7 April 2010: Speech of His Excellency Mr Tadamichi Yamamoto, Representative of Japan to the Executive Board on the occasion of the 184th session of the Executive Board
"Madam Chair of the Executive Board,
Mr President of the General Conference,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour and privilege for me to address the 184th session of the Executive Board on behalf of the Government of Japan.
I should first like to express our warm feelings towards you, and welcome all your efforts in effectively managing the Executive Board.
This session bears importance as the first Executive Board Meeting with the new Director-General, Madam Irina Bokova. I would like to congratulate you, Madam Bokova, on all the energetic efforts that you have been making since your installation.
Change in leadership offers challenges, but also opportunities. We look to this occasion for the continuation of the reforms instituted and initiated by the former Director-General, Mr Matsuura, and also to further reforms in management and a focused approach in the functions of UNESCO so that UNESCO can stand out as the international organization to lead the global community in the field of education, science and culture with coherent conceptual and philosophical backbone. We should also continue to aim at providing effective and practical assistance in capacity-building, particularly in empowering states with their own capabilities to develop their own policies and programmes.
We should be conscious of our strengths and limitations, and invest our resources most usefully where our comparative advantage lies.
We should always be conscious of the need for accountability and transparency.
We should always be ready to make the necessary changes and improvements to further focus our work and increase efficiency and effectiveness.
UNESCO is an organization that can bring pride and identity in each member's cultural and historical heritage through its many works in the cultural fields including world heritage and intangible heritage; and hope to the members of each community by empowering them with the necessary means through education and innovation through science including information technology.
It is also an organization which responds to the cutting edge issues of the time by conducting profound researches in some of the most fundamental areas such as Ocean and Water; and by working to set necessary norms to cope with the newly arising issues.
UNESCO's recent efforts to cope with natural disasters, including Tsunami early warning system, and post-disaster relief efforts are worth a mention, and we commend especially the efforts of Madam Bokova on Haiti.
We should always be alert to the needs of the times and respond to them in advance of their surfacing as problems.
Let me turn to some specific issues.
Education. This is essential for nation-building, empowering individuals, and fostering peace. In order to accelerate progress towards Education for All, special attention needs to be given to the marginalized population especially girls.
We should always be conscious of the ultimate objective in strengthening our work in this field. From this viewpoint, we believe that efforts in education require a comprehensive approach which includes primary education, early childhood care and education (ECCE), secondary education, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. More stress should be given to the quality of education.
On Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), we must begin to focus our work in more concrete terms to map out specific roadmap for the DESD End-of-Decade Conference in 2014 to be hosted by Japan with UNESCO.
For this purpose, we should try to find key areas of focus for implementation such as climate change, biodiversity, renewable resources, and humanity in community, as well as to mobilize and strengthen networks such as UNESCO Chairs and ASP networks. In this regard, we welcome the DG's initiative to tackle “climate change and education” as one of the DESD focus.
Science is an area of great opportunity and potential for UNESCO. This is where we can concretely contribute to the humanity through our work focused on specific issues of our comparative strengths, particularly in building a sustainable society and in helping with science policy and science education in many countries. Japan is committed to collaborating with UNESCO in these areas.
Madame la Présidente,
Le Dialogue des Cultures est un élément clé de la mission de l'UNESCO. A cet égard, nous nous félicitons des initiatives prises par la Directrice générale, Madame Bokova, destinées à faire de ce concept une priorité. Nous pensons que l'UNESCO peut et doit intensifier, concrétiser et concentrer ses actions en faveur de la construction de la paix dans l'esprit des hommes grâce à la recherche de l'harmonie entre les différentes cultures.
Le Patrimoine mondial et le Patrimoine culturel immatériel sont de parfaites illustrations de ce qu'est l'essence de l'UNESCO. En qualifiant de Patrimoine des sites culturels ou des activités humaines, l'UNESCO définit des valeurs universelles devant être reconnues internationalement, et confère fierté et dignité à des pays et à des peuples, favorisant ainsi inévitablement le développement d'un éventail plus riche de cultures.
L'amélioration de la mise en œuvre des deux cadres indispensables que constituent la Convention du patrimoine mondial et la Convention pour la Sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel immatériel est le défi qui doit être aujourd'hui relevé. A la fin du mois d'avril à Bangkok, le Japon co-organisera avec l'Australie et la Thaïlande un atelier sur le thème du « processus en amont pour les nominations des Sites du Patrimoine mondial », en coopération avec des experts du Centre du Patrimoine mondial, de l'ICOMOS et de l'UICN.
Le concept de Patrimoine culturel immatériel est jeune et encore vulnérable. Le Japon a pris l'initiative de tenir une Réunion d'Experts au mois de mars. Les prochaines réunions du Groupe de Travail intergouvernemental et de l'Assemblée générale devront relever ces défis, mission à laquelle le Japon souhaite contribuer de façon substantielle.
We have a great hope and expectation on UNESCO. Japan is determined to work with all our colleagues and the Secretariat to improve and enhance the work of UNESCO.
Thank you. "
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Copyright : 2013 Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO