Foreign Affairs chief to meet UN Secretary General next week

Philippine Foreign Affairs chief Albert del Rosario said he will be meeting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon next week to talk abpout recent incident involving Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights.

This was disclosed Monday, in House Committee on Appropriations during 2015 budget hearing.

“I will go to the UN next week to speak with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on policy matters related to the rules of engagement of UNDOF personnel in view of these developments.”

Del Rosario said he told UN Secretary General through letter that the order for Filipino troops not to surrender came from the Philippine government “as it is their inherent right to defend themselves.”

“The rules of engagement approved by the UN in 2011 states that UNDOF military personnel may exercise their inherent right to defend themselves which could negate the order of the UNDOF commander,” he explained.

He said that UN peacekeepers who were stationed at the Golan Heights are there to secure a ceasefire agreement between the states of Israel and Syria.

“The entry of different warring factions into the picture put the peacekeepers in a different situation.”

“In view of these developments, the Philippine government is supporting discussions aimed at revisiting operational and tactical issues to ensure the safety and security of UN peacekeepers, including Filipinos, during kidnapping or siege incidents in such situations,” Del Rosario told the lawmakers.