President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. called for a fair international system that would help stop racism and hate against Asians and other ethnicities as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Speaking at the high level general debate of the UN's highest body on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Marcos urged world leaders to reaffirm the values of transcending differences, upholding justice, respecting human rights, and maintaining international peace and security.
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"Our work must also focus on ensuring that the international system remains fair not only for all states, but more importantly for all peoples. This system must work for the most vulnerable, especially the marginalized, migrants and refugees," he said.
"The world has witnessed the enduring contribution of migrants in the fight against this pandemic. We still dream of an end to the disturbing incidents of racism, of Asian hate, of all prejudice," he added.
Incidents of hate crimes in the U.S. against Asians, including Filipinos, have recently made headlines not only in the Philippines but also around the world.
One example of a constructive approach to uphold human rights, Marcos said, is the Philippines' United Nations Joint Program on Human Rights which "puts our people, not our politics, at the center."
He urged the UN member-states to support the Philippines' bid to the Security Council for the term of 2027-2028.
"Our continued solidarity will also benefit from a reformed and more inclusive Security Council and an empowered General Assembly that can hold the Council to account," he said.
"Our global community is only as strong as we make it. We need to ensure that all nations, especially developing countries, are equipped with the tools they need to navigate the uncharted waters of this century," he added.
Composed of 193 member-states, the UNGA is the main policymaking body of the UN that allows for a platform to discuss international concerns covered by the United Nations Charter.
Marcos is the first Philippine leader to speak before the UNGA in person in more than 10 years, the last being the late President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.
Marcos' predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, also delivered a speech before the international body virtually in 2020 and 2021.