By ANTHONY IAN CRUZ
March 25, 2008
THE Philippines was elected last week as one of six vice chairs of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC), the world body’s specialized organ on disarmament issues.
A report to the Department of Foreign Affairs by Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., head of the Permanent Philippine Mission (PPM) to the UN, said the Philippines was elected by acclamation last March 18 during a UNDC organizational meeting in New York.
Davide said Philippine disarmament expert and PPM third secretary Raphael Hermoso has been designated vice chair of the 2008 UNDC session on April 7-24 at the UN headquarters.
Davide said the country’s election to the UNDC vice-chairmanship “highlights the confidence that the global community places in (its) leadership on the crucial and timely issue of disarmament.”
Chosen chair of the UNDC was The Netherlands. The other vice chairmen elected were Benin, Cameroon, France, Peru and Uzbekistan.
The DFA said the UNDC, whose membership covers all 192 UN member-states, deals with disarmament-related questions, nuclear and conventional weapons, and has put forward guidelines on confidence-building measures and recommendations for regional approaches to disarmament.
As vice chair, it said the Philippines will help steer discussions and provide guidance so that member-states will reach a consensus on issues such as nuclear and conventional weapons and on their reduction and/or destruction.