On 27 and 28 February 2020, UNESCO hosted the 2020 Annual Review meeting with Japan to review programmes funded through voluntary contributions from Japan and plan for the future. For the first time, the meeting brought together all UNESCO’s main government partners in Japan including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as well as the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Japan International Cooperation Agency with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology connecting from Tokyo by skype. Together these partners support a portfolio of active projects with UNESCO in excess of $ 58 million.
On behalf of the Director-General, Jean-Yves Le Saux, Director of the Bureau of Strategic Planning of UNESCO expressed sincere appreciation to the Government of Japan for its commitment to provide long term, predictable support that was highly aligned with the expected results of UNESCO’s programme. He also thanked the Government for standing boldly by UNESCO in addressing major new challenges relating to the ethical dimension of Artificial Intelligence, the Futures of Education, the Decade of Ocean Sciences as well as the flagship initiative ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’. The meeting was also the opportunity to review recently approved large scale programmes for Afghanistan including a $7 million non-formal education programme, and a programme for the Sustainable Management of the World Heritage Property in Bamiyan for which UNESCO and Japan signed a $ 3.9 million agreement earlier in the week.