Legarda Leads PHL Delegation to UNESCO’s 37th General Conference

November 7, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda will stress on the country’s experiences on environmental protection, heritage preservation, peace building and sustainable development at the 37th General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, France.


As head of the Philippine Delegation, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Cultural Communities, on Climate Change, and on Environment and Natural Resources, will deliver the Philippines’ policy statement for the General Policy Debate of the 37th Session of the UNESCO General Conference on November 8, 2013 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.


“The message that we would want to impart to our fellow member states is clear—we are facing wars that could be far greater than the wars of the past. We need to address extreme poverty that affects 1.2 billion people; we must find resolution to violent conflicts, which endanger the lives of 1.5 billion people; we must defend our communities from climate change and disasters that kill at least 400,000 every year; and we must give our wholehearted commitment to save our planet, which is nearing its biophysical limits,” the Senator said.


Legarda will share how the Philippines is addressing these concerns, especially through national policies on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and programs to support the preservation of natural and man-made heritage such as the Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, the Historic City of Vigan, and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


“We aim to share our best practices as we also pursue to strengthen other programs especially in light of disasters that shocked us including Typhoon Bopha, the single deadliest disaster in the world in 2012 that claimed the lives of 1,901 people in the Philippines; and the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Central Visayas that destroyed not only lives and livelihoods but also historic structures and centuries-old churches included in our World Heritage Tentative List,” she said.


Legarda will be joined by Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Cristina Ortega, UNESCO National Commission Secretary-General Virginia Miralao, and NatCom Education Committee Chairperson and Commission on Higher Education Secretary Patricia Licuanan, among other members of the Philippine Delegation.


The Senator will also hold bilateral talks with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to further discuss issues contained in the Philippines’ Policy Statement, the country’s programs and agenda that are closely related to UNESCO’s work, and the Philippines’ candidature for a seat in the World Heritage Committee.