Human Rights Council: 43rd Regular Session
General Assembly Hall, Palais des Nations
10 March 2020
Agenda Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Speaking time: 2 min. 30 sec.
Thank you, Madam President.
The UN Secretary General and the High Commissioner have strongly called on States to direct actions towards concrete and meaningful transformations on the ground, providing guidance on strengthening the Council a credible platform for genuine dialogue and constructive cooperation. This transformation cannot be achieved by unilateral measures that denigrate the role of States as duty bearers.
We have repeatedly called on parties to cooperate with government and to provide facts toward the resolution of allegations, within the country’s accountability processes. We call on states to uphold the standards of objectivity and due diligence by ensuring that our discussions are based on facts and substantiated information, not on sweeping allegations, and to pay significant attention to the work of domestic accountability mechanisms and judicial processes.
We have drawn the Council’s attention to the activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), a terrorist group, in co-opting and exploiting human rights platforms and democratic spaces including the badge of “human rights defender” to serve hidden agendas of deceit and violence on the ground.
The 2019 Global Terrorism Index placed the Philippines among the top ten countries most impacted by terrorism, with the communist New Peoples Army dominating terrorist activities and responsible for most deaths and incidents. The Index further cited the NPA as the country’s deadliest terror group that has engaged in five decades of insurgency against the Filipino people. The CPP-NPA is tagged as a foreign terrorist organization by no less than the US, EU, Canada, and the UK.
Five decades of terrorism have been sustained by the group’s insidious “dual tactic” that combines the armed struggle with the legal struggle, the second being in support of and as cover for the armed communist movement. Activities in the legal arena involve fundraising by front organizations for purported charitable programs and the use of international platforms to project legitimacy, and to broaden its international network. The political objective is to discredit and topple any duly constituted democratic government and replace this with a communist dictatorship.
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We call on the Council and the international community to exercise vigilance and to support the UN Secretary General in ensuring that human rights are not used as a vehicle for double standards and hidden agendas.
Thank you, Madam President. END.