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.