Thank you, Mr. President

We fully align ourselves with the High Commissioner in drawing the Council’s urgent attention to the challenges and threats that climate change place upon human rights and how the Council can better contribute to effective climate action that seeks, not confrontation, but positive impact on the ground.

As a core sponsor of the resolution on climate change and human rights, and member of the Geneva Pledge, the Philippines believes that the Council and the OHCHR could focus attention on capacitating State duty bearers to better fulfil their human rights obligations with respect to this issue and supporting constructive platforms for the government to dialogue and collaborate with national stakeholders, including industry and business and other States.

With reference to the investigations being made by the Philippines’ NHRI on the 47 fossil fuel companies and their role in interfering with the people’s enjoyment of their fundamental rights, the government looks forward to collaborating on future actions to resolve complaints through administrative measures and/or the proper judicial processes. We believe that businesses anywhere in the world must be made accountable to the highest standards of human rights, environment and climate change.

The government remains strongly committed to work with the international community on effective climate action. This is anchored on the guarantee enshrined in the Philippine Constitution of the “right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”. The Supreme Court in 2010 established a landmark writ of Kalikasan (meaning nature) which is a legal remedy to pursue and protect the citizens’ constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Mr. President, we share the concern raised by the High Commissioner on regressive policies enforced by some states which have gravely harmed the rights of migrants, especially children. adolescents and their families, in some cases putting human lives in great peril. We urge the concerned states to uphold and protect the rights of migrants, and respect the humanity and dignity of migrants under all circumstances.

Finally, we reiterate our serious concerns on the increasing use of and resort to unilateral measures in the Council which do not enjoy the support of the concerned country. These are counter-productive and costly especially as the OHCHR is operating under budget constraints and they have no clear positive impact on the ground. The IIM on Myanmar is a case in point. The budget of almost US$27 million for two years for this mechanism is almost entirely allocated for staff salaries and consultancy fees of almost 70 personnel as well as their travel expenses, and none of them toward concrete programs on the ground. There is also a question on the lack of transparency and accountability in the mass hiring process for this mandate as well as its working methodologies.

Thank you, Mr. President. END.