High Level Leadership Platform of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Thank you, Mr. Prickett, Prime President Yudhoyono and Minister Thomas, excellencies and distinguished guests.

It is a great privilege and honour for me to stand amongst you today, as world leaders announce tangible commitments which will foster sustainable practices for the benefit of the generations to come.

The oceans currently help sustain life for over 7 billion people, and it is estimated to exceed 9 billion in 2050. We are becoming increasingly dependent upon the oceans, and thus creating progressively complex and interwoven problems. These problems must urgently be addressed through a new global, multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approach. Oceans are borderless, and we believe that narrow discussion limited to sectoral and disciplinary perspectives is no longer sufficient to solve these problems. Enhancing the international network between individuals and organisations is also urgently required.

Thus, The Nippon Foundation’s vision in this regard is one where individuals, institutions, and states accept the shared responsibility required to effectively accomplish the above. Only in this manner will be able to address the challenges identified through the Earth, and subsequent Sustainable Development, Summits.

More precisely, we believe it is essential to build inter-linkages between disciplines and sectors. Human inter-linkages on an individual level are also fundamental to making these collaborations effective.

The Nippon Foundation considers that it is essential to develop decision makers and professionals who possess a global and multi-disciplinary vision to take us beyond the existing frameworks. The Nippon Foundation has thus far trained over 750 people from 110 countries towards this goal.

In this spirit of shared responsibility, I am pleased to announce that The Nippon Foundation is launching a new ten-year dialogue process, which will bring together leading individuals from key disciplines and sectors. This process will identify and actively address critical maritime issues. Capacity building programs will also be established in response to needs identified through this process. Recognizing the fundamental importance of inter-linkages, The Nippon Foundation will also continue to develop and reinforce its alumni network by adding to its ranks the beneficiaries of these new programmes. In this manner, we aim to double the number of individuals trained and networked in an inter-disciplinary manner, thereby contributing tangibly to the elimination of disciplinary and sectoral barriers.

It is our hope that this initiative will contribute positively to the implementation of international conventions, programmes and commitments such as those made here this morning.

I humbly invite all States to actively participate in this initiative.

Thank you again co-hosts for granting us this valuable opportunity to share our commitments and invite cooperation.