Message of Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on the observance of International Humanitarian Law Day

  • Published on August 14, 2023
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Message of Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on the observance of International Humanitarian Law Day

​This year’s national observance of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day, with the theme, “IHL: Gabay sa Makataong Pagsulong ng Kapayapaan” aligns with the administration’s work to realize lasting peace and sustainable development in our lifetime after decades of internal armed conflicts.  

The Philippines embraces IHL as a cornerstone for human rights advocacy in the midst of such challenging circumstances.  In its adherence to IHL, the State acknowledges its duty toprotect civilian populations and non-combatants from harm at all times, and to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those in need. This commitment lays the groundwork for a safer environment where human rights are respected, and innocent lives are safeguarded.

The integration of a human-rights based approach in addressing the root causes of armed conflict reaffirms the administration’s commitment to social justice. Through genuine consultations with affected communities, the government fosters inclusivity in developing policies that resonate with the people's needs, ensuring a more equitable and just society for all. These consultations empower local voices and promote socio-economic development in marginalized communities, acting as deterrents against the allure of extremist ideologies.

In a landmark move toward reconciliation and reintegration, the Philippine government shall soon establish a new amnesty package that would allow members of non-State armed groups to relinquish their arms and return to society. It shall provide a dignified pathway for former combatants to rebuild their lives, become productive citizens, and actively contribute to the nation's progress. More importantly, this initiative shall be a bold step toward ending the vicious cycle of violence and fostering a culture of forgiveness and unity that promotes national healing.

On behalf of His Excellency, President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., I congratulate the different Executive offices involved in organizing this event, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs which is this year’s head of the IHL Day observance.  Let me acknowledge as well the Philippine National Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross, other non-government and international organizations, the Commission on Human Rights, and the UN country team, for their partnership and participation in commemorative activities that all make for a more meaningful IHL Day 2023.

Thank you.

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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