Category Archives: UN in the Philippines Press Releases

Philippines celebrates 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

SM MOA globe lit UN Blue

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.

Continue reading

Queen Maxima visits PHL to promote access to financial services

Queen Maxima

Her Majesty Queen Máxima will visit the Republic of the Philippines from 29 June 2015 to 1 July 2015 in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development.

The Queen is visiting the country at the invitation of the Philippine government and Central Bank. On the morning of Tuesday 30 June, she will be in Manila to discuss inclusive finance with representatives of international organisations and the private sector. In the afternoon she will visit the province of Cavite, a farming region popular among tourists. There she will speak with local businesses about how financial services, like a bank or savings account, loan or insurance, could improve their economic development.

On 1 July Queen Máxima will give a speech in Manila at the launch of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion. This government action plan coordinated by the Central Bank aims to enhance cooperation between ministries, government agencies and the private sector to improve the population’s access to financial services. Prior to the launch, the Queen will meet with the governor of the Central Bank.

In the afternoon Queen Máxima will take part in a round table discussion with parties involved in the national strategy. These include the Central Bank, the Departments of Finance, Social Welfare & Development, Education, and Trade & Industry, and government agencies like the National Economic and Development Authority, the Insurance Commission and the Philippine Statistics Authority. There will also be a meeting with the Secretary of Finance, as well as with the speaker of the House of Representatives and the senate president.

Queen Máxima was designated as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in September 2009. In this capacity, she advises the Secretary-General, and works worldwide to make financial services accessible to all, including low-income groups and the SME sector. In June 2011 Queen Máxima became honorary patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

——————————————————————————————————–

For any inquiries, please contact: Teresa Debuque: + (632) 3367720 to 22 / 0917-5000622 / debuque@un.org

UNDP calls for media safety as the Philippines marks Press Freedom Day – 4 May 2015

4 May 2015 – In the lead up to the World Press Freedom Day last 3 May, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined its partners in the Philippines in calling for media safety, better access to and reporting on information, and gender equality.

UNDP and the US Embassy Manila supported “Let Journalism Thrive: The Right to Life, The Right to Know, The Right to Free Expression,” a public forum organised by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on 29 April at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila. United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg was keynote speaker at the forum.

Moderated by PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas, the forum aimed to raise awareness of the culture of impunity that has threatened Filipino journalists and their right to free speech and reportage for years. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) reports that about 147 journalists were killed in the line of duty since 1986.

UN Resident Coordinator, a.i., and UNDP Resident Representative, a.i., Terence Jones, in his opening remarks said, “The Philippine Government has taken some steps to address these concerns, including the body on extrajudicial killings created to speed up investigations. However, progress has been slow, and only a handful of convictions have been made. There is much more to be done. We cannot rest until the number of extra-judicial killings is brought to zero, and that journalists and citizens alike can access and report on information without fear of violence or coercion.”

“Obstacles are still present in today’s media industry, ranging from imbalanced access to information and under-representation of women to insufficient media coverage of gender issues and outright violence against female journalists and women.”

Through the project ‘Empowering Citizens to Deepen Democracy’, UNDP has supported PCIJ and the Commission on Human Rights to develop documentaries on political issues throughout the Philippines, build a governance database to allow citizens to track the record and performance of their leaders, as well as to train young journalists in responsible reporting techniques.

In addition to its direct support to the media, UNDP is also supporting the setup of the monitoring mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review, wherein government, civil society, and the private sector track and encourage the Philippines’ progress in complying with the UPR recommendations. Amongst the big ticket policy reforms include the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and the Freedom of Information Bill.

Panelists included Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office; Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno, Dean of De la Salle University College of Law; Melinda Quintos de Jesus, Executive Director of CMFR; and Rowena Paraan, National Chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

(A copy of Mr Jones’s message is available at http://www.ph.undp.org/content/philippines/en/home/presscenter/speeches/2015/04/29/opening-message-forum-to-mark-world-press-freedom-day-2015/)