UNESCO and the Government of Japan held a virtual edition of an Annual Review Meeting to take stock of ongoing cooperation and identify key priority areas for the future.
The meeting brought together the senior management team of UNESCO with senior representatives of all UNESCO’s main Government partners including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Japan International Cooperation Agency as well as the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
The meeting was opened by Audrey Azoulay, the Director General of UNESCO. In her address she expressed sympathy with the people of Japan for the recent earthquake, and recognized Japan as a historic partner of UNESCO with support for on-going portfolio of projects in excess of USD 38 million.
She also recognized the special role of Japan in addressing the global challenges including most recently COVID-19: “You’ve been a steadfast ally helping us to repair the divisions in our societies, protect global common goods – and we know what global common goods mean in this COVID-19 crisis, and also work on a path that allows us to reconcile humanity with nature” said Audrey Azoulay.
In this relation, the meeting was also an opportunity to formally announce the recent approval by the Diet of Japan of over USD 4 million to support a number of key UNESCO projects for financing under the supplementary budget of Japan to support Member States in Africa, the Arab Region, and Pacific SIDS to address the challenges arising from the impact of Covid 19.
During the meeting, his Excellency Atsuyuki Oike, Ambassador of Japan to UNESCO highlighted the wish of the Government of Japan to raise its partnership with UNESCO to a higher level by focusing on certain areas where Japan and UNESCO advocate for certain principles and actions for that purpose.
Both parties were in full agreement that these priorities would include all forms of heritage in danger, Education for Sustainable Development, the Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, Résiliart, Disaster Risk Reduction and the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.