Subject: Philippines ends SC presidency with request for justice report

Manila Bulletin

RP’s month-long UN Security Council stint ends

The Philippines ended its historic month-long presidency of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, Sept. 30, with a barrio fiesta-style reception attended by over 300 diplomats, officials of the United Nations Secretariat, and members of the Filipino community, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said yesterday.

The so-called end of presidency reception hosted by Ambassador Lauro L. Baja Jr., Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at his residence on East 66 th St. in Manhattan was a typical barrio fiesta complete with Filipino music, courtesy of a rondalla from the University of the Philippines, and lechon (roasted pig) and other native delicacies.

The Philippines, which held the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of September ­the busiest month of the United Nations calendar ­ will be replaced by Romania, which will oversee the work of the Security Council for the month of October.

"It is heartwarming to receive congratulations once again from a very successful Philippine presidency of the Security Council," Baja said, referring to kudos he received from fellow diplomats who attended the reception for the Security Council Summit that President Arroyo steered during the month of the Philippine presidency.

The Sept. 14 summit, which served as the highlight of the Philippine presidency and two-year membership in the Security Council, was presided over by President Arroyo who has earned the distinction of being the first Filipino president, the first Asian leader, and the first woman head of state to chair what is only the third such meeting to be conducted in the history of the United Nations.

Baja said ambassadors and delegates from other permanent missions to the United Nations also cited Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo for chairing the thematic debate on "Role of the Civil Society in Conflict Prevention and Pacific Settlement of Disputes" on Sept. 22.

As one of the last achievements of the Philippine presidency, the Security Council adopted by consensus a Philippine proposal on East Timor which would request the UN Secretary General, in close consultation with his Special Representative in Timor-Leste, to submit a report on justice and reconciliation for Timor-Leste with a practically feasible approach, taking into account the report of the Commission of Experts, as well as the views expressed by Indonesia and TimorLeste.

"I’m glad we were able to resolve the issue which has festered for months and assisted close neighbor Indonesia and East Timor," Baja said.

Aside from the summit and open debate, the Philippines also led the adoption of seven resolutions, three presidential statements, and six statements to the press during its presidency ­ the second since the Philippines joined the Security Council as an elected member for the term 2004-2005. (David Cagahastian) 

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