Philippine Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro delivered the Philippine Statement during the first virtual Special Session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board on 08 June 2020.
Ambassador Lazaro expressed the Philippines’ solidarity with all Member States and the Secretariat. She called for enhanced international cooperation and multilateral approaches to achieve fair and inclusive solutions amidst the global crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
“In a post-pandemic environment, the global community must work to keep channels open, build trust and renew faith in the United Nations and UNESCO. At the same time, international organizations need to prove their efficiency and effectiveness by delivering concrete results where it matters the most,” she stated.
Ambassador Lazaro emphasized that the UNESCO Executive Board must continue its work and exercise its Constitutional functions, especially in times of crisis “when governance is needed the most.”
While Ambassador Lazaro acknowledged the efforts of the Secretariat to respond to the crisis, she recalled that the views and inputs of Member States should be sought before initiatives were launched to ensure that the intergovernmental nature of UNESCO was respected.
She likewise urged Members of the Board to exert all efforts to arrive at meaningful decisions at the special session and called for flexibility and constructive approaches by all sides as a matter of urgency.
The Philippines is a member of the UNESCO Executive Board until 2021.