UNESCO's 33rd General Conference
FROM Paris: In his eight-minute address before the UNESCO's General Assembly here in Paris, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo appealed to the 191 member countries (our ASEAN partner Brunei Darussalam was the newest member state) to focus their energies on fighting poverty and building peace. He did this as he also shared some of the significant achievements made by the country along UNESCO's programs in education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture and communication. Secretary Romulo who led the Philippine delegation) underscored the principles upon which UNESCO was founded - "that since wars begin in the minds of men, it is also in the minds of men that the ramparts of peace must be built." And further recalled the reminder made by his eminent uncle, Philippine Delegate to the UN Carlos P. Romulo who said: "Let us make this floor the last battlefield." Since then, he noted, UNESCO and the UN have been building stone upon stone, the edifice of peace.
Among our program which address many of the survival issues of the day is "Education for All," UNESCO's flagship program under which the country had offered to become the Asia-Pacific Center for Lifelong Learning and Sustainable Development. This supports the need to bring education to our migrant workers. Along this concern is the recognition of the transformative power of knowledge societies and intercultural dialogue as well as the new information and communication technologies in bringing about social cohesion and tolerance among peoples of various faiths. Romulo noted the strides towards attaining sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals as he emphasized the priorities we have given in disaster and water management and in fighting HIV/AIDS.
The debates in the communication programme were lively and underscored the increasing recognition of commmunication as a resource that has impact on all aspects of human life, and that today we live in a world of contrasts - one is that which has access to information and is inclusive and the other which has limited access, poor and excluded. …