Filipina diplomat earns seat in UN Women’s Body

Ambassador Rosario Manalo

EARNING recognition for her active work in the promotion of women’s rights, Philippine Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo won a seat in the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in elections held last June 22 at the United Nations Headquarters.

Ambassador Manalo, one of the Philippines’ most accomplished diplomats, was among 25 candidates who vied for 11 seats in CEDAW for the term 2017-2020.

The other 10 candidates who also won a seat in CEDAW were from Bahamas, China, France, Ghana, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mauritania, Nepal, Nigeria, and Norway.

CEDAW is a body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

It was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bastion that promotes rights for women. It defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for action to end such discrimination.

The Philippines’ victory is a testament to the country’s active advocacy and leadership on women’s rights.

“The human condition and the human spirit of the women in this lovely corner of the world will have to cross, sooner than later, to achieve a better life for the people of Southeast Asia. Let us in the Philippines start this journey and lead ASEAN to greater heights in peace, in equality, in prosperity and in the exercise of social justice,” Manalo said.

Manalo is not new to the committee as she has served as Chairperson of CEDAW in 2005-2006 and the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 1984-1986, which became the Preparatory Committee for the 1985 Nairobi Third World Conference on Women.

After her previous stint in CEDAW, she brought the Convention’s concepts to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Manalo has been serving the Department of Foreign Affairs for 57 years in various capacities in multilateral fora and bilateral relations.

She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree of Bachelor of Laws and Master of Arts in Public Administration.

She also studied at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, where she earned her Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy, and is the first Filipina to pass the Philippines’ career foreign service officers examinations.

Her first diplomatic posting was as Ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1979 to1987.

She later served as concurrent Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (1985-1987); adviser to the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris (1988-1990), where she is also Ambassador and Permanent Delegate; Philippine Ambassador to the French Republic (1990-1994) with concurrent accreditation to Portugal and Ambassador to Sweden and the Nordic States, and the Baltic States from 1994-1997.

Ambassador Manalo was Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 2002, in charge of International Economic Relations. She was concurrently Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines.

She currently teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde, Miriam College, Philippine Women’s University, University of Asia and the Pacific, National Defense College of the Philippines, the Foreign Service Institute, and the University of the Philippines. (Rosemarie Señora)


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Saturday, 18 January 2020
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