North Korea fires projectile; tells UN it has ‘right to test weapons’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021   •   407

North Korea on Tuesday  fired an unidentified projectile into the Sea of Japan.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato during a press conference on Tuesday confirmed that a suspected ballistic missile was launched from inland North Korea.

He said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has already released instructions in response to the launch.

“This imposes a huge threat to the safety and stability of our country and the region and it is a serious issue faced by the international community. We will continue to gather and analyze information and be fully prepared with vigilance,” Kato said.

No harm to Japanese aircraft or ships has been reported in the latest incident, he added.

The Japanese official also said that they have begun intelligence analysis and gathering to ensure the safety of their aircraft, vessels and other assets. Kato assured that Japan will take all possible precautionary measures including readiness for contingencies.

Meanwhile, North Korea reiterated at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that it has the right to test weapons.

“Nobody can deny the righteous right to self-defense for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to develop, test, manufacture and possess the weapon systems equivalent to the ones which are possessed or being developed by them [South Korea and the United States],” said Kim Song, permanent representative of the DPRK to the United Nations.

Song also urged the US to withdraw its “hostile policy” toward his country so as to “contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the world.” AAC

UN secretary general says world is getting ‘F in ethics’ amid vaccine supply inequality

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 22, 2021

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has slammed world leaders for the inequity in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Guterres said wealthier countries have vaccinated a majority of their population and are already contemplating on giving out booster shots while 90% of the people in Africa remain unvaccinated.

He also noted that images from some parts of the world showing expired and unused COVID-19 vaccines in the garbage tell “the tale of our times”.

“This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. It is an obscenity. We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in ethics,” he said.

More than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also previously addressed the vaccine supply inequity and has urged high-income countries to delay distribution of booster shots and share their supply with other countries in need. AAC

 

 

 

Duterte calls UN ‘inadequate,’ urges to ‘reform itself’

Marje Pelayo   •   September 22, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the United Nations (UN) needs to reform itself as it “no longer reflects the political and economic realities of the world.”

“Mr. President, we face multiple crises that demand effective global governance. Yet, our institutions, including the United Nations, have proven to be inadequate,” Duterte said in his speech before the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

“If the UN is to lead the world out of the many crises we face, things need to change. The UN must empower itself, by reforming itself. Therein lies the hope for humanity,” he added.

Also, President Duterte claimed that the UN Security Council, composed of 15 member states, have violated the tenets of the organization.

“The Security Council – the pinnacle of the UN structure – violates every tenet of these values. It is neither democratic nor transparent in its representation and processes,” he said.

Five nations considered permanent members of the UN Security Council include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The UN Security Council is responsible for ‘the maintenance of international peace and security’ as mandated by the United Nations Charter.

During his speech, the Philippine president also hit rich countries for ‘hoarding’ supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

“The picture is bleak. There is a man-made drought of vaccines ravaging poor countries. Rich countries hoard life-saving vaccines, while poor nations wait for trickles. They now talk of booster shots, while developing countries consider half-doses just to get by,” Duterte said.

“This is shocking beyond belief and must be condemned for what it is – a selfish act that can neither be justified rationally nor morally,” he added.

Duterte emphasized that the current pandemic will not end if the virus is not eliminated in all parts of the world, which can be done through intensified vaccination.

Thus, he urged rich nations to support the UN COVAX facility instead.

This is the second time that President Duterte attended the UN General Assembly since he took office in 2016.

UN urges nations to receive Afghan refugees, refrain from deportations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 17, 2021

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres is urging all countries to be willing to receive Afghan refugees and refrain from deportations.

Guterres also called on all nations to unite and work together. He added that the UN continues to have staff and offices in areas that have come under Taliban control, and “will stay and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need.”

“It’s time for the international community to stand, work & act together: We must speak with one voice to uphold human rights. We must unite to make sure Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorists,” he said.

Meanwhile,  Malacañang said the Philippines is open to accepting refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., during a public briefing on Tuesday (August 17), said that the Philippines will not hesitate to admit individuals fleeing their homelands because of fear of persecution.

“Since time immemorial, the Philippines has had jurisprudence even before the convention on refugees welcoming asylum seekers,” he said.

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