Don't Change Horses in Midstream

Manila Bulletin, August 24, 2004 | Go to article overview

Don't Change Horses in Midstream


Byline: Beth Day Romulo

IT was a long wait for the Philippines to get a turn at the Security Council, which is the exclusive governing body of the United Nations.

Dominated by the five original members, the great powers at the end of the World War II (US, UK, China, Russia, and France) and while economic and political fortunes have changed, the membership has never been reformed to reflect modern realities. The rest of the member countries, including the Philippines, must have a chance at their turn for the ten seats allotted to non-permanent members; then lobby for the seat within their own regional bloc and hopefully, win a seat for a two-year term which the Philippines did last year. In June, it assumed the presidency of the Security Council which is rotated among the members, on a monthly basis. It was during this time that the important resolution on the recognition of the interim government of Iraq was passed, unanimously, without friction, due, in large part, to the negotiating skills of the Philippines and its representative to the UN, Ambassador Lauro Baja, who received international acclaim for his patience, knowledgeable stewardship.

Now, with the presidential elections over, changes are expected in all ranks of government. New Cabinet members. New secretaries of departments and a new ambassador to both the United States and the United Nations.

In light of the excellent performance of the ambassador to the UN in these past, troublesome months, fraught with diplomatic perils, it would seem appropriate to extend his duties for the time being. …

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