Director-General meets with Japanese high school students with a Green Conscience

©UNESCO/Cynthia Guttman

As part of the Second Education for Sustainable Development Exchange Programme, students from 9 Japanese high schools met with Director-General Irina Bokova on 28 March 2012.

The students, all from schools belonging to UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network, were selected for the quality of their essays on the theme “What can we do to live sustainably on our planet?” Congratulating the students, the Director-General drew attention to the stakes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 – explaining the importance of education, culture and science for promoting green societies. “I invite you to pursue your interest in sustainable development from different points of view such as protecting the environment, preserving heritage and culture, and understanding the other,” she said. “Sustainable development should be global and involves creating inclusive and just societies.”

The Director-General said that she had been marked by the “resilience and wish of the Japanese people to overcome the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011,” recalling her recent visit to the country, including to the Nakano Elementary School, an Associated School devastated by the natural disaster. Speaking on behalf of his fellow students, Seiya Kohno affirmed that “Japan is still trying to revive, March 11 has never ended. Those living after this date must have the passion to help the weak and make the world a better place.”

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