UN Philippines Resident Coordinator's Message to the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
“Society is stronger and more resilient when women and men can play a meaningful role in political, economic and social life"
Dear Friends in the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates,
I understand that today you are marking almost 35 years of existence.
Well, I have known you for almost one of those years, since I assumed my work as United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Philippines. But during that year, I have likely benefitted from the 35 years of accumulated knowledge and action.
The United Nations has long acknowledged the importance of civil society. In any democratic context, civil society has a critical role to play, in raising awareness, and in taking action to improve people’s lives.
In the United Nations Secretary General’s “Call to Action”, he emphasized that, “Society is stronger and more resilient when women and men can play a meaningful role in political, economic and social life, contributing to policy-making that affects their lives, including by accessing information, engaging in dialogue, expressing dissent and joining together to express their views”.
This has become particularly evident in the last year, as the Philippines, and the World, faced the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil society stepped up, and reminded us to focus on the most vulnerable first, and held Government accountable.
PAHRA and other groups link the reality of human rights as it plays out in communities, in workplaces and in homes with the larger world. This is critical if we are going to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
So with this short message - thank you PAHRA, and I look forward to continuing our work together.