New capacity-building projects aiming to achieve SDGsThe Nippon Foundation to enlist cooperation from UN DOALOS

Photo
UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares and The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa with the signed agreement

On June 7 (New York time), at an official function of the UN Ocean Conference, The Nippon Foundation announced an agreement with the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UN DOALOS) to launch new human resource capacity-building projects related to ocean governance.

The United Nations is holding its first Ocean Conference to take steps toward the achievement of SDG 14, one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG 14 calls for member nations to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources." With various stakeholders jointly participating in the planning, the conference is intended to promote discussion and study toward the implementation of SDG 14, and is slated to adopt a "Call for Action" consisting of targets and actions for SDG implementation. The Call for Action will stress the importance of support for developing nations and island nations in particular, as well as support for women.

As a concrete action toward the achievement of SDG 14, The Nippon Foundation will contribute US$ 1 million annually over the three years to 2020, for a total of US$3 million, to train more than 200 fellows to become the next generation of leaders who will be involved in the drafting and formation of their respective countries’ future ocean policies. Programs for the implementation and achievement of the SDGs will begin in April 2018.

  1. Theme-based and process-based projects for capacity development
    Expand existing projects and launch new cooperative initiatives with international organizations including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP; based in New York) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO; based in Italy) to increase opportunities for gaining deeper and more cross-sector knowledge about specific issues affecting the ocean, including marine pollution and marine resource management. In addition, promote specific practical capacity development in island nations and developing nations to design and carry out strategic, timely policies for the important ocean issues that each country faces.
  2. Capacity-building for Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ)
    Establish new short courses, to be held twice annually at UN Headquarters, to improve (government – government) negotiating skills and gain legal, policymaking, and scientific knowledge and technologies related to BBNJ, for the conclusion of BBNJ treaties.

Recognizing the importance of new forms of cooperation that transcend existing organizational and national frameworks, The Nippon Foundation is engaged in "ocean capacity-building" programs in cooperation with international institutions, national governments, NGOs, and the world's leading research institutions and universities. Over the past 30 years, more than 1,200 people from 140 countries have received training through these programs. Working with UN DOALOS, The Nippon Foundation operates a human resource capacity-building program to develop global maritime frameworks. The program combines a foundation course at UN DOALOS with internships at partner universities and research institutions in 24 countries, and to date 133 fellows from 78 countries have completed this program.

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