MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr said the United Nations is “not free to interfere” when a state chooses to take a hardline stance against crime.
Locsin did not mince words as he addressed the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday, September 28 (Sunday, September 29, Manila time).
"Still, we are warned of states' eroding multilateralism, by each one asserting too much sovereignty. But in what respect? Perhaps by insisting on carrying out a state's defining duty to protect its population against harm by any means sufficient to achieve that purpose," said Locsin.
“Civil society is free to complain. Better yet, they should run for public office to gain legitimacy to be able to do something about it. But the UN is not free to interfere with the state in its defining function of protecting its citizens and stamping out threats,” added the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief.
Facing other leaders and diplomats from UN member-states, Locsin then urged world leaders not to allow the UN to be used as a tool against their efforts to curb crime in their respective countries.
“The nations here in United [Nations] should not let this platform be used to threaten others with accountability for taking a tough approach to crime,” said the DFA secretary.
President Rodrigo Duterte has long been criticized for waging a bloody war against illegal drugs.
Proposed by Iceland, the resolution asked UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to write a comprehensive report on the situation in the Philippines and present it to the council.