December 10, 2013
After the talks, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, left, shakes hands with JICA President Akihiko Tanaka.
JICA President Akihiko Tanaka held talks with António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Dec. 3 at JICA headquarters in Tokyo.
At the start of the talks, Guterres expressed his appreciation to JICA for its continued cooperation with UNHCR.
"In particular, partnership at the field level is not only beneficial for the local community, but is also extremely important to find durable solutions for the refugees," he said.
He also emphasized JICA's important role in conflict areas and expressed his great interest in the possibility of establishing joint projects. Tanaka responded that JICA is ready to expand its cooperation with UNHCR.
Tanaka also expressed appreciation for UNHCR's cooperation so far extended to JICA, including on a public seminar jointly hosted by JICA, the European Union and the UNHCR in November on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction.
Showing his concern on the unstable situation in Mali, Guterres said,
"While the current attention of the international community tends to focus on Syria and Afghanistan, it is very important to maintain support to Africa as a priority. This is the reason why I greatly value the role played by the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V)."
The situation in Afghanistan was discussed as well. Tanaka said, "I am paying close attention to the presidential election scheduled for next April."
Guterres said the legitimacy of the election process would be a key.
Finally, Guterres closed the talks by saying, "As the turmoil in the Middle East increases, I would like to encourage Japan to play the role of a broker in order to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the situation."