With its solid experience in the field of disaster risk reduction, from earthquake research to flood early warning systems, Japan stands to further strengthen its relationship with UNESCO, said Mr Sumio Mabuchi, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, at a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, on 24 November 2010, the first day of her official visit to Japan.
The Director-General expressed appreciation for Japan’s cooperation, referring to the country’s support for the World Water Assessment Program, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the unique expertise of the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management. Noting that the Prime Minister of Pakistan had asked for UNESCO’s help to build capacity in the area of flood management, she encouraged Japan to provide funding for this activity. To strengthen UNESCO’s involvement in disaster reduction, Ms Bokova asked Minister Mabuchi to support the Organization’s bid to access the Global Environment Facility.
Irina Bokova was also interviewed for two NHK programs, respectively on heritage and education.