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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered - Possible Un Convention

VZCZCXRO6837
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2288 3070557
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030557Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5617
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2312
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0336
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 002288

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL RP
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED - POSSIBLE UN CONVENTION
ENDANGERS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, RELIGION

REF: STATE 111466

1. (U) Post delivered reftel points to Director Joy Tirol of
the Office of the United Nations and Other International
Organizations (UNIO) of the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA), underscoring the U.S. opposition to the adoption by
the Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards of any new
convention on "defamation of religions" or other new
international instruments or reinterpretations of existing
international human rights law. Post strongly encouraged DFA
to urge the Philippine government to consider and support the
U.S. proposals for the Ad Hoc Committee in Geneva as an
alternative to a draft convention or optional protocol.
Although Director Tirol was unable to respond immediately,
she said that she would forward reftel points to the senior
levels in DFA to ensure the U.S. position is given careful
consideration.

2. (SBU) COMMENT: Given the importance that the Philippines
places on its pending application for observer status at the
OIC, and Manila's previous support for the OIC's position on
defamation of religions, it is not likely that the government
will reverse course and support the U.S. proposals unless
other ASEAN and NAM member states provide political cover by
doing the same. However, post will continue to engage with
DFA to ascertain the Philippine government's position and
press for a positive outcome.
KENNEY

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