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09 September 2015 – A Global Meeting on the occasion of International Literacy Day was held on 08-09 September 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters. This year’s theme Literacy and Sustainable Societies was chosen to emphasize the critical links between literacy and the sustainable development agenda, which will be adopted during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.

One of the high-level panelists, Balanga Mayor Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III, shared how literacy can be a powerful instrument to reinforce and harmonize the main pillars of sustainable development.

“Balanga is a family-oriented city with a strong learning atmosphere that will ensure sustainable development and participatory governance.” He shared that policies on education are not enough. Other factors such as having the right infrastructure, qualified teachers, a good and safe enabling environment, and effective networking are important to develop and empower individuals.

Mr. Raymond Mapa, Executive Director of Philippine non-government organization People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development, was also invited as one of the panelists in a technical discussion on Creating a Sustainable and Literate Society.

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Mr. Raymond Mapa, Executive Director of Philippine non-government organization People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development, was also invited as one of the panelists in a technical discussion on Creating a Sustainable and Literate Society.

The Global Meeting, which shall prepare for the ground for literacy action in the post-2015 era, marked the 50th anniversary of the World Congress of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy.