MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is set to discuss the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs before the United Nations (UN) on Saturday, September 23.
Cayetano will represent Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the upcoming 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
He is expected to deliver the chief executive’s message for the international community to unite against terrorism, nuclear weapons and other common threats.
During the event, Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said Cayetano will also discuss the need to address the threats posed by the Islamic State, as well as the continuing missile test launches and detonations by North Korea.
Likewise, the Philippines’ top diplomat will share the government’s efforts in protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of Filipino migrant workers.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Cayetano’s participation in this annual event marks his first appearance in the world stage since he assumed as Secretary of Foreign Affairs earlier in June.
The UN has repeatedly condemned the Philippine government’s crackdown on narcotics over its linked alleged summary killings and human rights abuses.
Just last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he is “gravely concerned” about Duterte’s “open support for a shoot-to-kill policy” against crime suspects.
But in response, Malacañang said that Al Hussein’s claims run counter to what Duterte has ordered, stressing that Duterte “has categorically and repeatedly said that there is no shoot-to-kill order.”
Locsin said Cayetano will also attend the 4th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Pacific Alliance Foreign Ministers Meeting; the 41st Annual Meeting for Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77; and the ASEAN-Mercosur Foreign Ministers Meeting.
In addition, Cayetano is expected to host an informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and attend the bloc’s meeting with the president of the 72nd UN General assembly and the UN Secretary General.
Cayetano will likewise have bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Belgium, Colombia, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Norway, Poland, the United Arab Emirates and the Vatican.
According to Consul General Maria Theresa De Vega of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, Cayetano will also speak before the Asia Society and meet with members of the Filipino community.