JICA President Tanaka Participated in the United Nations 9th STI Forum


On May 9, JICA President Tanaka Akihiko attended the 9th STI Forum* (Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals) held at the UN Headquarters in New York. It marks the first time a JICA president has participated in the UN STI Forum.

After the opening ceremony and a cabinet-level session, JICA President Tanaka took to the stage as a panelist in thematic session 1, “More and more effective funding and capacity for SDG-related research and innovation in all regions (SDG17).”

*The STI Forum brings together a wide range of stakeholders from UN organizations, civil society, academia, private sector, and various science and technology communities to help harness science, technology, and innovation (STI) for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is expected to make positive contributions in each specialist area. It has also become a venue for facilitating the establishment of networks, for improving the science-policy interface, and for promoting development, transfer, and dissemination of technologies for the SDGs.

A scene from the STI Forum

President Tanaka expressed full support across the board for the important directions on STI presented in the “Global Sustainable Development Report” (GSDR 2023). One is the need for governments and development agencies to support innovation at the emergence stage, and the other is the importance of building partnerships to enhance the science-policy-society interface. Furthermore, he indicated the need to make an adjustment in our mind-set in keeping in mind the directions from “STI for development” to “STI in development”. In order to accelerate partnerships and innovation, based in the belief that “Better STI” is achieved when researchers and practitioners of development of both developing and developed countries share common vision and missions. JICA’s cooperative strategy on science, technology, and innovation is grounded in this “STI in Development” approach.

Subsequently, President Tanaka highlighted the necessity of closer cooperation between bilateral or multilateral aid agencies and research funding agencies to secure the finances needed for research and innovation relating to SDGs and to enhance innovation and effectiveness of research. He introduced SATREPS (Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development), a program that JICA has been jointly implementing with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) since 2008. Regarding capacity building in STI, he affirmed the importance of comprehensive support for human resource development and networks, research facility development, international joint research, and social implementation to enable developing countries to generate innovation by themselves. He also indicated the need for capacity building for researchers from developed countries to help them understand development challenges more deeply and create knowledge that has a social impact. Furthermore, President Tanaka called for the strengthening of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) by encouraging active participation from private businesses, utilizing not only the catalytic functions of UN specialist organizations and national research institutions, but also of multilateral development banks, national development aid agencies, and research funding agencies.

There was widespread supports among participants on the importance of President Tanaka’s “STI in Development” concept and the promotion of cooperation between developing and developed countries, development assistance organizations, research funding organizations, and private businesses.

As JICA celebrates the 70th anniversary of the initiation of Japan’s ODA, it remains committed to Goal 17 of the SDGs, “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.” JICA is dedicated to solving global challenges by boosting innovations for the next generation through international brain circulation, as well as promoting co-creations among universities, research institutions, development aid agencies, research funding agencies, private businesses, and other entities in both developing and developed countries.

President Tanaka (center) exchanging opinions with Co-Chair of the UN 10-Member Group and Senior Vice President at Elsevier’s Research Networks Carlos Henrique Brito Cruz (left) and Tohoku University Executive Vice President Dr. Kotani Motoko, a member of the same group (right)

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