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Diplomats in Tokyo Discuss Sustainable Development Goals

Tokyo, Japan—UPF-Japan commemorated the 70th anniversary of the UN by organizing the 25th Peace Diplomats Forum on November 27, 2015. The theme of the event was “Actions Toward the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Approximately 60 guests, including diplomats from over 20 countries, including 5 ambassadors; parliamentarians, professors, and journalists, attended the event, which was supported by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Tokyo office.

Dr. Eiji Tokuno, president of UPF-Japan, gave the opening remarks in which he encouraged the participants of the Forum to find new insights on how people can tackle and solve global problems by engaging with the UN.

Mr. Tetsuo Kondo, director of the UNDP’s office in Tokyo, gave the keynote speech. He emphasized the importance of supporting women entrepreneurs, who tend to spend more on their children’s education, while men tend to spend the income they receive on other things.

He also explained that the SDGs are committed to “leav[ing] no one behind.” In conclusion, he said the “UNDP looks forward to working closely together with…UPF to support and engage broader communities in Japan and the region in this exciting new agenda.”

Dr. Yong Cheon Song, regional chair of UPF-Japan, also spoke. He expressed his sympathy for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the Middle East and Africa, and pointed out that the Islamic State uses religion to justify violence. He then stressed the importance of interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, as well as the vital role of religions for peace.

After the keynote speech, Dr. Kazuo Takahashi, a former professor at International Christian University, moderated a discussion.

At the end of the seminar, five new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed.

Afterwards, all the participants enjoyed refreshments and conversation with one another.

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