Category Archives: News from UNIC Manila

UPR Working Group releases report on the Philippines

(Manila, 11 May 2017) The report of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group (UPR WG) on the Philippines has just been distributed to states.

However, please note that the report is still scheduled to be adopted by the UPR WG today, 11 May 2017, at at 16.30 in Geneva, or 22.30 in Manila. Nevertheless, since the report has been distributed to states, there is no embargo on this report.

In brief, the Philippines received a total of 257 recommendations from the 95 participating states.   Simply to note, 220 is the average number of recommendations received thus far from states during this session; so the 257 is not extraordinary (e.g., India and Brazil received 250 and 246, respectively).

The dominant issues cited in the Philippines recommendations relate to extrajudicial killings and the campaign against illegal drugs (as reported widely in media), the death penalty and human trafficking.

Here is the Report: A_HRC_WG.6_27_L.10_Philippines

UNIC Manila celebrates UN71 with launch of SDG Exhibit

screenhunter_828-nov-18-13-47 screenhunter_829-nov-18-13-48 screenhunter_830-nov-18-13-4824 October 2016 — The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila marked the 71st Anniversary of the UN (UN71) with the inauguration today of an exhibit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The exhibit, which opened at the SM Mall of Asia, featured standees of Filipino celebrities and renowned personalities, such as Anne Curtis, Daphne Osena-Paez, Dingdong Dantes, Gary Valenciano, KC Concepcion, and Paolo Abrera, as well as UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon..

The exhibit opened with a programme graced by Ambassador-Designate, Philippine Mission to the UN, Mr. Teodoro Locsin Jr.; UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines, Mr. Ola Almgren; Assistant Secretary Dr. Evelyn Cruzada from the Office of the President; Greenpeace Southeast Asia executive director Mr. Yeb Sano, and CNN Awardee Mr. Efren Penaflorida.

Here is the Keynote Message delivered by Mr. Locsin Jr.


Here is the Keynote Message delivered by UNRC Mr. Almgren.


The UNIC Manila SDG exhibit will “travel” to all Metro Manila based SM Malls.

Photos of the event may be viewed at:

Wall-to-wall video coverage of the event is available at:

UNIC Manila conducts forum on UN Philippines for Mindanao students

Last 13 July 2016, UNIC Manila National Information Officer Teresa Debuque conducted a forum on the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines for 41 students of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, in Lanao del Sur province in Mindanao.

The  MSU students are in Manila to fulfill the on-the-training requirement of their International Relations course.

Ms. Debuque presented the history of the UN in the Philippines; the UN Development Assistance Framework as the roadmap for UN Philippines assistance to the Philippine Government; the UN reform process as exemplified by ‘Delivering As One’ principles; and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Capping the student forum was the showing of two videos: the UN70 video produced by the UN Country Communications Group (UNCCG) in the Philippines, which showed progress made jointly by the UN and the Philippine Government in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the “We the People” video, showing international celebrities talking about the SDGs.

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Handicapable painters depict SDGs in Disability Week exhibit (21 July 2016)

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L-R in foreground: Mr. Zaldy Sanches, IEC Chief, National Council on Disability Affairs; Ms. Cecille Guidote-Alvarez, Executive Director, Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center/Artist for Peace; Secretary Salvador Panel, Presidential Legal Counsel; Ms. Teresa Debuque, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre Manila; Mr. Heherson Alvarez, former Philippines Senator and founder of Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center/Artist for Peace.

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Above: View of paintings done by handicapable artists and depicting their interpretation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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Above: Mr. Nikki Pahati gives a message on behalf of handicapable artists.

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(Above: Keynote speaker, Secretary Salvador Panelo–Presidential Legal Counsel)

On 21 July 2016, UNIC Manila and partners opened an exhibit of paintings of “handicapable artists” depicting the latter’s interpretation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Presidential Palace Museum.

This exhibit was put together in observance of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation month twinned with National Disaster Consciousness Month.

The exhibit was opened by Presidential Legal Counsel Mr. Salvador Panelo; Ms. Teresa Debuque, UNIC Manila National Information Officer; and former Philippines Senator and founder of Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center/Artist for Peace, Mr. Heherson Alvarez.

UNIC Manila’s partners include Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center/Artist for Peace; the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); and the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA).

The exhibit is open to the public and will run from 21-29 July 2016.

View more photos of the exhibit operning at:

You may take a closer look at the paintings here:

Running alongside the exhibit is a poetry contest on the theme: Persons With Disabilities and their Role in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” which is organized by UNIC Manila, NCCA, and Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center/Artist for Peace. Winners of this poetry contest will be announced at the end of July 2016 at the radio programme, Radyo Balintataw, aired over DZRH.


Global UN essay-writing tilt challenges high-school students to give life to sustainable devt goals

First place winner to get $2,500 cash prize and a $10,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University in New Jersey, United States


The United Nations (UN) has opened a global essay-writing contest for high school students, with the first prize winner set to receive a $2,500 cash prize and a $10,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University in New Jersey, United States ($2,500 annually).

This contest is being organized by the UN Academic Impact (UNAI),  UNAI member Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and the Education Outreach Section, of the UN Department of Public Information (UN DPI). This contest invites high school students to be part of the solution and serve the greater good by participating in a Sustainable Development (SDG) Challenge designed to engage students in thinking about the needs of society and the planet — encouraging them to be agents of change and embrace the SDGs.

Students around the world are invited to submit their 300 to 500 word statement that describes an innovative approach or idea for addressing any of the SDGs. They can present an idea aimed at creating awareness or change related to one or more of the goals. Proposals can be for a project, campaign or charity that will assist in attaining one or more of the goals. They can be local or global, with a focus on the students’ school, surrounding community, state or any country or region of the world. Submissions are asked to  briefly explain the idea and approach to implementing the idea; identify which UN. Sustainable Development Goal(s) this idea supports; and explain how the idea will contribute to attaining this goal(s).

The deadline for submission of entries is midnight (New York time) the night of March 27-28, 2016.

Finalists with the best ideas will win cash prizes and a scholarship to attend Seton Hall. The cash prize can assist in launching the idea or creating awareness about the sustainable development goal or region of the world that is most important to the submitter. The first place winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a $10,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($2,500 annually). The second place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize plus a $6,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($1,500 annually). The other finalists will each receive a $4,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($1,000 annually).

For contest rules and how to submit your entry, go to:

Read more about this contest:

For any questions, please contact: Ms. Teresa Debuque, National Information Officer, UN Information Centre (UNIC) Manila, at 632-3367720 to 22, 0917-5000622, or via email:

Deadline for Application extended to 8 March 2016: 2016 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme

The deadline for submission of applications to the Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme has been extended to 8 March 2016. [See the note announcing the extension of the deadline on the RAF Programme website:]

The Programme provides journalists with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the work of the United Nations. It is also an opportunity to meet journalists from other countries and exchange ideas with UN communication professionals.

Read more about the RAF Programme to see if you qualify.

Eligible candidates need to submit the following documents:

  1. Completed Application Form available online: answering ALL questions and providing all requested information.
  2. Photocopy of the passport
  3. Photocopy of the diploma or any certificates of professional training or workshop in journalism/broadcasting.
  4. A reference letter (on letterhead) from the current employer.
  5. Three samples of his/her work on topics related to the work of the UN (or links to online or audio visual stories)

All the above mentioned documents should be sent to RAF Programme Director, Mr. Zvi Muskal, via e-mail at: no later than 8 March 2016.

Selected journalists and broadcasters will spend four weeks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 8 September through 5 October, 2016

Upon completion of the Programme, participants are expected to continue working in journalism or broadcasting and help promote better understanding of the United Nations in their home country.

Applicants must be aged between 22 and 35 and currently employed by a recognized media organisation, with several years of professional experience and oral and written fluency in English. The United Nations will cover the cost of a round trip ticket and a daily subsistence allowance. For further information, please visit

For any inquiries, please contact: Ms. Teresa L. Debuque, National Information Officer, UN Information Center Manila, at, or you may call at: 3367720 to 22.



Philippines celebrates 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

UN70: Strong UN. Better World

Manila, 23 October 2015 – ‘Strong UN. Better World.” is the global theme as the United Nations (UN) marks its 70th anniversary on 24 October 2015.  The UN Philippines in collaboration with the Government of the Philippines is holding a series of activities to celebrate seven decades of partnership.

“The year 2015 is momentous for the United Nations. The development agenda for the coming 15 years has just been agreed by Member States – including the Philippines – the 2030 Agenda encapsulated in the shape of Sustainable Development Goals or the Global Goals,” UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren said today in his welcome remarks in a Department of Foreign Affairs and UN joint event held at the SM Mall of Asia to celebrate UN70.  The event was joined by senior Government and UN officials, diplomats and dignitaries, partners and the media.

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UN launches search for 10 “Intercultural Innovation” Awardees

The ten best community-based organizations that are working to alleviate identity-based tensions and conflicts around the world using innovative methods will be chosen in the fourth Intercultural Innovation Award that is being organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group. Candidates may apply online at on or before 30 September 2015 at 5:00pm in New York.

Awardees will be given a financial contribution to help their project expand and replicate, with a first prize of USD 40 000. They will also take part in a one-year support program that includes training and capacity-building, increased visibility, access to a network of change makers working in intercultural dialogue and ongoing project-specific mentoring.

“Honoring grassroots organizations that are deeply committed to improving relations across communities and people lies at the core of the Alliance’s work. That we are doing in this partnership with the BMW Group is further evidence of the innovative approaches we pursue,” said H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Added Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Corporate Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications at BMW Group, “Our commitment to the awardees extends beyond financial support to include every relevant resource we can offer. This can make the crucial difference in turning an idea into a reality that improves peoples’ lives.”

Launched in 2011, the Intercultural Innovation Award is the result of a unique public-private partnership between the UNAOC and BMW Group. With the overarching aim of helping people to help themselves, the two partners jointly mobilize their resources, time, and networks to support awardees. This new model of collaboration between the UN and the private sector creates deeper impact, as both partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project. For the third edition of the Intercultural Innovation Award, more than 600 applications were received from over 100 different countries.

For enquiries, please contact: