Philippines, UNESCO reaffirm partnership

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 month.

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)


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