(Discours principalement en anglais - Il n'existe pas de version intégrale française de ce discours)


8 October 2008: Speech of His Excellency Mr Tadamichi Yamamoto, Representative of Japan to the Executive Board on the occasion of the 180th session of the Executive Board


"Mr Chairman of the Executive Board,
Mr President of the General Conference,
Mr Director-General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great privilege and pleasure for me to be able to represent Japan in the 180th Session of the Executive Board Meeting.


The Government of Japan looks to UNESCO with much expectation for its role to meet the challenges of this century and to raise and assure quality of life for citizens across the globe.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We find ourselves at an important juncture.

We are witnessing the consummation of important and critical reforms carried out by the Director-General. The coming year and months are particularly important to consolidate and harness the reforms that have been made.


Key to any organization is its budget. My Delegation fully supports the basic structure of the preliminary proposal on 35 C/5, in which the retention of the basic structure of 34 C/5 and its programme design are intended. While we have a few comments on Biennial Sectoral Priorities(BSPs) and Main Lines of Action(MLAs), we are basically satisfied with the degree of programme concentration and focus in this preliminary proposal.


I would also like to stress the importance of further strengthening Result Based Management




in 35 C/5. For this purpose, further refinement of expected results will be indispensable. The expected results in 35 C/5 must be more selective and strategic and to the extent possible, quantitative and measurable. I expect further effort of the Secretariat on this matter.


(35 C/5 : Budget Ceiling)

Under the strong leadership of the Director-General, significant progress has also been made in the financial aspect. We highly appreciate the Director-General for proposing us a preliminary budget which takes into account the Member States' demand for efficiency. However, I am obliged to state that the Government of Japan would take a tight position toward the budget for the 2010-2011 biennium.


(35 C/5: Structure of the Major Programmes and the Intersectoral Platforms)

I would also stress the importance of the strengthening of the Intersectoral Platforms introduced last year in order to fully take advantage of UNESCO's broad and various fields of competence. I would therefore strongly support the Director-General's proposal to increase the budget to be allocated to the Intersectoral Platforms.



The importance of achieving the EFA goals, as a common aim of the international community, is evident. In order to attain EFA in a sustainable manner, it is necessary to improve both the quality and quantity of basic education, and all types of education in a holistic and well-balanced manner.

In terms of improving the quality of education, quality of teachers must be ensured. UNESCO can take a lead in this area to coordinate international efforts by identifying needs and feasible targets seen from a comprehensive viewpoint.

We must also acknowledge the diversity in the environment which would allow the attainment of the EFA goals in recipient countries as well as the diversity on what donor countries can most effectively offer. We must establish a more fine tuned strategy which is designed to suit respective recipients and donors. For developing such strategies, interaction and synergy with efforts in other fields of development such as water and sanitation including children's health would be important in order to maximize the use of available resources for the attainment of the EFA goals. It is also essential to combine financial assistance and technical assistance for more effective capacity building.



Achieving sustainable development is of critical importance for the existence of humankind. I would like to stress that UNESCO, as the lead agency of UN Decade of ESD (DESD), must take the global leadership to achieve the objectives of the DESD by 2014. We need to come up with concrete and implementable programmes designed to suit countries at all levels of development. For this purpose, the International Forum on ESD Dialogue 2008 to be held in Tokyo this December, and the ensuing UNESCO World Conference on ESD to be held in Bonn next March will provide most fitting opportunities. ESD requires a multifaceted approach encompassing various fields of activities, and is a most significant case of Intersectoral Platform.


I should like to remind you that last July in Toyako, Hokkaido, the G-8 leaders agreed to promote ESD by supporting UNESCO to encourage actions by the public leading to a more sustainable and low carbon society. And prior to the G-8 summit, on the occasion of TICAD IV


(The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development) in Yokohama last May, we also acknowledged the importance of ESD initiative and its promotion to address environmental issues effectively.

Concrete actions must be taken to tackle the climate change issues based on the UNESCO Strategy for Action Plan on Climate Change.

We also attach importance to the functions of IOC which plays, among its many important functions, a key role in earth observation.


Mesdames et Messieurs,

Il me semble particulièrement approprié de parler en français pour traiter de la culture.

L'UNESCO est la seule organisation internationale dont le mandat explicite est la culture. Son rôle dans la préservation du patrimoine mondial, ainsi que du patrimoine culturel immatériel, a une portée incomparable et est apprécié dans le monde entier.

L'UNESCO doit s'engager avec assurance sur la voie du renforcement de ses activités dans ce domaine. A cet égard, le Japon se réjouit tout particulièrement de l'entrée, au mois de juin dernier, dans le processus de mise en œuvre de la Convention pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine culturel immatériel.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mindful of the important role of the Executive Board, I should like to close my remarks by quoting the words of the Director-General on the occasion of his installation. He stated that he “attaches the greatest importance to the governing bodies' on-going participation in the life of the Organization and the shaping of its policies” so that, and I quote again, UNESCO may “remain true to itself, as an abiding and continually vital institution, while yet addressing each day's new issues, and thus undergoing each age's challenges”. These words ring as true and as real today as they did when it was first stated. We, the Members of the Executive Board, need to renew our determination as we work in the 180th Session of the Executive Board.


Thank you."




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