July 29, 2014
JICA President Akihiko Tanaka, left, and Shamshad Akhtar, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
JICA President Akihiko Tanaka held talks July 23 with Shamshad Akhtar, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific at JICA Headquarters in Tokyo. They discussed regional connectivity and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
JICA and UN-ESCAP* have held discussions on a variety of Asia-Pacific region development issues in the past.
Akhtar said ESCAP is working to strengthen regional connectivity on many fronts, including information and computer technology (ICT) and human intercourse. She also said ESCAP would like to strengthen regional connectivity not just in Southeast Asia, but also in Central Asia and South Asia.
Tanaka responded by saying, regarding strengthening regional connectivity, that JICA is particularly promoting cooperation in the ASEAN region at present, but in the future a comprehensive vision is necessary for better connectivity in Asia as a whole.
Regarding the Post-2015 Development Agenda, development goals for after the Millennium Development Goals target date of 2015, Akhtar said she is aware that in the Asia Pacific region, poverty reduction, correcting disparities, disaster risk reduction, natural resource management and regional integration are priority issues, and ESCAP would like to work on the Post-2015 Development Agenda together with JICA. Moreover, when Tanaka talked about JICA's position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Akhtar showed a high degree of interest.
Akhtar also touched on the fact that the United Nations is engaged in various initiatives to secure development financing other than ODA. In response, Tanaka said the involvement of the private sector is important, and talked about JICA's support for the overseas development of small and medium enterprises.
At the end of the meeting, Akhtar displayed a proactive stance on further strengthening the partnership between the two organizations, and said that with regard to sustainable development, in addition to jointly sponsoring events as ESCAP has done with JICA so far, she would like the two organizations to carry out joint projects and share expertise.
*One of five regional committees subordinate to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Its main mission is promoting socioeconomic development in the Asia Pacific region. Sixty-two countries and regions currently participate.