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“Where are we at with SDG Progress?—Perspectives from around the Globe” Panel Discussion Co-organized by Southern Voice and JICA Research Institute

Past events


May 28, 2019, 10:00 - 12:30


International Conference Hall, 2nd floor, JICA Ichigaya Building
10-5 Ichigaya Honmuracho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo[Map Link]


As a side event of the T20 Summit in Tokyo (May 26-27, 2019), Southern Voice—a network of 50+ thinks tanks from Africa, Asia, and Latin America—and the JICA Research Institute, are pleased to organize a panel discussion. The aim is to review progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the regions and draw implications for its accelerated implementation.

The 2030 Agenda provides a universal framework for both developed and developing countries to achieve sustainable development. At the same time, it is becoming clear that understanding universality in our heterogeneous global system is more complex than it appears. This is because the implementation process of the 2030 Agenda for all needs to take into account different national realities, capacities, levels of development and priorities.

This panel will look at how different regions are facing the implementation of the SDGs. Four panelists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe will bring into the discussion their regional overview. It will allow the audience and stakeholders to have a glimpse at the challenges the regions are facing. It will also give an opportunity to share with the audience how Japan is implementing the SDGs and preparing for the G20 Osaka Summit.

From an operational perspective, this will be an opportunity to learn how countries are adopting a global Agenda and transforming it into national policies and local action. The outcome of this panel will be important input to the G20 Osaka Summit in June and the subsequent High-Level Political Forum at the UN SDG Summit in September.

The panel discussion builds on the findings from the Southern Voice’s flagship initiative “State of the SDGs”. This initiative brings into the political debates evidence-based analysis from research centers across the Global South. This initiative aims at contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.


10:00-10:05 Opening Remarks (Izumi Ohno, Director, JICA Research Institute)
10:05-10:10 Overview of the Panel Discussion (Estefania Charvet, Programme Officer, Southern Voice)
10:10-11:05 Panel Discussions
11:05-11:25 Open Discussions (Q & A)
11:25-11:30 Wrap up and Closing
11:45-12:30 Networking Lunch
* Light refreshments will be served right after the seminar


* Moderator: Estefania Charvet

Panelist 1: Rebecka Villanueva Ulfgard (Instituto Mora, Mexico) – Latin American perspective
Panelist 2: Adedeji Adeniran (Center for the Study of the Economies of Africa, Nigeria) – African perspective
Panelist 3: Mustafizur Rahman (Center for Public Policy, Bangladesh) – Asian perspective

* Commentator: Kotaro Katsuki (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan), Belay Begashaw (Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa)

Panelists will discuss challenges of implementation of the SDGs across regions, focusing on the following issues:
1. Policy alignment
2. Institutional structure
3. Resource mobilization
4. Partnerships and participation
5. Data and accountability

<Profile of Panelists>

Estefania Charvet:
Programme Officer at Southern Voice for the State of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative. Before joining Southern Voice, Estefania worked for research organizations and think tanks in South America and Europe. She was responsible for conducting research on political inclusion, gender, participation, and accountability.

Rebecka Villanueva Ulfgard:
Associate Professor in International Studies, Instituto Mora, Mexico City (since 2008). She has published with English and Spanish editorials and journals on Mexico and the 2030 Agenda/Sustainable Development Goals, Mexico in the G20, Mexico’s International Development Cooperation Agency (AMEXCID), and the inclusion of civil society and academia in the foreign policy process and multilateral issues. She is the editor of Mexico and the post-2015 Development Agenda: Contributions and Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and the lead coordinator of the Palgrave Macmillan series on “Governance, Development and Social Inclusion in Latin America”.

Adedeji Adeniran:
Senior Research Fellow at Center for the Study of the Economies of Africa in Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He also holds a Masters’ and Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Educational Management/Economics from the University of Ibadan. He previously worked as a seasonal Lecturer in the Department of Witwatersrand, as a Data Analyst at the Analyst Data Services and Resources (ADSR) and as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Economics University of Ibadan.

Mustafizur Rahman:
Professor Mustafizur Rahman is currently serving as Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a leading think tank in South Asia. Prior to this he was Executive Director of the CPD (2007-2017) in Bangladesh. He leads the Regional Chapter on Asia as part of Southern Voice flagship initiative “State of the SDGs”.

Kotaro Katsuki:
Director, Global Issues Cooperation Division, International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MoFA). His major assignments include: the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America (First Secretary) and later in the People’s Republic of China (Counselor), Regional Policy Division at the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau (Principal Deputy Director), Southeast Asia Economic Partnership Agreement Division (Director) and Third Division of the Intelligence and Analysis Service (Director). He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1994 and obtained MA for Regional Studies East Asia at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University in 1998.

Belay Begashaw:
Director General of the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A). He was the founding Director of the Columbia Global Centers for Africa, and also served as Director of MDG center for Eastern and Southern Africa at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Dr. Begashaw has over 20 years of experience in agriculture extension and rural development, ranging from a grass-roots development agent to the Minister of Agriculture for Ethiopia. In the past ten years, he has done extensive consulting and advisory work to several public and international organizations in the area of food security, poverty reduction and investment, climate change and resilience building, development finance and governance.


Southern Voice and JICA Research Institute






120 persons


*Registration is on first-come, first-served basis. *This seminar will be recorded and photos taken may be used for the website, social media, and other print publications. If you choose to participate in a discussion, you are presumed to consent to the use of your comments in these recordings.


JICA Research Institute (Ms. Miyamoto)



This event has ended.

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