rights treaty was projected on the Globamaze, the gigantic LED globe of SM Mall of Asia. [Photo attached]

The winning film, “To Be a Child,” may be viewed at:

Photo: [First row, fourth from L-R: Scylla Reina Angcos, Angelo Famador, Kian Cablinda; Second row, from R-L: Chair Chito Gascon, Mika Kanervavuori, UN Philippines senior human rights advisor, and UN Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren]

Photos of the event may be viewed here:

UN Secretary-General’s Message on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2018

Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the response to HIV stands at a crossroads. Which way we turn may define the course of the epidemic—whether we will end AIDS by 2030, or whether future generations will carry on bearing the burden of this devastating disease.

More than 77 million people have become infected with HIV, and more than 35 million have died of an AIDS-related illness. Huge progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment, and prevention efforts have avoided millions of new infections.

Yet the pace of progress is not matching global ambition.  New HIV infections are not falling rapidly enough. Some regions are lagging behind, and financial resources are insufficient. Stigma and discrimination are still holding people back, especially key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgenders, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrants—and young women and adolescent girls.  Moreover, one in four people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services.

There is still time — to scale-up testing for HIV; to enable more people to access treatment; to increase resources needed to prevent new infections; and to end the stigma.  At this critical juncture, we need to take the right turn now.

UN Secretary-General’s Remarks on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 19 November 2018

I am very pleased to be with you to discuss this essential topic.

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic.

It is a moral affront to all women and girls and to us all, a mark of shame on all our societies, and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.

At its core, violence against women and girls in all its forms is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women.

It is an issue of fundamental human rights.

The violence can take many forms – from domestic violence to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide.

It is an issue that harms the individual but also has far-reaching consequences for families and for society.

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UN Secretary-General’s Message on World Tsunami Awareness Day, 5 November 2018

Tsunamis are rare but devastating.  I saw this first-hand during my recent visit to Sulawesi, Indonesia, shortly after the earthquake and tsunami of 1 October.  More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were harmed or displaced.

As well as struggling to deal with the losses and trauma, the people of Sulawesi will need to recover from the economic losses caused by this disaster.  Reducing economic losses is a key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and is vital for eradicating extreme poverty.

Over the past two decades, tsunamis have accounted for almost 10 per cent of economic losses from disasters, setting back development gains, especially in countries that border the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

World Tsunami Awareness Day is an opportunity to emphasize again the importance of disaster prevention and preparedness, including early warning, public education, science to better understand and predict tsunamis, and development that takes account of risk in seismic zones and exposed coastal areas. [Ends]


UN Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, 2 November 2018

In just over a decade, more than a thousand journalists have been killed while carrying out their indispensable work. Nine out of ten cases are unresolved, with no one held accountable.

Female journalists are often at greater risk of being targeted not only for their reporting but also because of their gender, including through the threat of sexual violence.

This year alone, at least 88 journalists have been killed.

Many thousands more have been attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned on spurious charges, without due process.

This is outrageous. This should not become the new normal.

When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.

I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity.

I call on Governments and the international community to protect journalists and create the conditions they need to do their work.

On this day, I pay tribute to journalists who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats. Their work – and that of their fallen colleagues — reminds us that truth never dies. Neither must our commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Reporting is not a crime.

Together, let us stand up for journalists, for truth and for justice. [Ends]

You may download the Secretary-General’s video message at:


UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Cities Day, 31 October 2018

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the New Urban Agenda together provide a roadmap for a more sustainable and resilient world.  How our cities develop will have significant implications for realizing the future we want.

This year’s World Cities Day focuses on resilience and sustainability.  Every week, 1.4 million people move to cities.  Such rapid urbanization can strain local capacities, contributing to increased risk from natural and human made disasters.  But hazards do not need to become disasters.  The answer is to build resilience — to storms, floods, earthquakes, fires, pandemics and economic crises.

Cities around the world are already acting to increase resilience and sustainability.  Bangkok has built vast underground water storage facilities to cope with increased flood risk and save water for drier periods.  In Quito, the local government has reclaimed or protected more than 200,000 hectares of land to boost flood protection, reduce erosion and safeguard the city’s freshwater supply and biodiversity.  And in Johannesburg, the city is involving residents in efforts to improve public spaces so they can be safely used for recreation, sports, community events and services such as free medical care.

On World Cities Day, let us be inspired by these examples.  Let us work together to build sustainable and resilient cities that provide safety and opportunities for all.

UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Food Day, 16 October 2018

In our world of plenty, one person in nine does not have enough to eat.

About 820 million people still suffer from hunger.

Most of them are women.

Some 155 million children are chronically malnourished and may endure the effects of stunting for their entire lives.

And hunger causes almost half of the infant deaths worldwide.

This is intolerable.

On World Food Day, let us commit to a world without hunger — a world in which every person has access to a healthy, nutritious diet.

Zero hunger is about joining forces.

Countries and companies, institutions and individuals: we must each do our part towards sustainable food systems.

Today, we renew our commitment to uphold everyone’s fundamental right to food and to leave no one behind.

Thank you.



The year 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR70).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Download PDF

 To commemorate this anniversary (UDHR70), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila is organizing a nationwide video competition on the theme, “WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS MEAN TO ME.”

This contest is being organized in partnership with Ad Rem Projects and SM Marketing.

UNIC Manila and its partners aim to engage Filipino youth, 13-18 years of age. This age group, which belongs to Generation 2030, stands to benefit immensely from human rights education that encourages individual action to contribute towards attaining not just human rights goals but also the Agenda 2030 for Development.

A youth-friendly and illustrated edition of the UDHR produced by the UN may be downloaded at:


UNIC Manila will encourage contestants to reflect on the rights and freedoms afforded by the UDHR and then to portray through video what these rights mean to them, their families, and/or their communities.

The video could also depict the importance with which they regard these fundamental rights and their commitment to these.

Contestants could likewise represent through their video, their aspirations for a future in which they themselves, their families and/or their communities have full enjoyment of human rights.

Video submissions should not focus on political commentary.


  1. This contest is a team competition. Each team will be composed of three persons, all of whom should be bona fide Filipino citizens, and between the ages of 13 and 18 years at the time of the competition. Entrants will be required to submit a scan of their birth certificate.
  2. Teams composed of fewer or more than three persons are not eligible to join the competition.
  3. Entries must be submitted on or before 10 November 2018, 11:59 PM.
    • Users must download and accomplish the Registration Form, scan it, and email it, along with the scan of the birth certificates of the 3 team members to By signing the Registration Form, the Entrants agree to abide by the rules of the competition and the film guidelines and by the decision of the panel of judges.
    • Entrants can submit one (1) entry during the submission period.
    • All submitted entries will be stored on UNIC Manila’s Youtube channel but will not be visible to the public.
  1. Once all entries have been gathered, a Selection Team will screen all of the valid/verified entries in order to choose the Top 10 finalists.
  2. The Top 10 Finalists will be announced on 16 November 2018 on UNIC Manila’s Facebook Page and website. Entries will be scored according to the following criteria:
    • 40%Theme Integration – this will be based on the degree to which the entry faithfully captured and depicted the theme of the contest;
    • 25%: Creativity and originality – this will be based on the novelty and imagination of the entry’s approach to story-telling;
    • 25%: Production Value– this will be based on the entry’s production value, in terms of direction, cinematography, music and sound, editing, etc.;
    • 10%: Impact – this will be based on the compelling effect of the entry on its viewers, due both to its content and production value;

The shortlisted Entrants will be notified via email and phone using the contact details that they indicated in the registration form. 

  1. The Top 10 entries will be uploaded on UNIC Manila’s Facebook Page for public viewing and for online voting. Online voting will be held on 19-23 November 2018, and will end on 23 November 2018, 11:59 PM. Facebook users can only vote once during the whole voting period. It must be noted however that the selection of the top three entries will not be solely based on popularity on Facebook. The Facebook scores will form only 5% of the entries’ final scores.
  2. A Selection Committee will score the Top 10 Entries to determine the Top Three Teams.
  3. The criteria for selecting the Top Three Teams will be as follows:
    • 35%Theme Integration – this will be based on the degree to which the entry faithfully captured and depicted the theme of the contest;
    • 25%: Creativity and originality – this will be based on the novelty and imagination of the entry’s approach to story-telling;
    • 25%: Production Value– this will be based on the entry’s production value, in terms of direction, cinematography, music and sound, editing, etc.;
    • 10%: Impact – this will be based on the compelling effect of the entry on its viewers, due both to its content and production value;
    • 5%: Facebook Votes.
  4. The Top Three Teams will be announced on 29 November 2018 on UNIC Manila’s Facebook Page and website. The top three teams will be will be notified via email and phone using the contact details that they provided in the registration form.
  5. The Awards Ceremony will be held on 7 December 2018 at a public venue to be announced shortly.


  1. The contest is a team competition. Each team will be composed of three persons, all of whom should be bona fide Filipino citizens and between the ages of 13 and 18 years at the time of the competition. Entrants will be required to submit a scan of their birth certificate.
  2. Teams composed of fewer or more than three persons are not eligible to join the competition.
  3. Entrants must not be professional filmmakers. They must not have previously won any award in any Short Film competition, in the Philippines or in other countries.
  4. UN Staff and their relatives, and UN interns are disqualified from the competition.
  5. The submission period is from 12 October 2018 to 10 November 2018. The deadline for submission of entries is on 10 November 2018, 11:59 PM. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
  6. Entrants may submit only one (1) entry each.
  7. All entries must be submitted in digital format.
  8. The length of the video should not exceed 3 minutes, not including the opening and closing credits.
  9. The specifications for video submissions may be found at this link:
  10. Entrants may use any genre (i.e. Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Musical, etc.), but must fully and clearly depict the concept “What Human Rights Mean To Me” (as explained above) in its main story, dialogue, interactions, or visual elements.
  11. Films may be shot and edited using any device such as, but not limited to, professional filming devices like digital cameras, mobile devices (i.e. smart phones, tablets), desktop or laptop computers, and the like. The film’s final resolution should be acceptable enough for cinematic and television screening.
  12. No copyrighted materials (music, images, etc.) may be used for this contest unless the entrant owns the copyright or has a license to use the material for this contest. Written permission must be obtained and provided upon request for all copyrighted materials.
  13. All footage must be shot. Existing footage,  including but not limited to TV commercial and music videos, may not be used in any scene.
  14. Entries may use any language. However, subtitling in English is required.
  15. Content must comply with all local and national laws of the Philippines. Content must not (1) promote illegal behavior; (2) support racial, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice; (3) advocate sexual or violent exploitation; (4) violate rights established by law or agreement; (5) invade the privacy of any person; or 6) be otherwise inappropriate as determined by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila in its sole and conclusive determination.
  16. Entries must be strictly independent films and not produced by commercial producers.
  17. Entrants may not—prior to the awards ceremony on 7 December 2018–publicly share or publish their entry in any manner and may not post or upload their entry to any website or video hosting site (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Youtube or Vimeo and other online or digital platforms). Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the disqualification of the entry.
  18. The ownership of the underlying intellectual property of the entry remains with the Entrant, with the following exceptions:
    • Entrants grant UNIC Manila the right to use their names, photographs, statements, quotes, testimonials, and video submissions for non-commercial promotional purposes without notification or further compensation.
    • Entrants grant UNIC Manila the right to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, and/or display the Entrant’s video without further compensation or notification to the entrant.
    • UNIC Manila maintains the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or exhibit the video for non-commercial promotional purposes on their website, at conferences, or at any other venues.
    • By submitting to this contest, the Entrant acknowledges that her/his work may become subject to public voting on the contest site.
  19. IF CHOSEN AS A FINALIST, Entrants must submit a signed/completed Actor Release Form for each person appearing in their video. The accomplished Actor Release Form should be scanned and emailed to:, or sent by post to: United Nations Information Centre Manila, 15/F Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, corner of United and Sheridan Streets, Mandaluyong City, 1554 Metro Manila, Philippines.
  20. The only compensation for submitting a video is the opportunity to be awarded a prize if the entry wins. UNIC Manila will pay filmmakers no additional compensation nor be liable to the filmmaker under any circumstances.
  21. The decision of the Board of Judges is final.

For any questions, you may reach us through the following:


Tel.: 632 902 9901; 632 902 2574