Nowadays the world is getting more and more chaotic. The lives and dignity of people around the world are threatened by problems such as conflict, extremism, poverty, disparities, worsening refugee situations, infectious diseases and natural disasters.
In 2015, the international community agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a United Nations summit and took a first step toward realizing a world in which no one is left behind. The concept of "human security," which Japan has advocated, is incorporated throughout the SDGs. Working on the SDGs represents a one-time opportunity for Japan to demonstrate its presence and leadership in the international community. To that extent, JICA has a heavy responsibility as Japan's development cooperation agency.
However, in 2016, events occurred that may profoundly change world trends. Rise of populism, nationalism and protectionism may damage the international collaboration as we have known it since the end of World War II. For Japan, which greatly depends on good relations with other countries, it is especially vital to keep the world peaceful, stable and prosperous. But international collaboration which is based on universal principles such as basic human rights, freedom, democracy, the rule of law is now standing at a critical juncture.
Under these circumstances, Japan's and JICA's roles have become even bigger than ever, because we have long valued international cooperation in which JICA has respected the viewpoints of partner countries while maintaining a stance of equality and mutual learning. Starting now, we must make it known that this is our philosophy of international cooperation, aspiring for a free, peaceful and prosperous world.
Furthermore, if Japan can use its experience and expertise to reduce poverty and grow the world economy, the world will better recognize Japan's contribution to the international community. To JICA, it is essential to promote international cooperation that contributes to the growth and development of both developing countries and Japan. This is done through development cooperation that includes various actors, including the Japanese government, local governments, private companies, civil society, universities and research institutes.
Recognizing this, JICA set forth a new vision of "Leading the world with trust." The concept of trust is the backbone of Japan's development cooperation. We foster trust with a range of domestic and international partners by putting ourselves in our partners' shoes and thinking with them as equal partners. JICA will explore the diverse potentials of people, countries and private enterprises for a better future. And JICA, with its partners, will create a world where all people and countries are bound together by trust.
In July 2016, seven Japanese people were killed in a terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They had been enthusiastically working in international cooperation with the same spirit as JICA. To make sure such an incident never happens again, we will do our utmost effort to constantly review and improve safety measures, giving the highest priority to the safety of all people involved in our international cooperation projects.
With the trust of the people of Japan and a responsibility toward the world, I face my work as president of JICA with a strong sense of mission. I humbly request your continued support and encouragement.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)