United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

1. About DESD

(1) The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014, DESD) aims to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning. This initiative was proposed by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, with recommendation from Japanese NGOs at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and it was followed by the resolutions adopted at the 57th and 58th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly.

(2) UNESCO was designed to serve as the lead agency for the promotion of DESD and the International Implementation Scheme for DESD was approved in September 2005.

2. Japan's Contribution

(1) The Government of Japan, as the country proposing the resolutions, is taking initiative in actively promoting DESD in the international community. In this regard, Japan has held the annual Dialogue on Environmental Education since 2004 as a Prime Mover Project * within the framework of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). Participants in this dialogue include government officials, international organizations, NGOs, researchers and private companies.

(2) The third dialogue was held on June 14-15, 2006 in Sendai and Matsushima where Mr. Shintaro Ito, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs delivered the opening address. The dialogue included the announcement of Japan's Plan of Implementation for DESD and introduced the activities of Regional Centers of Expertise (RCE) such as the center in Sendai. Japan also encouraged other Asian countries and international organizations to promote these activities.

(3) The fourth dialogue was held on June 26-27, 2007 in Kitakyushu. Approximately 30 participants from 15 ACD member countries attended the dialogue session. On the second day, the participants took part in a workshop to discuss the issue of global warming and particularly the role of ESD as a measure to address this challenge.

* Prime Mover Project: one or more countries take the lead in a project in cooperation with other countries who are ready and willing to assist without the need for a consensus.


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