March 11, 2013
JICA President JICA (left) meets with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark
From March 6 to 8, 2013, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka visited New York City on his first trip to UN Headquarters since taking office.
As a member of the Human Development Report Office Advisory Panel since May 2012, Tanaka attended a Panel meeting held at the headquarters of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on March 6 and 7. The Panel includes some of the most knowledgeable development professional in the world, and the meeting provided an important opportunity for members to discuss and debate the concepts and structure of next year's Human Development Report, as well as to provide suggestions for the Report's direction and contents. The next edition of the Human Development Report is scheduled to be released around March 2014.
While in New York, Tanaka also met with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. The two leaders exchanged opinions on the framework for global development goals after the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs. Tanaka said to Clark, "Poverty reduction and support for the vulnerable continue to be critical initiatives, and we should incorporate human security into a new framework as one of our guiding principles. We also need to review targets and indicators in general to ensure they are concise and measurable." In response, Clark raised the need for ongoing discussions with all stakeholders involved in development.
Tanaka gives the keynote speech.
President Tanaka also used his trip to New York as an opportunity to raise awareness about the upcoming Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), which will be held in June in Yokohama, Japan. JICA enlisted the cooperation of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the UNDP, the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA) and the African Union (AU) to hold a special TICAD seminar at UN headquarters on March 8 and to have a broad discussion on growth and sustainable development in Africa.
Some 100 participants, including African ambassadors to the UN and others, gathered to hear remarks from President Tanaka, as well as Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations; Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator; Maged Abdelaziz, USG/ Special Adviser on Africa of UN-OSAA; Ambassador Téte António, Permanent Observer of the African Union; and Professor Joseph E. Stigliz of Columbia University. In his keynote speech, Tanaka noted that the challenges facing Africa today are transnational armed groups that threaten peace and stability and inadequate infrastructure. He also pointed out, "We need initiatives that contribute to inclusive growth in Africa, and we must keep in mind the goal of achieving human security. We must seek solutions with people involved in development and learn through collaborative work."
Also during his visit, President Tanaka paid a courtesy call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban expressed his appreciation for Japan's support for Africa through the TICAD initiative, as well as his hopes for further contributions to global development through increased ODA from Japan.
After New York, President Tanaka is traveling to Burkina Faso and Ghana in West Africa to meet with government leaders, to visit project sites, and to encourage active participation in TICAD V this June.
Tanaka (right) participates in the panel discussion.
Tanaka (left) and Ban shake hands.