NCIP Chair Goes to the UN

From gmanewstv: The Philippines gained added presence in the United Nations with the election into the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues earlier this week.

The Philippine Mission to the UN said Saturday (Manila time) that National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) chairman Eugenio Insigne will help advance the cause of indigenous peoples at the UN level.

“Chairman Insigne was elected during the 32nd meeting of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the 2008 Substantive Section of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN,” the mission said in a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.

Philippine Ambassador to the UN Hilario Davide Jr. said Insigne will be among 16 independent experts who will compose the Permanent Forum, an advisory body to the ECOSOC.

The forum has a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

Established by an ECOSOC resolution in July 2000, the Permanent Forum will provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the UN system.

It will also raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of relevant activities within the UN system; and prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues.

Davide said nsigne successfully ran against Ambassador Berenado Vunibobo, permanent representative of Fiji, to serve the unexpired term of Asian representative Xiaomei Qin of China from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010.

Insigne is a former government prosecutor and sectoral representative in Congress for indigenous peoples. He was appointed to the NCIP in 2007 and was a member of the Philippine delegation to various UN meetings in New York and Geneva.

His election followed that of Ambassador Leslie Gatan, Philippine deputy permanent representative to the UN, who was elected chairman of the preparatory meeting of the Economic and Social Committee of the 15th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement to be held in Tehran later this month.

Last month, two other Filipino diplomats, Second Secretary Elmer Cato and Second Secretary Patrick Chuasoto, were elected vice chairman of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) and rapporteur of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), respectively,of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly.

Note: Insigne is a Tingguian from Abra according to his NCIP profile.

Photo credit: NCIP

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