“Protecting our heritage and fostering creativity”
UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate in culture for sustainable development.
To date, the Philippines has ratified 2 UNESCO Conventions:
- 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage; and the
- 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The work of PH NatCom in relation to these two conventions involves the coordination between different cultural institutions and their stakeholders to align them with UNESCO’s vision. This is achieved by training site managers of both actual and potential World Heritage Sites throughout the Philippines.
Moreover, PH NatCom also participates in numerous capacity-building workshops and fora on different culture- and heritage-related topics through UNESCO’s Regional Offices in Bangkok and Jakarta.
Aside from heritage-related work, PH NatCom also works toward the protection and promotion of cultural diversity through the creative industries by disseminating UNESCO’s programmes and projects on creativity and sustainable development. These include efforts to ratify the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, as well as helping introduce the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to cities interested in being included in the network.
Communication and Information
“Building inclusive knowledge societies”
The world’s once limited digital space has grown considerably, with virtual networks expanding every day. With the exponential growth of technology, humans can interact in ways never before imagined and tap into a massive wealth of information at their fingertips. The empowerment of humans in terms of information has also resulted in the rise of citizen journalism.
Despite these huge developments, there are still a lot of communities with little to no media access alongside a pressing lack in infrastructure. In the Philippines, the internet penetration rate stands at 43.5% while close to 15 million Filipinos still do not have access to electricity. Touted as one of the countries with the freest media in the world, the Philippines has also become the deadliest in recent years.
The UNESCO Communication and Information Sector (CI) envisions the development of knowledge societies that are equitable, inclusive, open, and participatory. In its Medium Term Strategy for 2014-2021, UNESCO asserts that it will continue to play a leading role globally in the promotion of freedom of expression, press freedom, media development, and universal access to information and knowledge, for building inclusive knowledge societies.
PH NatCom sharpens its focus on raising awareness of UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MOW) Programme, placing emphasis on the preservation and access to significant documentary heritage in the digital age. It is also tasked with increasing research into and monitor the killing of Filipino journalists, while ensuring that journalism education and media information literacy are part of its programme plan.
“Science for a sustainable future”
UNESCO deploys science and technology to provide solutions for the economic, social and environmental challenges facing us today. It promotes dialogue between and among scientists and policy makers. The agency serves as a platform not only for sharing ideas but also setting standards. In close collaboration with member states and a variety of partners, UNESCO encourages scientific cooperation at the local, national, regional and international levels to create greener societies and achieve sustainable development.
Social and Human Sciences
“Learning to live together”
A world where no one gets left behind, where basic needs are met, where differences are embraced, and where all peoples feel valued and important. This is the world that UNESCO envisions through its Social and Human Sciences Sector. The Organization’s role in these fields is to promote knowledge, development of standards, and intellectual cooperation for the facilitation of social transformation based on the values of justice, freedom, and human dignity.
In order to achieve these objectives, the PH NatCom ensures the local implementation of the following programmes: Anti-Doping in Sport, Bioethics, Ethics of Science and Technology, Human Rights, Gender Equality and Development, and International Migration and Social Integration.
Its main thrust is the advancement of “social inclusion” in the process of economic growth and social transformation.
“Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all”
UNESCO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that covers all aspects and levels of education, promoting the global Education 2030 agenda. It is the lead agency that promotes the education 2030 agenda. Education as a fundamental human right is at the core of UNESCO’s mission of bringing sustainable peace and development. In consultation with the national commission and in partnership with relevant stakeholders to nation states, UNESCO provides the blueprint for achieving the new education goals.
PH NatCom is mandated to advance UNESCO’s thrusts and programmes in the Philippines. Over the years, PH NatCom has worked with the three education agencies in the country (Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) and other private institutions to carry out the global vision of bringing inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.