From 7 to 10 February 2022, UNESCO and representatives of donor agencies from the Government of Japan held their joint annual review meeting. Organized online, the meeting served as a platform to share progress on ongoing projects, renew collaboration, and discuss future direction.

The Government of Japan has been a long-standing supporter for UNESCO. In addition to its general contribution, Japan provides voluntary contributions to UNESCO through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). The UNESCO Regional Sciences Bureau in Jakarta, along with UNESCO Headquarters, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s WESTPAC Office in Bangkok have been implementing projects supported by Japanese Funds-in-Trust (MEXT) for Scientific Programmes on Global Challenges in Asia and the Pacific. 

During the discussion on cooperation between UNESCO and MEXT, Mr Mohamed Dijelid, director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia Pacific and Ms Fumie Hara, MEXT, reaffirmed that both UNESCO and MEXT place continuing importance on regional science networks and the collaboration generated through them. MEXT expressed appreciation of UNESCO’s continued project implementation through online and hybrid modalities – including successful virtual field visits organized in the context of the regional network meetings in 2021 – despite the challenges and restrictions posed by the pandemic. 

UNESCO and MEXT also discussed new project proposals designed to expand and further develop the impact of two ongoing activities: “Fostering and Enhancing Synergies among Science Networks in Asia and the Pacific Region” and “Good Governance for the Sustainable Development Goals: mobilizing UNESCO’s water and environmental science networks for the 2030 Agenda”.

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