Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference
36 session of the General Conference H.E. Mr Theo ZURENUOC, Minister of Education Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received
35 session of the General Conference Honorable James Marape, Minister for Education
“We express our gratitude to Mr Koïchiro Matsuura for its distinguished leadership as Director-General for UNESCO (…). We also join other distinguished delegates in congratulating the Director-General-Elect (…).”
“(…) Papua New Guinea and her six million people speak one third of the world's languages, 850 all in all, hence it augments unity amongst diversity in culture. Papua New Guinea has 7% of world's biodiversity with the second largest untampered virgin rainforest and its coral reefs and atolls mostly remain untouched by pressures of modern development.”
“We commend UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for inscription of the Kuk Heritage site. (…) Since 1976 UNESCO has been an integral partner in Papua New Guinea’s quest for development. The government of Papua New Guinea values the work of UNESCO. It has therefore granted full autonomy status to its National Commission with increased funding, manpower and other support.”
“We value UNESCO’s effort in ensuring that our country’s literacy program is expanded. The communication programs that we have embarked on in partnership with UNESCO must continue because it brings latest world standards and innovations to our people, our schools and communities, that are separated by harsh topography and vast oceans between islands and atolls.”
“(…) We continue to promote the Dakar framework goals. Papua New Guinea government has given high priority to the Education Sector in order to accelerate progress towards education for all by 2015. The implementation of the Universal Basic Education Plan (…) will have implications for secondary and technical vocational education. Papua New Guinea will need help to expand, improve and strengthen technical vocational education to cater for the needs for the much anticipated large number of school levels. It is in this respect, and in pursuit of our aim of education for sustainable development that we request UNESCO's support.”
“We value the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and we call for UNESCO’s continual intervention because Papua New Guinea has one third of the known world languages and culture. Our rich diverse cultural heritage is the source of our strength and nationhood, and will be a laboratory of knowledge for the world and we call upon UNESCO to help us preserve these valuables.”
“Papua New Guinea continues to have its share of natural disasters. For instance some small islands of Papua New Guinea like the Carteret Islands are already experiencing the effects of climate change and are losing arable lands. We thank UNESCO for the financial assistance given to Papua New Guinea to rebuild and resettle victims. We applaud UNESCO’s quick action towards establishing programmes relating to warning systems and disaster preparedness and request that these be further strengthened.”
“(…) I take this forum to emphasize UNESCO’s role in ensuring that environmental issues are given relevant emphasis in light of the forthcoming Copenhagen meeting. This 35th General Conference must be resolved in the clearest terms in our “One UNESCO family” commitment to address climatic change challenges.”
34 session of the General Conference H.E. Hon. David Arore, MP, Vice-Minister
Papua New Guinea commends the Draft Programme and Budget of the UNESCO 2008-2009 biennium and expresses its commitment to UNESCO’s goals and ideals. The country also welcomes Singapore and Montenegro.
“80% of our five million people sustain their livelihoods through sustainable farming. We have one of the world’s richest collections and diversities of living culture with many ethnic groups speaking over 800 languages. Despite these diversities and challenges, we have remained under the spirit of one people, one nation and one country.”
Papua New Guinea remains committed to the Millennium Development Goals and this is reflected in the national government’s medium-term development strategy. This includes the priority given to Education for All, and life long learning programmes.
“Papua New Guinea also recognizes the importance of developing its human resources for sustainable, social and economic development. Despite our efforts and some progress, Papua New Guinea faces many challenges ahead and would not attain the Millennium Development Goals without the assistance of UNESCO and the international community.”
“We support the framework of major Programmes II and III and recognize that science also plays a significant role in development. Science education remains a difficult subject to teach at school level; we therefore would like to see UNESCO give special emphasis to overcoming these difficulties.”
Papua New Guinea urges other countries to take responsible actions to address the issue of environmental degradation. The country has allocated funds for sustainable environmental practices and research and would like to see UNESCO engage in more work in climate change.
“Papua New Guinea supports the Mauritius Declaration. Small Island Developing States are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We commend UNESCO for recognizing the unique problems and challenge that small island States face.”
Papua New Guinea would like to thank the World Heritage Committee for nominating the Kuk site. The country supports also other UNESCO’s culture programmes such as the studies of dying languages in the Melanesian region.
“Communication is essential to link most communities in isolated islands as well as inland mountain regions. In this regard, we applaud UNESCO’s efforts to include ICT as an area of priority activity. We also support the principles of free flow of information, freedom of expression, and press freedom.”