(Ce discours est en anglais; il n'existe pas de version française de ce discours)



Statement of His Excellency Mr Isao Kiso Representative of Japan to the Executive Board on the occasion of the 186th session of the Executive Board 9 May 2011




"Thank you, Madam Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,




It is a great honour for me to address this Session of the Executive Board on behalf of the Government of Japan.



(Earthquake in Japan)


First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for all your warm messages to the people of Japan who suffered from the formidable earthquake and its subsequent tsunami in March. This time I renew my recognition on how small human beings are before the power of nature. But I also realized that there are very many people, here in this UNESCO community, who think seriously about the Japanese people as well as the recovery from the disaster.


If there is any positive side in this difficult situation, the earthquake gave us a good opportunity to reconfirm that we stand together with the world. In living up to the cordial encouragement and solidarity extended to us, I am convinced that Japan will certainly reply, through our contribution to the international community, the assistance we have received from you.


(UNESCO reform, IEE)


Madam Chair,


I appreciate huge efforts that have been made to realize a better UNESCO by both the Member States and the Secretariat. I would like to extend my utmost respect to the Ad hoc Working Group on the Independent External Evaluation report for its dedicated consideration, whose recommendation is now on the table in the document of this Executive Board meeting.


For more than ten years from the turn of the century, UNESCO has made numerous attempts for reform. Some of them were put into practice, but still there is much room for progress. Among the items listed in the recommendation of the Ad hoc Working Group, I would like to attach a particular importance to the introduction of reviewing methodology to all the new and existing programmes, for instance, by the formulation of exit strategies and sunset provisions. I believe that UNESCO needs to be equipped with a mechanism for self-examination of programmes to find those to be finished. Scrapping old one should be required to spare resource for introducing new one in line with the new Organization's priority


(Draft of 36C/5)


With regard to the budget ceiling of the next biennium, I would like to draw your attention to the present state of the world economy which is still straggling for recovery from the crisis. Most major contributors of UNESCO are faced with the need to cut their own national budgets significantly. Japan is not an exception. The activities of UNESCO must be more aligned with the budgetary realities of the Member States. I am sure that UNESCO will be able to find a way to accommodate our budgetary demand within the restraint of available resources.




Madam Chair,


Education for All plays an essential role in nation-building. Education empowers people and fosters peace. A holistic approach is surely necessary, as always argued. In this context, UNESCO would be able to gain more impact by focusing on quality education, where its comparative advantage lies.


Education is an essential component of the human security, one of the key concepts of Japan's overseas development assistance, aiming at making this century a human-centred century. In this regard, I would like to mention here that Japan elaborated its new educational aid policy in cooperation with UNESCO and other international organizations and launched it last September.


In order to achieve the education related MDGs, the Government of Japan will host the MDGs Follow-up Meeting in Tokyo this June to strengthen coordination among a broad range of stakeholders.


On the other pillar of education, that is, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), we must step forward along the roadmap decided at the last Executive Board meeting for the DESD End-of-Decade Conference in 2014, which is to be held in Japan. We should narrow down our focus on key areas such as climate change and disaster risk reduction. For example, the education for disaster risk reduction proved its effectiveness by saving many students in the area hit by the earthquake and tsunami. Also, we need to mobilize and strengthen existing networks such as UNESCO Chairs and ASP networks.




Madam Chair,


Science is an area of great opportunity and potential for UNESCO. This is where we can contribute to the humanity, particularly through building a sustainable society and through helping countries in science policy and science education. Japan is committed to collaborating with UNESCO in these areas. Especially UNESCO has long contributed to the development of water science, as shown by the creation of IHP and IOC. In the global assistance in the field of water-related disasters such as flood and tsunami, we expect UNESCO to be more ‘visible' for instance by helping countries build early warning systems.




Madam Chair, Both the World Heritage and the Intangible Cultural Heritage are most vivid illustrations of UNESCO's characteristics. The inscription in the representative list not only helps the protection of cultural heritages, but also attaches pride and dignity to countries and peoples. The World Heritage Convention is now close to forty (40) years old, with almost universal membership and nearly one thousand inscribed sites. The Convention is entering into a new stage. The States Parties have been seriously studying the Future of the Convention. This study should be further promoted and must take shape towards the Fortieth (40th) Anniversary of the Convention. Japan will be playing an active role in this effort, and wish to cooperate with all the other States Parties for the success of the Anniversary. As for the Intangible Cultural Heritage, we will continue to actively contribute to the development of this still young and vulnerable convention. In line with the decisions and discussions of the Intergovernmental Committees and States Parties, we will in particular assist the Secretariat in increasing its capability to accelerate the nomination process, and to promote capacity building in Africa and other regions.




Madam Chair,


We have a great hope and expectation of UNESCO. Japan is determined to work with all our colleagues and the Secretariat for the better future of UNESCO.


Thank you. "



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