MANILA, JULY 3, 2007
(STAR) By Helen M. Flores - Among the 16 nationalities polled, Filipinos are the most unwilling to give the United Nations new powers and are resistant to accepting UN decisions, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed yesterday.

The surveys were done by the SWS in cooperation with an 18-nation study of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) and WorldPublicOpinion.org (WPO).

The SWS said this is the fourth in a series of reports based on the findings of an international survey conducted in 2006 by the CCGA and WPO in cooperation with polling organizations in China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, France, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Armenia and the Palestinian Territories.

“These include roughly 56 percent of the world population,” the SWS said.

The SWS said 64 percent of the 14 countries polled agreed on the idea of “having a standing UN peacekeeping force selected, trained and commanded by the United Nations,” while 23 percent opposed.

Resistance to a standing UN peacekeeping force is highest among Filipinos with 46 percent in favor and 44 percent opposed. Sharing the same sentiments are Israelis (31 percent), South Koreans (30 percent), Indians (30 percent) and Argentines (30 percent).

Among the 12 nations who support a standing UN peacekeeping force, Peruvians (77 percent) are the most supportive, followed by Armenians (75 percent), the French (74 percent), Thais (73 percent) and Americans (72 percent).

The SWS said support for “giving the UN the authority to go into countries in order to investigate violations of human rights” had on the average 64 percent in favor and 23 percent opposed.

“Most people in 13 countries are in favor of such UN investigations, led by an overwhelming 92 percent of the French, followed by Americans (75 percent), Peruvians (75 percent) and South Koreans (74 percent),” the SWS said.

But Filipinos are 46 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed to such UN investigations, the SWS said.

“Filipinos show the highest opposition to this idea, followed by Israelis (31 percent),” it said.

Bishops pay tribute to papal envoy Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Philippine Catholic hierarchy is set to pay tribute today to outgoing Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, who will leave for Rome on Thursday for his new post.

A special thanksgiving mass will be held at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila at 6 a.m. to celebrate Filoni’s service as Pope’s representative to the Philippines for the last 16 months.

Officers and members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), led by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, are expected to grace the occasion that will also usher in their three-day retreat before their semi-annual plenary assembly this weekend.

After the mass, Filoni is expected to deliver his farewell message to the bishops. The CBCP will also host a dinner in honor of the outgoing envoy.

Filoni, 61, was earlier appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Vatican’s Assistant Secretary of State for General Affairs.

“It is an act of paternal benevolence of the Supreme Pontiff to whom I answer without trepidation, but with the same availability as in the past and with profound gratitude,” Filoni said upon learning of his new post.

It was in February 2006 when the Pope appointed Filoni to succeed Archbishop Antonio Franco as Vatican’s envoy to the Philippines. Franco was transferred to Cyprus. – Edu Punay

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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