Symposium Calls on Japan to Foster G7 Discussion of 2030 Agenda
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Participants at a symposium in Tokyo recommended that Japan, during its Presidency of the Group of seven (G7), foster discussion of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development so as to promote national implementation.

The symposium, titled 'The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Transforming Japan and the World,' was organized by Keio University and the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).

unuias_japan_post201515 January 2016: Participants at a symposium in Tokyo recommended that Japan, during its Presidency of the Group of seven (G7), foster discussion of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development so as to promote national implementation. The symposium, titled ‘The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Transforming Japan and the World,’ was organized by Keio University and the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).

The event comprised two panel discussions, one on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and another on national implementation in Japan. Academics and representatives of government, business and civil society took part in the symposium.

Atsuyuki Oike, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, highlighted the “revolutionary” nature of the changes that will be needed to implement the 2030 Agenda, noting that new institutional structures will be required to implement the SDGs, including arrangements for stakeholder engagement.

Norichika Kanie, Keio University and UNU-IAS, reported on the activities of the S-11 Project on Sustainability Transformation beyond 2015 (POST2015). He said the UN’s Open Working Group (OWG) process for negotiating the SDGs had embedded the role of scientific research in policy making for sustainability, and had institutionalized a new kind of discourse in diplomacy. He added that metrics for measuring progress on the SDGs creates a strong incentive for performance.

In a keynote address, Keizo Takemi, Member of the House of Councillors, discussed human security approaches to global health, drawing attention to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s article in The Lancet medical journal, titled ‘Japan’s vision for a peaceful and healthier world.’ Takemi said the article highlights the role of universal health coverage in achieving not only health outcomes, but also promoting economic growth, social stability, equity, justice and solidarity. Abe also pledges Japan’s support for addressing health as a global cross-border challenge, in particular the fight against infectious diseases.

Participants proposed that the SDGs could be used as economic development strategies in developing countries, noting that the Goals require improving the quality of economic growth, which could prompt creation of new products and services, and generate new types of business. Participants also highlighted the importance of building cross-sectoral partnerships, and of public involvement and consultation, in particular with regard to the most vulnerable people. They proposed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involve all employees in corporate social responsibility (CSR), and called on the Government of Japan to include discussion of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in the forthcoming G-7 talks hosted by Japan. [IISD RS Sources] [POST2015 Symposium Report] [UNU-IAS Press Release] [POST2015 Website] [Lancet Article]

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