The Philippines has adopted the “zero-tolerance” policy against sexual abuse and other misconduct involving Filipino peacekeepers in United Nations mission areas.
Ambassador Hilario Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, informed the UN Security Council of the Philippines’ zero-tolerance policy that will be strictly observed by Filipino peacekeepers.
The Philippines had formally given its commitment to the UN to deploy an additional 100 police officers to support UN efforts in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.
The Philippine Mission to the United Nations reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that the Philippines is boosting its participation in UN peacekeeping operations with its recent commitment.
The country intended to contribute 100 more officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) to support the UN African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Davide said the deployment of Filipino peacekeepers underscores the Philippine Government’s commitment to help find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
He added that the Philippine participation in UNAMID, which is touted to be the biggest peacekeeping operation ever assembled by the UN, will bolster the standing of the Philippines as one of the largest, if not the largest, provider of individual police officers to UN peacekeeping operations.
UN statistics show that PNP officers account for 274 of the 627 Filipino peacekeepers deployed in various UN mission areas abroad.
The 100 officers are in addition to the 42 officers that were deployed to Darfur earlier this year.
Davide said the Philippine contribution was in response to the request made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his meeting with President Arroyo on the sidelines of the 62nd UN General Assembly in September and during the meeting between UN Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Jean Marie Guehenno and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo in New York in November last year.
With this new commitment, UNAMID will host the largest number of Filipino police officers, overtaking the UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT), where 131 PNP officers are presently serving.
The remaining Filipino police peacekeepers are assigned in UN missions in Afghanistan, Cote d’ Ivoire, Darfur, Georgia, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Nepal, Sudan and Timor Leste.
In addition to individual police officers, the Philippines has 23 military and staff officers and 330 troops serving in the UN peacekeeping missions in Cote d’ Ivoire, Darfur, Liberia, Sudan and Timor Leste, putting it in the list of the top 30 troop/police contributing countries.–Pia Lee-Brago, Philippine Star