Asia-Pacific, Philippines, Human Rights, Politics

The UN and Why the Philippines Needs Them

Just recently, the Filipinos were alarmed at a statement from President Duterte threatening to retract the Philippines‘ membership from the United Nations (UN).

Allegedly, this is due to the UN’s sudden criticism of the rampant extra judicial killings in the country, which according to the Philippine media, is the result of the current administration’s war against drugs.

Of course, the retraction statement has caused rants and outbursts from people who had deep understanding regarding the protection and security UN membership gives.

With fluctuating economic conditions, the archipelago needs a crutch to help it with its international standing in order for it to improve the Filipinos’ lives. And who could better give that support but an international organization that has a pool of great minds that is able to unify different countries?

Thus, the President’s threat to separate the Philippines from UN is deemed illogical, unthought of, and whimsical.

In fact, it’s a matter of national issue that the President cannot decide on alone. Especially if whatever he utters is brought by, as his representative claims, exhaustion and hunger.

UN’s Criticism

The main goal of the UN is to preserve peace and uphold the rights and privileges of people regardless of race, color, and whatever distinctions we have placed among ourselves.

This is done through specialized groups that monitor or give assistance to their member countries. But, not all countries are privileged to benefit from UN’s effort to world peace and eradication of poverty and hostility.

Member countries then are bound by the rules, regulations, and principles of the UN. Since the Philippines is a UN member, the UN has the authority to meddle with national affairs if what happens is already threatening peace.

This is what transpired when the UN instigated the punishment for proponents of wars in other countries.

It was also the UN who blatantly interfered to stop the 1994 Rwandan’s Tutsi-Hutu civil war that claimed the lives of about 800,000 people.

It is also UN force that penalized Bin Laden with Oil for Food project that required Bin Laden’s country to donate certain portions of their income from their oil industry to feed the hungry.

In short, the UN is an international regulating body that aims to prevent war and the human activities that might lead to it. In the Philippines‘ case, it’s the extra judicial killings.

As a country with a recognized constitution, we are supposed to operate within the bounds of the law and if ever we forget that, the UN will intently reiterate.

UN’s Role in World Peace

A lot of disastrous events before 1945 led to the formation of the UN. Since its foundation, it has continued to promote quality life thru its different founded organizations.

It involves concern on several factors such as a) world health b) human rights c) aid and assistance and d) economic development.

Any member country has an equal access to the assistance provided by the UN under these categories thus, a lot of countries wish to be part of it. It is advantageous in today’s current situation of war and conflict and natural disasters.

Aside from raising funds to help a country rebuild itself after a calamity natural or anthropogenic, the UN also helps refugees around the world. It has built homes and fed unprivileged children.

Some of the organizations that are UN founded are the WHO (World Health Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), World Bank Group, and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

UN’s Role in the Philippines

As stated, as member country, the Philippines can easily get access to the different programs offered by the UN.

This was proven beneficial when Yolanda hit the Philippines. That time, the UN was able to help raise funds so the country could feed its people.

Way back in about 2009, the Philippines was tapped with the project called Millennium Developmental Goals that aimed to eradicate poverty and other losses by 2015. The Philippines was encouraged to pursue different projects in partnership with the UN.

Also for as long as we could remember, WHO and UNICEF had worked hand-in-hand with our government in order to curb the rise of infectious diseases as well as make better the welfare of street and abandoned individuals.

Of course, the help we had been getting is not just limited to this. In terms of urban development and economic assistance, WBG and IMF can readily give loans to the Philippines for this pursuit.

Head Over Stomach

So when the President allegedly mentioned that UN never did anything for our country, he might have attacked a great ally. The administration must have realized the gravity of the situation for they have taken back the statement by saying that Duterte was just tired and hungry when he said that.

Regardless, the Philippines must not retract its membership from the UN not because we cannot stand alone but because we do not want to neglect an ideal partnership and the sacrifices previous administrations did to make it happen.

Inasmuch as we need assistance in every aspect to give quality life to Filipinos, our membership is also our privilege.

What is disappointing in the issue is the ingratitude expressed due to contradicting beliefs. As long as national interest is concerned, any critical statement must be analyzed before they are uttered. Especially when the country’s Lawyer-President had sworn to uphold the law and to protect the Filipino people.

As a Filipino representative, the President must not allow his stomach to dictate what he says in public; especially when the impact of what he does now he only carries for 6 years, while the nation possibly, forever.

About Patricia Abrihan

Patricia has always been inspired by the witty yet innocent voice of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird that she believes that writing is able to revolutionize ideas of society. She is a former college instructor from the Philippines and is currently a freelance writer and blogger managing her portfolio. She is open to collaboration and also loves reading and watching movies.

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