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30 September 2013: Statement of His Excellency Mr Isao Kiso, Representative of Japan to the Executive Board, on the occasion of the 192nd session of the Executive Board



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



UNESCO has faced great financial difficulties over the last biennium and thereby will be under heavier pressure to streamline its programmes and take various cost-saving measures. However, it is still extremely important for UNESCO to realise its founding philosophy. To promote peace and sustainable development, it is now more significant than ever that UNESCO secures the steady implementation of the properly-selected programmes where it has a comparative advantage, while utilising its unique knowledge and experiences, and achieves concrete results.


(37C/4 and 37C/5)

The draft 37C/5 with prolonged programme cycle in which the principles of results-based budgeting are partly applied, as well as the income and expenditure plan and the staff restructuring plan prepared in case of the reduced cash flow of 507 million US dollars, are due to be discussed and adopted at the upcoming General Conference. Japan generally welcomes the proposal made by the Secretariat taking into account the debates at the meeting of the 5th Special Session of the Executive Board, although, probably like many other Member States, not entirely satisfied with all the details of these plans. I think, however, it is imperative for the Board to present clear and substantive recommendations to the forthcoming General Conference without missing the forest for the trees.



Madame Chair,

I will touch upon just a few issues on programmes. Concerning education, as the leading agency of EFA, UNESCO needs to keep its focus on the efforts on the post-2015 education agenda. In this respect, Japan has proposed an additional item for this session regarding “the post-2015 perspective of EFA” and would like to facilitate in-depth discussions among Member States and the Secretariat on what the post-2015 education agenda should be.

I am also convinced that ESD is an indispensable element for realising a sustainable society, and, in this regard, welcome the Global Action Programme on ESD proposed by the Secretariat. Japan has the honour of hosting the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in November 2014. We hope that as many Member States and other stakeholders as possible will join the conference and discuss the implementation of the post-2015 ESD framework, based on the review of the achievement in the course of the UNDESD, taking into account the contribution of ESD to the post-2015 education agenda and development agenda.


With regard to sciences, Japan has proposed to develop the idea of “Sustainability Science” for building a sustainable society. I am glad that the Symposium on “Sustainability Science” co-organised by UNESCO and the United Nations University on 19 September helped enrich the understanding of Member States about the importance of this idea. Japan is determined to continue to work in close cooperation with UNESCO towards the further crystallisation of relevant projects.

The sustainability of water resources is also essential for the realisation of a sustainable society. UNESCO should take the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation as a prime opportunity to boost a campaign on the importance of water resources through the IOC and the IHP. Japan would like to continue to make a contribution in this regard as well, making the most of its own expertise in this field.


(DG’s approach and reform initiatives)

Madame Chair,

Dialogue is a crucial and reliable path to peace, and a cross-cutting approach is absolutely necessary to achieve sustainable development. Putting great emphasis on active contribution to the efforts to resolve global issues, Japan has been long involved in Africa’s development through various efforts such as the holding of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, Japan also intends to work positively to enhance women’s status and role in the international society. In this light, we commend the UNESCO’s approach in which inter-cultural dialogue and interdisciplinarity weigh heavily, and Africa and Gender Equality are stressed as the two Global Priorities.


Given the fact that UNESCO faces not only temporary financial challenges but also structural problems, the Secretariat should pursue various reform measures with consistency and, at the same time, Member States need to collaborate with the Secretariat, combining their wisdom. In collaboration with all concerned, Japan is willing to contribute much more to develop UNESCO into a better organisation which our future generations would be proud of.



Thank you very much. "


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