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FAO and Government of Japan hold high-level discussions to further advance a strong partnership


A group photo of the annual consultation meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo

30/01/2018 - 

Tokyo – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Japan have reinforced their commitment to further advance their partnership activities to help countries around the world achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The advances were made during the second Japan-FAO Annual Strategic Consultation meeting in Tokyo, attended by Daniel Gustafson, FAO’s Deputy Director-General for Programmes, and a number of senior officials of the Government of Japan including Misako Takahashi, Director of the Economic Security Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tatsuya Go, Director of International Organizations Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The meeting welcomed the significant progress achieved since the last consultation in January 2017, and further discussed the common priorities and future collaborative work in strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus for ensuring food security and nutrition in Africa and the Middle East, and in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under areas such as nutrition and food systems as well as forestry and climate change.

Japan is a major advocate and key partner in advancing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the SDGs, which has 17 goals including the eradication of poverty and hunger worldwide by 2030.

In addition to being the No. 2 donor to FAO’s regular budget (after the United States of America), the Government of Japan has also generously supported FAO projects in diverse areas, from normative work to development and emergency relief projects , and recently in South Sudan in the fight against crop-destroying Fall Armyworm.

Japan’s contributions to FAO go beyond budgetary support, and reinforce the Organization through the recruitment of talented Japanese nationals. To expand the opportunity for a wide range of Japanese nationals from university students to experts to be able to experience work at FAO, a set of programmes including FAO’s Internship and Volunteer Programmes was explained.

With one newly designated site as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), Japan is now home to nine of GIAHS sites. These Japan-funded projects are designed in such a way as to help other countries learn lessons from Japan. FAO will continue to raise visibility of these GIAHS sites regionally and globally. 

Boosting FAO’s profile in the Japanese public

FAO has been proactively increasing the awareness of its mandate in Japan : the status of world hunger and malnutrition, the need to achieve food security as well as its attraction of working at FAO for youth and technical experts. With the help of the FAO National Goodwill Ambassadors who were appointed in May 2017, FAO further disseminates these messages to the Japanese public at events and through communication including publications, magazines and its Twitter account. As Japan will host the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, FAO in partnership with the National Goodwill Ambassadors will work to disseminate the core value of the Organization and the issues around SDGs.

“FAO has been working closely with the Government of Japan to give greater visibility to both our partnership and the good work on the ground that Japanese-funded FAO projects and programmes are achieving in many parts of the world,” said Gustafson. “These discussions here in Tokyo have further advanced that partnership and collaboration and we are very confidently looking forward to our work together to eradicate hunger and improve nutrition and livelihoods worldwide.”

The Government of Japan and FAO have agreed to assess progress of the partnership at the third Japan-FAO Annual Strategic Consultation in early 2019.