Part II Initiatives towards Achievingthe Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)
Chapter 1 Promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was adopted at the UN Summit held in September 2015. This Agenda, formulated as the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that both developing countries and developed countries should work together to achieve, as well as 169 accompanying targets. The Government of Japan also attaches great importance to the SDGs, which reflect the philosophy of human security that Japan values heavily. As the first step in establishing a foundation in Japan towards the attainment of the SDGs, the “SDGs Promotion Headquarters” was set up in May 2016, headed by the Prime Minister and with all Cabinet Ministers as the members. It is decided to draw up the “SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles” in December of the same year. These guidelines could also be described as a national strategy under which the relevant ministries and agencies would work together towards the achievement of the SDGs.
It is important to further accelerate initiatives towards the achievement of the SDGs, in order to bring about the realization of a diverse and inclusive society where “no one will be left behind.”
Section 1 All-Japan Initiatives on the SDGs
As the SDGs are spread out across a wide range of areas, it is necessary to take action rallying the collective wisdom not only of the government, but also of civil society, private-sector corporations, and local public entities in order to achieve the goals. The SDGs Promotion Headquarters has focused on collaboration with various stakeholders from the start, and the “First Roundtable Meeting on the promotion of SDGs” was held in September 2016. The participants in this Roundtable Meeting included members from the financial circles, NGOs/NPOs, international organizations, and the relevant ministries and agencies. To date, a total of four meetings have been held, which saw the exchange of views on subjects such as the dissemination of the SDGs to the local provinces, and the relationship of SDGs with businesses.
In July 2017, then Foreign Minister Kishida participated in the Voluntary National Reviews session of the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) for sustainable development, where he called attention to Japan's initiatives towards the realization of a diverse and inclusive society where “no one will be left behind.” At the same Forum, he also advocated the Public Private Action for Partnership (PPAP), which involves various actors of society working together hand-in-hand, and disseminated information about Japan's initiatives. Furthermore, he expressed the determination that “combining the wisdom of various stakeholders including civil society, private enterprises and the government, Japan will take concrete actions, both at home and abroad” based on the concept of the PPAP. The SDGs are an initiative for creating the future by 2030 and beyond, and the empowerment of the children and youths who will be the leaders of future generations is key to the realization of the SDGs. From this perspective, he announced that Japan will be placing its focus on the future generations (children and youths) of developing countries; to that end, Japan will put in place support measures worth $1 billion over two years, based on the philosophy of human security, and mainly in areas such as education, environment, disaster prevention, and gender.
At the fourth meeting of the SDGs Promotion Headquarters held in December 2017, the SDGs Action Plan 2018 was unveiled. Alongside with setting out the basic direction for promoting SDGs - promotion of “Society 5.0” in connection with the SDGs under public-private cooperation, local revitalization driven by the SDGs, and empowerment of women and future generations who will take responsibility for the SDGs in the future - the Action Plan also established key initiatives for 2018 the Japanese government as a whole, towards the achievement of the SDGs.