President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called for a “fair international system” to eliminate racism and Asian hate, as he pledged to accelerate the implementation of a human rights joint program in the Philippines with the United Nations.
In his speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Mr. Marcos said this system should work for the “most vulnerable” sectors in society such as the marginalized, migrants, and refugees.
“We still dream of an end to the disturbing incidents of racism, of Asian hate, of all prejudice,” Mr. Marcos said.
The Philippines-United Nations Joint Program on Human Rights, he said, is an example of a constructive approach that “puts our people, not our politics, at the center of this work.”
“It provides a model for revitalizing the structures that facilitate solidarity between the United Nations and a sovereign duty-bearer,” the President said.
The joint program seeks to affirm the country’s commitment to human rights, the importance of free democratic space for civil society, as well as the principle of international cooperation.
Filipinos ranked third among ethnicities that have become victims of hate crimes directed against Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, according to the latest report released by Stop AAPI Hate, a broad coalition that gathers data on racially motivated attacks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid the string of attacks against Asian-Americans in the US, the Philippine Consulate General in New York encouraged Filipino victims, or those who have witnessed such incidents, to contact the consulate so immediate assistance can be rendered to victims.
US President Joe Biden also recently met Vilma Kari, the 66-year-old Filipino-American seen in a video being viciously attacked by a man in Times Square in New York City.
Kari was one of the hate crime survivors invited by the White House during the “United We Stand Summit” hosted by Biden last Thursday.
In his speech, Mr. Marcos said the challenges today are “as consequential as those that faced us 77 years ago” when the UN was founded.
“We are, indeed, at a watershed moment; one that requires a re-founding of these, our United Nations,” he said. “The world is ready for a transformation. It is up to us as leaders of our nations to move and shape that transformation.”
The Philippines is one of the original 51 charter members that created the United Nations in 1945.
The President also called on member states to help each other amid pressing issues worldwide, including climate change and food security issues.
“I say let the challenges of one people be the challenges for all nations. And in that way, the success of one will be a success for us all,” he added.