The importance of U.N.-PH relations

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — It was a threat against criticisms on his drug war tactics.

President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the United Nations on Sunday after the international body called for an end to the spate of killings.

Two U.N. human rights experts last week urged the Duterte administration to stop the executions.

The President responded by threatening to pull out of the U.N.

In the press conference, Duterte said: "I do not want to insult you. But maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. Eh 'di kung ganun kayo ka-bastos, p*****i**, eh, umalis na ako dyan sa inyo. So take us out of your organization – you have done nothing, anyway, also."

[Translation: I do not want to insult you. But maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you are that rude, s**o**b****, then I would rather leave. So take us out of your organization - you have done nothing, anyway, also.]

PH is staying in the U.N.

But come Monday, Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay clarified, the country will not give up its U.N. membership.

He said, "I can assure you that he remains committed to the United Nations, of which the Philippines is one of the founding members, and to the purposes and objectives that this august body stands for."

Yasay's also defended the President, saying Duterte was "tired" when he made that statement.

"When you're especially tired, disappointed, frustrated and angry, under these circumstances we must give leeway on the part of the President for this kind of a reaction. Like us, he is also human," he said.

Also read: Duterte orders 'thousands' of presidential appointees to vacate posts

Presidential spokesperson Ernersto Abella echoed Yasay's statement saying the country was not leaving the U.N., of which it is a founding member.

U.N., Philippines share rich history

The Philippines was one of the founding members of the U.N., being one of the first countries to sign the U.N. Declaration in 1942. The Declaration is the basis of the U.N. Charter, which the Philippines signed in 1945 along with 49 other countries.

The Philipines has participated in 297 multilateral treaties, 90 of which were ratified by Congress.

Some of the country's commitments include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs.

Over the years, the Philippines and the U.N. have further strengthened their relationship by way of programs and commitments that are mutually beneficial.

The U.N. has alotted roughly $376 million until 2018 - in line with Manila's commitment to achieve the MDGs on universal education, eradicating poverty, and reducing child mortality, among others.

The country has also received aid and assistance from the U.N. and its partner organizations in times of disaster, a recent example would be the relief efforts after Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), where the U.N. extended its hand to help rebuild affected communities.

Here are the Philippines' contributions to the U.N.

  • 775 Filipinos of 41,426 secretariat staff
  • Consistent in sending peacekeepers to the U.N.

Filipino leaders in U.N.:

  • Carlos P. Romulo (Gen. Assembly President, 1949-1950; U.N. Security council, 1957, 1980, 1981)
  • Cesar Bengzon (U.N. Int'l Court of Justice, 1967-1976)
  • Jacinto Castel Borja (U.N. Security Council, Sept. 1963)
  • Lauro Baja Jr. (U.N. Security council, June 2004 and Sept. 2005)
  • Delia Domingo-Albert (U.N. Security Council, June 2004)
  • Bayani Mercado (U.N. Security council, Sept. 2005)

As of 2014, nearly 2 percent of the over 40,000 U.N. staff are Filipinos.

The country is also consistent in sending peacekeepers to the international body.

Filipinos have also held significant posts in the international body - from the general assembly, to the international court of justice, and the security council.

On leaving the U.N.

The U.N. Charter does not have a specific provision on member-nations withdrawing membership.

The reason behind this is that threatening to withdraw might be used to gain leverage from the U.N. However, should a country want to leave the U.N., the international body cannot force it to do otherwise.

However, a member nation may be suspended or expelled.

Two countries have tried to withdraw from the U.N.: Indonesia in 1965 and the U.S. in 2005.