Waseda signs comprehensive agreement with UNDPFri, Dec 16, 2016
A signing ceremony to conclude a comprehensive agreement between Waseda University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa on December 14. At the ceremony, University Vice President Shuji Hashimoto and Tetsuo Kondo, Director of the UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo, signed the agreement in the presence of University President Kaoru Kamata and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. This agreement will open internships at the UNDP Office in Tokyo to Waseda students, allow the University to hold joint seminars and symposiums with UNDP, and provide Waseda students with opportunities to learn about the roles of international organizations and deepen their understanding for international development.
“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have concluded, but there are still many issues to resolve,” said Clark. “By concluding this agreement with Waseda University, I hope that more younger people will take interest in international development.” In response, President Kamata added that, “There are over 5,000 international students from over 100 countries and regions at Waseda, and we are proud to be the most internationalized university in Japan. In addition, many successful graduates work for international organizations such as the United Nations, and I look forward to Waseda students taking advantage of such internship opportunity and becoming leaders in the field.”
Prior to the signing ceremony, Izumi Nakamitsu, Assistant Secretary-General of UN and Assistant Administrator and Crisis Response Unit Leader of UNDP, lectured on how international cooperation addresses disasters and conflicts in the world on November 29. Nakamitsu began her career at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey. After serving as Director of the Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training in the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Director of the Asia and the Middle East Division, she was appointed Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Assistant Administrator and Director of Crisis Response Unit of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in November 2014. On November 1, 2016, she was appointed Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to follow up the U.N. summit for refugees and migrants held in September, making her the highest-ranking Japanese female member in the U.N.
In the lecture, she touched on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a 15-year plan implemented by the United Nations in September 2015 which replaces MDGs. “SDGs are not only goals for developing countries but includes developed countries as well. Even in Japan, there are social issues such as bullying and income inequality, and I hope that everyone will think seriously think about such problems and take action.” She also spoke about her personal and professional experiences in the organization. At the end, she said, “International cooperation starts from your surroundings and spreads gradually. It may be cliché, but you must think globally and act locally.”