Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. delivers his speech during the national observance of the 2019 International Humanitarian Law Day. (DFA-OSCR photo by Nilo Palaya)

PASAY CITY 12 September 2019 – “But it lies with us—in the most difficult and perilous tasks and times ahead—to always…always…be decent…toward our fellow human beings; especially the weakest among them. For it is they who most deserve—they who have the greatest claim on us to protect them. There is no obligation to protect the strong; there is a morally and therefore rationally compelling duty to risk our safety and lives—we who are able to save them. No greater love than to give one’s life for the helpless.”

This was the message of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. during the national observance of the 2019 International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day led by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on 09 September 2019.

With the theme “IHL: Protecting the Defenseless in Times of Armed Conflict,” this year’s observance underscored how IHL seeks to uphold the dignity of persons, particularly the defenseless and the vulnerable, amid the increased complexity of armed conflict both at the global and national levels.

The observance of the IHL Day started with a solemn flag-raising ceremony, of which the highlight was the recitation of IHL pledge by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

This was followed by a program where remarks were delivered by Secretary Locsin, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael P. Ong on behalf of Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, Defense Undersecretary Ricardo A. David, Jr. on behalf of Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana), and Philippine Red Cross’ Atty. Lorna P. Kapunan.

During the program, the IHL Ad Hoc Committee formally launched the 2019 IHL infomercial, which featured vivid animation by Filipino animators and the special appearance by Filipino actor Piolo Pascual, to communicate the principles of IHL to the younger generations who are entrusted with carrying the dividends of humanitarianism.

The infomercial will be shown across the country, including the various social media platforms and LED boards of IHL Ad Hoc Committee members. The project was a collaboration among the IHL Ad Hoc Committee and ICRC, with support from the Swiss Embassy in Manila.

The IHL Ad Committee was created through Executive Order 134 s. 1999, and is alternately chaired by the DFA and the Department of National Defense to plan and implement IHL-related activities in the country. Other members of the Committee include the Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the AFP including the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force, PNP, PCG, Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, Commission on Human Rights, Philippine Public Safety College, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Philippine Red Cross.


(Article from: dfa.gov.ph)


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