Marcos, diplomat 'discussing preparations' for UN General Assembly

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2022 12:54 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2022 06:46 PM

President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez. Handout
President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez. Handout

MANILA (UPDATE) — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and a diplomat on Friday started discussing preparations for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. 

"We had the opportunity to start discussing on the preparation of the United Nation General Assembly," UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez told reporters after his courtesy visit to Marcos.

"This UN General Assembly meeting will be the first time that the President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will be in front of an important number of head of states," he said.

Marcos has "yet to confirm his attendance" at the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly, incoming Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said in a statement. 

But the President-elect "expressed the importance of the event and his desire to meet with other world leaders," she said.

"If he decides to go, Marcos will meet for the first time other heads of state from all over the world," she said.

The UNGA is the main policy-making organ of the organization. The decisions it makes include appointing the secretary-general, electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council, and approving the UN budget, according to the UN website. 

The Assembly meets in regular sessions from September to December each year, it said. 

This year's UNGA will feature a summit on "transforming education," Gonzalez said.

"This is an opportunity to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 on the education system," he said. 

"This is a great and historic opportunity for the President and for the Philippines to share the new vision, the new challenges and at the same time the new opportunities," added the UN representative. 

Gonzalez's statement comes a day after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman noted that Marcos can travel to the United States without being arrested for a $353-million contempt order against his family in connection with a human rights case.

"The fact is when you are head of state, you have immunity in all circumstances and are welcomed to the United States in your official role," Sherman told reporters after her meeting with Marcos on June 9.

A head of state's diplomatic immunity, however, only covers the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and not his entire family.