MANILA, Nov. 5 -- Head of the Philippine delegation to the 38th General
Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), Secretary Sonny B. Coloma Jr., of the Presidential
Communications Operations Office called on Director-General Irina Bokova on
Monday at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
Secretary Coloma conveyed the greetings of President Benigno S. Aquino III
and expressed high regard for the efforts of the Director-General to promote
UNESCO’s message of peace and humanism, especially on the occasion of the
Organization’s 70th anniversary.
Secretary Coloma and Director-General Bokova reaffirmed the long-standing
friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and UNESCO. They noted
with satisfaction ongoing and future cooperation projects in fields such as
education, disaster resilience, and protection of cultural heritage. He also
highlighted the gains of the Philippine Government in the fields of UNESCO’s
mandate under the leadership of President Aquino. In particular, the K-12
reform of the education sector set out an inclusive framework for quality
education and lifelong learning throughout the country, and the expanded
conditional cash transfer program helped challenged families keep their
children in school.
The Secretary likewise briefed the Director-General on the Philippines’
measures to boost its disaster risk reduction capacities in wake of climate
change and natural disasters, such as the launch of the Nationwide
Operational Assessment of Hazards, or Project NOAH. Director-General Bokova
praised the Philippines for its progress in human development and for being
an active member of UNESCO, citing the Philippines’ constructive role as the
Chair of the Group of 77 in UNESCO and in the World Heritage Committee.
Both Secretary Coloma and Director-General Bokova shared the hope for a
successful 21st Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) to be held in Paris later in the
In closing, Secretary Coloma pledged the Philippines’ continuing support to
UNESCO, noting the Organization’s important functions in promoting peace and
the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. (DFA)