Statement of H.E. Junever M. Mahilum-West Philippine Permanent Delegate to UNESCO 215th Session of the Executive Board of UNESCO

10 October 2022, UNESCO HQ

Madame Chair of the Executive Board,
Madame Director-General of UNESCO,
Mr. President of the General Conference,
Distinguished Delegates,

Good morning/afternoon.

The Philippines associates itself with the statements of the Asia-Pacific Group and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), both to be delivered later.

Two years ago, the Philippine delegation stated that, in a post-pandemic environment, the global community must keep communication lines open, build trust and reaffirm our faith in the United Nations and UNESCO. We urged UNESCO to assert its relevance by delivering concrete results where it matters the most, despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic — that is to say, exercise the flexibility and resilience called for by the situation. We adapted and we delivered. We continued to discharge our mandate through virtual and eventually face-to-face meetings, as there was no time to waste in achieving our key targets in the areas of education, science and culture

As delivered.

The Philippines notes with appreciation the timely conduct of the Summit on Transforming Education. To sustain this transformation, the Philippines vows to re-engineer governance by developing closer integration between industry and government when it comes to curriculum design and implementation. Institutional structures of our education system will be revisited to ensure that they work in synergy and facilitate smooth transition from early childhood education, basic education, to technical-vocational and higher education, that allows learners to achieve their full potential. The Philippines is poised to work more strategically with partners in the human development sector to emphasize the shared responsibility for our learners’ holistic welfare and ensure that the government as a whole remains responsive to social change. We will work fully with the UNESCO International Commission on the Futures of Education in ensuring that the education that our children receive is fit-for-purpose, their teachers are well-trained, sufficiently remunerated and valued, and the digital learning opportunity reaches all, especially women and girls. Investments in education is key.

Climate change is among the greatest threats affecting our nations and our peoples. The Philippines is committed to participating actively in the work of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, whose area of expertise includes collaborating on climate research, assisting countries implement marine spatial planning (MSP), observing sea level changes and their impact on biodiversity, coastal communities and ecosystems, among others. We are also cognizant of the relevance of IOC’s mandate in charting our blue economy aspirations. We take pride in being a member of the Group of Friends of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). As an archipelago, we share the same vulnerabilities and challenges that SIDS are heir to. We look forward to enhancing cooperation in this area. The Philippines is gearing towards implementing the Ocean Decade through multi-stakeholder collaboration and with the active involvement of the youth.

For the Philippines, there is no greater renewable resource than the creativity and innovation of our people. We understand the value of harnessing peoples' talents by creating a robust and creative economy. We congratulate Mexico once again and all the organizers for the resounding success of the recently concluded MONDIACULT 2022 which reaffirmed culture as a global priority agenda. The Philippines' first UNESCO-designated Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts, Baguio City, shared its takeaway from participating in the UNESCO Cultural 2030 Indicators project. With the support and encouragement of the World Heritage Center, the project highlighted the invaluable and still unplumbed contribution of culture and the creative economy to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We look forward to more UNESCO projects aimed at strengthening and empowering the capacities of our artists, artisans, indigenous cultural communities, cities and other stakeholde

The Philippines hopes to intensify its collaboration with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in promoting freedom of expression, freedom of the press, safety of journalists and the right to access information in accordance with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists.

We thank UNESCO for the support it extends to countries such as the Philippines, that continuously bear the impact of natural disasters. The recent strong earthquake in the Philippines affected some of our World Heritage Sites. In this regard, UNESCO’s continuing prioritization in institutionalizing support to Member States’ cultural sectors is especially crucial, taking on board strengthening resilience during crisis and disaster situations. Support is needed in the form of information dissemination, capacity building and training, evidence-based policy formulation and retooling, and participatory consultative efforts.

In conclusion, the Philippines reiterates its aspirations that, in the midst of current challenges with global impact and of institutional reforms within UNESCO, we continue to strive for concrete and practical actions and decisions aimed at achieving our goals and objectives, by further strengthening support for UNESCO's Regional Offices, the National Commissions, and other key partners. We must keep our sights on our common goals and ensure inclusivity at all leve

Thank you.