The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, greeted last Thursday, six Japanese High School students and congratulated them on winning an essay contest on the theme: “What I can do to contribute to making our societies sustainable?” Having recalled the energetic engagement of students during the ASPnet events in Okayama, ahead of the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Nagoya in November 2014, Ms Bokova encouraged them to pursue their interest in this area.
The students were also received by Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Getachew Engida. “We need more than technological solutions, political regulations and financial incentives to achieve sustainable development,” said Mr. Engida. Referring to the world that faces ever more complex global challenges, “youth can play an important role with their creative mind and energetic motivation in such an interconnected world.”
Later in the agenda, they made presentations to share their school activities on ESD, and exchanged their thoughts on sustainable development issues with UNESCO staff.
Six students were selected from over 200 candidates from different UNESCO Associated Schools in Japan as part of the 5th Education for Sustainable Development International Exchange Programme, organized by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ) and sponsored by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.