Philippine Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola (center) chairs the UNESCAP organized Regional Preparatory Meeting on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

6 November 2017, Bangkok, Thailand.  Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary, the Hon. Sarah Lou Y. Arriola, was unanimously elected today as Chairperson of the three-day Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration (GCM), Bangkok, 6-8 November 2017.  The RPM is organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Undersecretary Arriola is Co-Leader of the Philippine Delegation to that meeting.

Undersecretary Arriola explained that the interagency Philippine delegation is pursuing the mandate President Duterte’s administration “to maximize all avenues and forums where the rights, interests and welfare of OFWs could be advanced.”

She stressed that her election as chairperson of the regional meeting “bodes well for the Philippine advocacy for the protection of rights and promotion of the welfare of Filipino migrants.”

“The election of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Arriola as chairperson of the Asia-Pacific RPM on the Global Compact On Safe, Orderly And Regular Migration is another affirmation of the leadership of the Philippines on international migration governance in the region”, said Ambassador Evan P. Garcia. Ambassador Garcia is the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.

The Asia-Pacific RPM is one of the regional consultation meetings called for by the 2016 New York Declaration on large movement of migrants and refugees.  Its outcome will feed into the stocktaking meeting of the GCM process scheduled on 4-6 December in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The stocktaking meeting, in turn, is expected to produce the first draft GCM.

From its position in the chair of the regional meeting, “the Philippines will help mobilize and consolidate the inputs of the entire Asia-Pacific region for the GCM stock-taking meeting in Mexico” Undersecretary Arriola explained.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola (7th from left) and Undersecretary Bernard P. Olalia (7th from right) co-heads the Philippine delegation to the UNESCAP Regional Preparatory Meeting on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Dir. Regina Galias and Ms. Joanna Lyn Rodriguez join DFA, DOLE and NEDA officials in the Philippine delegation.

The Asia Pacific region accounts for 102 million international migrants. According to UNESCAP, migrants’ remittances in the region are estimated to reach USD 276 billion this year. One fourth of the GDP of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Nepal are derived from remittances of their international migrants.

UNESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1947, UNESCAP has 53 member States and 9 associate members. Its geographical scope stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south.  It is the largest UN body serving the Asia-Pacific.  Its headquarters is in Bangkok, Thailand. END