Japanese students discuss sustainability with UNESCO Deputy Director-General

“It is not only important for you to be good at school, but you also need to be broad-minded and have a caring attitude for the environment, society and others.”

Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Getachew Engida gave this advice to students from 12 Japanese High Schools who visited UNESCO on 25 March 2013. The students, from UNESCO Associated Schools in Japan, were the winners of an essay contest on: "What I can do to contribute to making our societies sustainable?"

Mr Engida also quoted a phrase in Japanese “Keizoku wa chikara nari,” or “Slow but steady wins the race”. 

Congratulating the students, the Deputy Director-General drew attention to the forthcoming World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Aichi Nagoya, Japan in 2014, which marks the end of the United Nations Decade of ESD and promotes the role of ESD in shaping a sustainable future. He emphasized the importance of new mindsets, or “being responsible for ones’ own actions”.

Following the meeting, the students made presentations for UNESCO staffs on their thoughts and activities concerning ESD, as part of the 3rd Education for Sustainable Development International Exchange Pogramme, organized by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ) and sponsored by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the largest bank in Japan.