JAPANESE GOVERNMENT SPONSORS THE 2000 ESCAP HRD AWARD
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JAPAN
1. The Japanese Government sponsors the 2000 (9th) ESCAP(Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations) HRD(Human Resources Development) Award by disbursing as much as US$109,895 for costs for selection, production of PR films, and prize itself (US$30,000) and so on. This is the second time for JAPAN to sponsor the Award, following the Award in 1995.
2. The ESCAP HRD Award had been established in 1990 to honour individuals or organizations (including governments, private companies, and NGOs) who had made contributions in the field of HRD with innovative ideas and their implementation in the developing countries in the Asia and Pacific region. The purpose of the Award is to promote its winner's activities by awarding the prize, and also introduce the exemplary activities to the members and associate members of ESCAP.
3. The theme selected for the 2000 Award was "HRD for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities". Therefore, the Jury of the Award focused on the activities which are in support of HRD in the field of empowerment of people with disabilities in the Asia and Pacific region. The Spastics Society of Tamilnadu (SPASTIN) in India was selected from 129 applications as the winner of the 2000 Award in the Jury meeting, held in February, this year. SPASTIN organizes training courses for state government /NGO personnel on special education, early detection and early intervention of disabilities, as well as development of policies and programmes with disability concerns. In addition, SPASTIN organizes a campaign to integrate children with disabilities into regular schools.
4. On behalf of the Japanese Government, Mr. Kiyohiro ARAKI, Senior Vice- Minister for Foreign Affairs will attend the presentation ceremony for the 2000 (9th) ESCAP Award which will be held at the ESCAP Hall, the United Nations Conference Center at 5 p.m., 23rd of April, 2001, together with H.E. Mr. KIM Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Ms. Aloka GUHA, director of SPASTIN. Mr. Araki will emphasise importance of creating conditions under which people with disabilities can fully participate in social activities and development programmes in his remarks, and will highly appreciate the activities of SPASTIN from that view point. Furthermore, Mr. Araki will show JAPAN's determination to try its best towards the goal of empowerment of people with disabilities in the region, by mentioning that Japan is thinking to host the High-Level Meeting to Conclude the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002, in Shiga Prefecture in the year 2002.
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