Macapagal hails RP entry into UN Security Council

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed the Philippines' election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as she vowed to push for "democracy, freedom, human dignity and peace."

"As a member of the Security Council we commit ourselves to the pursuit of democracy and freedom, human dignity and universal peace," Ms Macapagal said in a television address aired over GMA 7-'s "Unang Balita."

"In behalf of the Filipino people, I like to express my deep gratitude to all the 139 United Nations members, and most especially, to the 52-nation Asian block that supported our bid for a seat in the United Nations Security Council," Ms Macapagal said smiling.

"The Philippines is honored and privileged to serve the UN in a most sensitive and meaningful capacity in this century of crisis, challenge and opportunity," Ms Macapagal said.

The Philippines, along with Algeria, Brazil, Benin and Romania were chosen during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York late Thursday (before dawn Friday in Manila). The Philippines garnered the second most number of votes.

"The following states are elected members of the Security Council for a two-year term beginning the first of January 2004, Algeria, Benin, Brazil, the Philippines and Romania," Julian Hunte, President of the UN General Assembly said after the voting.

Foreign affairs undersecretary Lauro Baja will represent the country in the council, whose mandate is to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.

The five countries will replace current non-permanent members Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico, and Syria. The council's permanent members are the United States, France, Russia, China and the United Kingdom.

In a separate interview over the same newscast, Press Secretary Milton Alingod said that as the sole council member from Asia, the Philippines would push for "growth, peace and sustainable development" in the region.

"The Philippines will try to achieve multilateral consensus inn pursuing the Security Council's primary role of pursuing international peace and stability," Alingod said.


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