Explanation of Vote (EOV) before the vote
Thank you, Mr. President.
The Philippines condemns all acts of intimidation and reprisals by states and non-state actors. We affirm the helpful role of the UN its representatives and its mechanisms in examining, verifying and corroborating allegations of acts of intimidation or reprisal and support the continuation of its work in this regard, in constructive dialogue and cooperation with and by the State concerned.
We expect reports to the Council to adhere to the highest level of objectivity, professionalism and due diligence. Maintaining high standards to ensure that facts - not falsities - are the basis of our discourse is crucial to preserve the integrity and credibility of the Council in the age of fake news.
With reference to PP3 on the report of the Secretary-General, we reiterate our concern about the generalization made on the use of national security arguments and counter-terrorism to justify reprisals. Affirming state duty to combat impunity and ensure accountability for all acts of intimidation or reprisals entails addressing those perpetrated by non-state actors including terrorist groups.
We have appealed to the Council and the international community to exercise due diligence in engaging non-state actors who have long abused the good faith of the UN system, masquerading as human rights defenders and victims of reprisals, while actively carrying out terrorism and crime. We have presented evidence on how the CPP-NPA, a terrorist group, and its front organizations, have perpetrated systemic atrocities among its followers and indigenous communities in the Philippines for decades. The report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Children in Armed Conflict corroborates this information.
While underlining our full commitment to address all cases of intimidation and reprisals within the established mechanisms in the Philippines, we have reason to be concerned over the misuse of the issue of reprisal in some particular settings as blanket for impunity for the perpetration of atrocities by certain parties, including terrorist group and their frontline organizations. Allowing such misuse has the effect of interfering with State duty to combat all acts of intimidation or reprisals and to protect and promote the human rights of their citizens.
In this regard, the Philippines will abstain on the resolution.
Thank you, Mr. President. END.