(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 190 th session of the Executive Board



8 October 2012

"Thank you, Madame Chair,
Madame Director-General,
Distinguished Delegates,



This session of the Board is an important opportunity for Member States to provide the Secretariat with substantial guidance on how to tackle the current financial difficulties of the Organisation, and in particular it is an occasion for us to examine the preliminary draft C/4 which covers eight years, longer than before.


(Financial difficulties)

First, I would like to express my appreciation for the initiative taken by the Director-General in pursuing cost-saving measures while seeking effective implementation of core programmes. I also commend the efforts made by the Secretariat towards the steady implementation of the Road Map. In view of the gloomy prospect of a heavy deficit by the end of 2013, as suggested by the DG's report, the Secretariat should continue to work on further cost reduction and streamlining measures, as well as focussing on the selection and concentration of programmes. At the same time, as Member States, we need to provide as much support and cooperation as possible for the efforts undertaken by the Secretariat.


(UNESCO reform, 37C/4)

I agree with the DG that the current financial predicament provides UNESCO with a great opportunity to push ahead with even bolder reform. I also think it is important that we see this reform not as a temporary measure for the duration of the crisis, but as lasting and irreversible. In this respect, I welcome the proposed draft C/4 which looks streamlined in many ways. I see it as providing a good basis for fruitful discussion, although there remain some significant points that are in need of clarification or further adjustment.



Madame Chair,

On the occasion of last year's General Conference Japan proposed the idea of “Sustainability Science”, which involves taking an integrated approach to sustainable society, bringing together the contribution of natural sciences and social and human sciences. We are very pleased to see this proposal duly taken into account in the draft C/4, and have decided to work with the Secretariat on the development of this new approach.

Sustainability also provides us with a valuable perspective in the areas of education and culture. In education, high priority should continue to be given to ESD, in addition to the further development of the global coordination mechanism for EFA and the advancement of the post-2015 agenda for EFA. Japan, as the host country of the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in 2014, is very keen to make the conference a great success. The DG's participation at this conference would be highly appreciated. In this context, I welcome the Education First Initiative launched by the UN Secretary-General, and hope that through this initiative UNESCO will strengthen its efforts to contribute to the promotion of ESD and to the achievement of the MDGs through the accelerated promotion of EFA. I would also like to take this opportunity to ask the DG how UNESCO intends to incorporate unattained EFA goals and the fruits of ESD into the revision process of the MDGs.

With regard to cultural conventions, comprehensive discussion concerning their proper sustainability and their contribution to realising sustainable societies is of particular importance. In relation to this, I welcome the fact that there was a fruitful debate on the future of the World Heritage Convention last week with the participation of the State Parties and the Advisory Bodies. It is my sincere hope that the Closing Event of the Convention's 40th Anniversary Celebration, which Japan has the honour to host in Kyoto next month, involving relevant experts from around the world, will offer us future prospects for the medium and long-term as a positive outcome.


(C/5, Closing)

Madame Chair,

Japan fully supports the DG's proposal for the next C/5 on a ZNG basis, which is to be applauded as a realistic proposal based on careful analysis of the present situation of the global economy. While the Secretariat must have the courage to push through its reforms, as Member States we also need to bear the pain together. Solidarity and a collective sense of responsibility are needed now more than ever before.

Thank you very much. "



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