Tokyo – UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner concluded a two-day visit to Japan on Tuesday, where he met senior Japanese officials, corporate executives, and academics to discuss their leadership to generate collaborative synergies for sustainable development.
“Japan is a steadfast partner of UNDP, and a leader in human security and sustainable development,” Steiner said. “Throughout my stay, I continuously felt the energy of Japan as a whole to join efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to deepening our valued and trusted partnership with Japan as it continues its support for development through UNDP.”
As one of UNDP’s largest government contributors, Japan is a vital partner in UNDP’s mission to end extreme poverty, to reduce inequality, and to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation. Steiner met with the Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Norikazu Suzuki, the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka, and members of the Parliamentary League for Promotion of Human Security to discuss critical issues such as global health, disaster risk reduction, stabilization in the Middle East, and African development.
While in Japan, Steiner also met the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Mr. Hiroshige Seko to discuss the critical role of the private sector in achieving the SDGs. He signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the largest business association in Japan, to accelerate SDGs achievement through private sector engagement. Additionally, he met representatives of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), and CEOs of leading companies committed aligning their businesses with the SDGs.
He also signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement with the University of Tokyo, Japan’s leading university committed to the SDGs under the leadership of its President Dr. Makoto Gonokami, and addressed faculty and students in an interactive lecture on the future of development and the United Nations.
The top ten UNDP recipients of Japanese funding in 2017 were Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia, South Sudan, Jordan, and the Programme of Assistance for the Palestinian People (PAPP).
IMPACT OF JAPAN’S SUPPORT:
Africa’s Development: Since 1993, UNDP and Japan have co-organized the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). The next summit, TICAD7 is going to be held in Yokohama in August of 2019. The key principles of the conference are African ownership and international partnership.
Disaster Risk Reduction: Based on its own experience dealing with tsunamis, Japan has provided leadership and support to UNDP’s work to reduce the loss of life and property from tsunamis in 18 countries in Asia and the Pacific. This work has supported 58,400 students, teachers and members of school administration, and has prepared 105 schools for tsunamis and other natural disasters.
Stabilization in the Middle East: With support from Japan, UNDP has helped Iraq stabilize after years of conflict. Water, electricity, roads, waste management and health services provided for 1.9 million Iraqis, and over 2 million Iraqis in Tikrit now have access to medical services.
Women’s Empowerment: In partnership with UNDP and the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs, Japan supports the training of women police officers in Afghanistan. Almost 1,200 women officers have been trained since 2013, and the government plans to have women comprise 10 percent of its police force by 2020.