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Cablegate: Philippine Views On Un Third Committee Human

VZCZCXRO2180
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2230 2700905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 260905Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1924
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0278
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 002230

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO, EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RP UN
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINE VIEWS ON UN THIRD COMMITTEE HUMAN
RIGHTS PRIORITIES

REF: STATE 95334

1. (SBU) Poloffs on September 26 delivered reftel points
regarding U.S. priorities for the 2008 UN Third Committee to
Director Josephine Reynante of the Office of UN and
International Organizations (UNIO) at the Philippine
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Director Reynante
thanked us for providing U.S. positions and alluded to the
Philippines' vocal support for human rights worldwide, but
reiterated her government's view that country-specific
resolutions are not effective without the cooperation of the
country concerned. While acknowledging the dire human rights
situation in reftel countries, Director Reynante indicated
the GRP prefers consensus solutions.

2. (SBU) Responding to our concerns over the concept of
"defamation of religion," Reynante lamented the circumstances
at UN Human Rights Council meetings in March that in her view
doomed consensus on freedom of expression. She opined that,
had Canada been willing to table the resolution, a compromise
might have been achieved after delegations had time to
consult with their capitals. Director Reynante acknowledged
that the Philippines has a very low voting coincidence with
the U.S. in the UNGA, but she hastened to add that this
should not be interpreted as a disengagement from the U.S.
and that our countries share a special relationship.

3. (SBU) Turning to the subject of prisoners of conscience,
Reynante wanted to know if the USG could provide an advance
copy of the draft resolution to the GRP. She noted that
because there is no universally accepted definition of the
term "prisoners of conscience," the GRP has reservations
about the resolution's being defined as the primary basis for
determining a nation's relations with other countries. She
asked whether the USG might be willing to negotiate on the
language of the resolution.
KENNEY

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