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8 April 2014: Statement of His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji, Representative of Japan to the Executive Board, on the occasion of the 194th session of the Executive Board
" Thank you, Mr Chair,
(Current situation and countermeasures)
This is the first governing body meeting in the biennium under the 37C/5 as well as the ongoing expenditure plan and staff restructuring plan. Therefore, it is imperative that the Member States discuss the programme implementation and organisational management of UNESCO based on its current administrative performance. I would like to commend the streamlining efforts now underway on the initiative of the Director-General. Nevertheless, as the programme implementation is inevitably subject to adverse effect from the budget cuts, both the Member States and the Secretariat are required to further develop an awareness of the Results-based Management (RBM) whereby UNESCO can maintain the comparative advantage in the fields of its competence.
Concerning the staff restructuring plan, it is vital that the Secretariat implements the plan with much transparency so that both the staff within the Organisation and the Member States can get a better understanding of the process of the restructuring. While the reorganisation of staffing appears to be unavoidable under the current circumstances, we hope that the restructuring of UNESCO will proceed in a rational manner without losing its valuable expertise.
Let me touch upon a few issues on programmes. As education should play a crucial role in setting the post-2015 development agenda, I would like to emphasise that the efforts to make the post-2015 education agenda truly conducive to sustainable development is one of the top priorities for UNESCO this year. With regard to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), I would also like to remind you that Japan will host the UNESCO World Conference on ESD this November, in the firm belief that ESD is an indispensable element for building a sustainable society and realising quality education. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my government’s strong hope and expectation that high-ranked representatives from the Member States and other stakeholders will participate in this crucial meeting.
Regarding sciences, Japan has provided assistance for the post-flood disaster reconstruction and disaster prevention in collaboration with UNESCO through various projects, and has also promoted the idea of “Sustainability Science” with a view to realising a sustainable society. We wish to enhance cooperation with the Secretariat to further develop the approaches which reflect the concept of “Sustainability Science” in the relevant projects. We are also committed to supporting UNESCO’s efforts in such fields as land and ocean water and biosphere.
With respect to culture, Japan is keen to make a continued contribution to the solving of the issues related to the implementation of the cultural conventions including the 1972 and 2003 Conventions. In this respect, we consider that the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention need to further deepen discussions on the mid- and long-term issues regarding the future of the Convention, in cooperation with the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies.
(Africa and SIDS)
With respect to Africa which is one of UNESCO’s global priorities, Japan has long been active in supporting the development efforts in the world particularly in Africa. Based on the outcomes of the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held last year, Japan reaffirms its resolve to continue to make an active contribution to Africa’s development.
Moreover, Japan has been taking a keen interest in the issues faced by SIDS. And Japan welcomes the fruitful discussion at the meeting on UNESCO’s actions in SIDS last week. Sharing parts of their difficulties, Japan has been standing behind such island countries through the projects under the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) and other development cooperation activities. We also hope that the UNESCO programmes in SIDS will be implemented effectively in the face of current budgetary restraints.
Japan also attaches much importance to the gender issue which is UNESCO’s another global priority. As Prime Minister Abe declared his intention to create “a society in which women shine,” in Japan and abroad in his address at the UN General Assembly last September, Japan will strengthen its assistance to developing countries, in order to contribute to the empowerment and advancement of women in society, by implementing ODA in excess of 3 billion dollars over three years starting from 2013.
(Reforms for the future)
In order to show the international community its relevance on the issues of peace and development, UNESCO needs to ensure the steady programme implementation in the field, as well as to make intellectual contributions through policy advice and recommendation. To that end, it is absolutely necessary that UNESCO make strenuous efforts for the consolidation of its programme implementation system. Given that UNESCO will mark its 70th anniversary in 2015, Japan is willing to cooperate with other Member States and the Secretariat in pursuit of the noble missions of UNESCO through the reform based on mid- and long-term perspectives, so that we can bequeath our future generations a “robust UNESCO” which assumes a leading role in advancing valuable programmes against all odds.
Thank you for your attention. "
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Copyright : 2014 Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO