TURNING POINT: Tantrum Diplomacy

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 27 Sep) – When a sovereign state signs a covenant with the United Nations, it is morally bound to uphold and observe what is agreed upon in that covenant with the international community. It is not interference on the part of the UN or its representative to remind or call the attention of that state if it is going off course from the letter or spirit of the agreement.

The United Nations was organized for the following purposes:

  • maintain international peace and security
  • develop friendly relations among nations
  • cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems
  • promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these objectives.

The Philippines is one the 50 founding members of the UN in 1945 just after the conclusion of WWII. The country was honored to have its son, Carlos P. Romulo, elected and served as President of the world organization from 1949-1950.

As a member, the country is a signatory to several UN covenants, such as the International Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

It was under UNCLOS that the Philippines got a favorable ruling from the Hague Arbitral Tribunal concerning its maritime dispute with China over the West Philippines Sea.

To withdraw or even simply to threaten to withdraw the country’s membership from the UN arising from the criticism of its leader or representatives on the country’ war on illegal drug that many have perceived to have gone haywire is puerile unproductive tantrum.

The President should not be onion skin and reckless in his dealings in the international community because he is not making pronouncements for himself alone but for the entire Filipino people.

He ought to learn and practice a minimum of diplomacy to maintain rational and harmonious relationship with everyone in the international community.

Filipinos are all over the globe trying to earn a living. What the leader of their home country says affects them one way or another.

His handlers or advisers are duty-bound in putting the President of the Republic on course at all times not rationalize his every move. They should not yield to his every whim and erratic wandering but must find ways to rein him away from the precipice of irresponsible policy implication utterances.

Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte should always be reminded that he is not just the president of the 16 million electorate who voted him to office but also of the 94 million Filipinos who did not. Thus if he had lost respect for the 16 million who take as gospel truth every word he says and who kowtow to his every thought and act, he should at least accord even a modicum of courtesy to the great majority of the people who do not share their mindlessness.

Of course any state may renege at will from its commitment for one reason or another.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)