Newly arrived Ambassador and Permanent Representative Enrique A. Manalo (upper left) is received virtually by Ms. Beatrix Kania (upper right), Chief of Protocol of the United Nations. Also present during the meeting were Philippine Deputy Permanent Representative Kira Christianne D. Azucena (lower left) and Mr. Fariz Mirsalayev (lower right), Desk Officer for the Philippines. | Photo courtesy of www.un.int/philippines

AMBASSADOR Enrique A. Manalo officially commenced his duties as Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations last July 27 after presenting his credentials to the UN. Ambassador Manalo was received virtually by the Chief of Protocol of the United Nations, Ms. Beatrix Kania.

Before his posting in New York, Ambassador Manalo was Undersecretary for Policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs. It was the second time he has served in this position, having been Undersecretary for Policy from 2007 to 2010. He served as Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs (Acting Foreign Minister) of the Philippines from March 9 to May 17, 2017.

He has represented the Philippines and has served as chairman of various international meetings and conferences. While Acting Foreign Secretary, he chaired the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in April 2017. He also chaired various ASEAN Senior Officials Meetings, especially during the Philippine Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017.

Last week at the UN Security Council High-Level Open Debate (VTC) on “Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace” under the Council Presidency of Indonesia, the Philippines recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the gains already achieved in finding just and lasting peace in conflict-affected areas.

“Recognizing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work to achieve peace, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its affiliates from 19 March to 15 April 2020, days before the UN Secretary-General issued his appeal for a global ceasefire on 23 March 2020,” Ambassador Manalo said.

This initiative was recognized by the Secretary-General who conveyed in late March 2020 that “upholding these commitments will be crucial to enabling an effective response to, and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” encouraging “both sides to build on this momentum and translate these expressions of good will into a lasting political solution”.

The ceasefire demonstrated the Philippine Government’s commitment to the swift and unimpeded provision of public health assistance, especially the safe movement of healthcare workers, to stricken communities in dire need of immediate medical care.
Manalo has also chaired meetings in a number of UN bodies, and has led the Philippine Delegation in a number of multilateral, regional and bilateral meetings.

The open debate last week aimed at exchanging views on the impacts of COVID-19 on sustaining peace, and explored how more effective support can be harnessed for countries affected by or emerging from conflicts. Security Council resolution 2532 adopted on July 1, 2020 demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations in support of the UN Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire to combat the pandemic.

Manalo has previously served as Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2016; Non-Resident Philippine Ambassador to Ireland from 2013 to 2016; Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union from 2010 to 2011; and Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva from 2003 to 2007.

He received three Philippine Presidential Awards: the Gawad Mabini Award with the rank of Grand Cross (Dakilang Kamanong), the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Grand Cross (Datu) (Gold Distinction) and the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Grand Cross (Bayani).

In light of the ongoing situation presented by COVID-19, Letters of Credentials of new Permanent Representatives are submitted electronically. When the situation allows, Ambassador Manalo will have an in-person meeting with the Secretary-General for the ceremonial presentation of credentials.

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