(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 189 th session of the Executive Board
1 March 2012
Thank you, Madam Chair,
As this session of the Executive Board is basically focused on the present financial issue, I will try to be specific in my speech on how to cope with this challenge.
First of all, I would like to praise the Director-General for her determination to overcome the difficult situation. I am pleased to join her view of taking the ongoing financial restraints as a good chance to advance the UNESCO reform.
To overcome this emergency, we, both the Member States and the Secretariat, need to “stick together”. Now we must do a lot and very quickly to adjust the expenses according to the present revenue situation for this year. This is a very tough job. So, we need strong leadership.
Now, let me concentrate my discussion here on two points.
First, we have to focus on our priorities. To focus, we need to acutely recognize a clear direction to take and , more importantly, give enough confidence to the DG in the management of budget. The worst thing is micro-management, which would lead the whole vessel of UNESCO to nowhere. If we, the Board members, can unite ourselves on this point, the DG will be able to take stronger leadership.
Secondly, the method of work must be more efficient. This issue of streamlining is rather technical. On this side of the issue, we can count on the DG for her innovative and tireless efforts to rationalize the working processes. As she suggested, I also recognize the importance of making small savings everywhere, as the saying goes many a little makes a mickle.
(Japan's contribution - new projects)
The next question should be what Japan can do for UNESCO. First and foremost, Japan will contribute to UNESCO on a project basis besides the regular budget, as we have done before. In addition to our existing extrabudgetary programmes, Japan is going to additionally fund 4.8 million US dollars to five UNESCO project proposals.
Out of five, three projects are to be conducted in Africa. We will help the capacity-development in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia to tap groundwater resources to tackle the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. We will support the new state of South Sudan to establish its state-level educational policy. And, we will help providing secondary education in the community in Eastern Liberia which is hosting the refugees from the Ivory Coast.
Two other new projects will be conducted in the Arab region. We will help TVET programme in Iraq to fight youth unemployment. We will also support Egypt and Libya to provide quality education after the crisis.
These five projects will accommodate our priorities in education and science as well as in post-conflict/ post-disaster regions. We hope they will complement regular-budget programmes.
Another element of Japan's contribution is the World Heritage. The World Heritage also faces a critical moment. There has been much discussion on the future of the Convention. The 40th Anniversary must be a turning point to set a new course for the next decade. Japan wishes to help accelerate such world-wide initiatives.
As you know the 40th Anniversary was launched by the memorable ceremony with the US Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. In February, we had our national launching ceremony in Japan with the presence of the DG. I am delighted at learning of many events in pipeline in many countries. Now my colleagues along with the World Heritage Centre staff are working hard the successful organization of the Closing Event in Kyoto in this November.
(New Goodwill Ambassador)
Last but not least, I would like to add one more thing as Japan's contribution, that is, the designation of Dr. Sen as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Dr. Sen is a grand master of the Japanese tea ceremony. He has long dedicated himself to disseminating the Japanese tea ceremony in many countries under the concept of ‘Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea.' The new Goodwill Ambassador will surely contribute to the mission of UNESCO.
Now I would like to close my statement with our sincere commitment to this invaluable organization of UNESCO.
Thank you for your attention .
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Copyright : 2013 Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO