Thank you, Mr. Vice-President. 

The Philippines aligns itself with the statement of the Like-Minded Group of States. We wish to reiterate our appreciation and support for the High Commissioner in putting emphasis on technical assistance and capacity-building in the work of her office.

Technical assistance and capacity-building has an enormous potential to bring about real transformation on the ground; enhance dialogue with and cooperation with States; and strengthen the capacity of duty bearers in fulfilling their human rights obligations. These, arguably, are the only measures by which we can gauge the effectiveness and success of our actions and decisions in the Council as well as the work of the human rights mechanisms.

Assisting states, upon their request and with their consent, in the areas of civil, political,

economic, social, and cultural rights including right to development, contribute to the fulfilment of the Council’s prevention mandate. There should not be a hierarchy of rights in this regard nor a unilateral imposition of measures upon states in the guise of “technical assistance”. The determination of priority areas for assistance rests solely upon the concerned sovereign state based on its unique national circumstances.

            In light of the increasing polarization in the Council, the proliferation of mandates and initiatives that are affecting the Council’s efficiency, the worrisome budget situation of the OHCHR, and the growing skepticism about the relevance and effectiveness of multilateralism, the Philippines urges the Council to take it as a matter of duty to assess and ensure that our actions indeed contribute to meaningful and enduring impact on the ground. In this regard, the Philippines joins the Like-Minded Group of states in underscoring the need to strengthen our work on technical assistance and capacity-building.

Thank you, Mr. Vice-President. END.