Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday said the country is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the global body.
“Today, we stand ready to advance the SDGs championed by the UN, knowing that the world body must constantly seek to advance human progress wherever possible — even while it must constantly put out wars, end conflicts and respond quickly to disasters and humanitarian crises,” Locsin told the audience at the inauguration of an exhibit on SGDs at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
He said the Duterte administration is committed to growth strategy that “weds economic development with environmental sustainability and social inclusion.”
As new UN ambassador, according to Locsin, he was always asked on how receptive the community is the international to President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the United States, European countries and even the UN itself.
“You can say anything you want but you can never attack the UN because the Philippines is [a member of the]United Nations. We are part of the UN and we will continue to be. We are highly regarded because of the peace-keeping forces [contributed by the Philippines and which the UN deploys to areas of armed conflict],” he told reporters in a chance interview.
Locsin said the attacks of Duterte against the UN on the issue of human rights “will not affect the relationship of the Philippines with the UN and other nations.
“At the UN, the forum is there so people could talk [but not on]fighting,” he added.
Locsin likened Duterte’s attacks to “cha-cha diplomacy” where “you turn left to China, right to Russia and turn around back to facing the US anew.”
He disclosed that he met Duterte only once who told him what to “do” and not mind defending him and just do his job “for the country.”
Locsin said he will have to stay here in Manila for a while and not attend to his job as UN ambassador in New York where the world body is headquartered.
The ambassador added that the UN is helping attract businessmen to invest in the Philippines knowing fully well that they can provide decent work, more income for the poor, access to good health programs and a stewardship approach to use of resources.
Also present at the inauguration were UN Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren, Assistant Secretary (Office of the Cabinet Secretary) Evelyn Cruzada, former senator Heherson Alvarez, SM senior vice president for marketing communications Millie Dizon, former Climate Change commissioner Yeb Sano and CNN hero Efren Peñaflorida.