(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 191st session of the Executive Board
15 April 2013
"Thank you, Madame Chair,
Japan strongly hopes that UNESCO will continue to take a leading role internationally in its fields of competence. In order for UNESCO to do so in achieving concrete and visible results, UNESCO needs to focus on the selection and concentration of programmes where it has a comparative advantage and move forward with reform to create a synergy among its major programme sectors. In this regard, I would like to express my appreciation to the Director-General and the Secretariat for their tremendous efforts to prepare the draft C/4 and C/5 including the implementation plan based on the expected cash flow situation.
(Financial difficulties and UNESCO Reform)
I also commend the efforts made by the Secretariat in proceeding with a series of reforms while pursuing cost saving measures. In particular, we welcome the DG’s willingness to develop a Road Map for the next biennium, following the implementation of the current one. However, as the Organisation will run a deficit later this year, the Secretariat should keep on working towards further cost reduction, while ensuring accountability to Member States.
The current financial difficulties have been an opportunity for us to face and resolve not only temporary financial challenges but also UNESCO’s structural problems such as its excessive dependence on extra-budgetary funds and its governance problem. To tackle these issues, we must have a long-term and far-sighted strategy. Japan is willing to continue its active contribution to the discussion on how to address the problems that beset UNESCO.
(37C/4 and 37C/5)
With regard to the draft C/4 and C/5, Japan generally supports the direction proposed by the Director-General. I think, however, it is imperative for the Secretariat to provide a clear and comprehensive explanation to Member States about the rationale and expected results of the proposed structural reforms, including the discontinuation of the BFC (Bureau of Field Coordination), the downscaling of the ERI (Sector for External Relations and Public Information), and the establishment of a Centre for Social Transformation and Intercultural Dialogue.
Concerning education, I consider that priority should be given to accelerating efforts towards the achievement of the EFA goals and education-related MDGs as well as to formulating the post-2015 education agenda while clarifying the reasons for the difficulty in achieving the EFA goals. Education is essential to realise human security, and therefore Japan sees it as one of the most significant issues in the development agenda beyond 2015. ESD is also an indispensable element for realising a truly sustainable development, thus the role of education for sustainable development should be a key element in the post-2015 agenda. Based on these views, Japan will actively participate in the discussion for establishing the post-2015 world education agenda while I expect that UNESCO will make a great effort in this direction. Japan has the honour of hosting the UNESCO World Conference on ESD next year. We continue to cooperate with UNESCO to make it a successful event, and strongly hope that as many Member States and other stakeholders as possible will participate in the conference and give it their full support.
Regarding sciences, Japan has proposed the idea of “Sustainability Science”, an integrated approach to sustainable society, which requires the contribution of both natural science and social and human sciences. This approach should be mentioned clearly in the Strategic Objective 6. We wish to continue to work with UNESCO towards the further crystallisation of the relevant projects based on the outcomes of a workshop on “Sustainability Science” held in Malaysia early this month.
When it comes to the safeguarding and conservation of cultural and natural heritage, Japan co-organised with UNESCO the Closing Event of the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in Kyoto last November. As emphasised in the outcome document, the “Kyoto Vision”, we expect that cooperation and coordination among all stakeholders including local communities for heritage conservation will be further enhanced.
(Africa, TICAD V)
Japan has been emphasising the importance of Africa’s development. In this context, Japan will host the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD V, in Yokohama this June. Based on the philosophy of Africa’s ownership and international partnership, we will continue to work hand in hand with Africa, utilising Africa’s dynamism to help achieve peace, stability and prosperity on the continent, and Japan is willing to cooperate with UNESCO in that process as well.
The current financial difficulties provide UNESCO with a great opportunity to push ahead with bold reforms. Japan shall spare no effort in providing support and cooperation to realise a “strong UNESCO” which can contribute to building a peaceful world and sustainable society. Now is the time for Member States and the Secretariat to share responsibility through sincere dialogue. Japan shall continue to support the reform efforts of the Secretariat through cooperation with other Member States and various partners.
Thank you very much. "
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Copyright : 2013 Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO