Attendance of Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kiyohiro Araki at the 57th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
(Results and Outline)
25 April 2001
From 23 to 24 April, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kiyohiro Araki attended the 57th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held in Bangkok, the Kingdom of Thailand. The following is an outline of Senior Vice-Minister Araki's attendance (schedule attached at the end of the document).
1. ESCAP-related Issues
(1) ESCAP is a United Nations Regional Commission aimed at providing economic and social development assistance to countries in the Asia-Pacific region. However, the fact that the focus of its activities has been indistinct was highlighted along with other issues. In response to this, Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su (Republic of Korea), newly appointed last summer, is prioritizing activities (measures to combat poverty and assistance to developing countries that has failed to keep up with globalization, etc.), reforming staff perceptions and conducting other measures to ensure revitalization of ESCAP.
(2) Senior Vice-Minister Araki made the following statements:
- Japan strongly supports Executive Secretary Kim's policy for the revitalization of ESCAP.
- "Human security" should be positioned as the focus of ESCAP activities.
- Japan will continue to support ESCAP activities (explanation of specific assistance package given).
(As regards measures to combat poverty, Senior Vice-Minister Araki explained in terms of matters of particular interest to Japan: Rural development, environmental conservation, measures to combat infectious diseases, assistance for the socially disadvantaged (persons with disabilities) and bridging the digital divide)
2. Separate from ESCAP related issues, Senior Vice-Minister Araki also took the opportunity to participate in the below events and exchange views with people.
(1) Senior Vice-Minister Araki participated in the opening ceremony of the Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network (SEED-Net) project (cooperation between major universities in ASEAN countries and the Government of Japan), which included the signing of an agreement and a reception, and took place at Chulalongkorn University.
SEED-Net is a project that will initiate human resources development in the field of engineering between major universities in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and universities in Japan. Participants from 10 ASEAN countries included ministers from ministries and agencies concerned with education and university presidents. SEED-Net is the realization of a little over three years preparation in response to discussion at the 1997 Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting. It is the first ever economic cooperation program to incorporate all 10 ASEAN countries and is a project that will contribute to enhancing Japan-ASEAN relations.
(2) Senior Vice-Minister Araki also exchanged views with various delegates, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Surakiart Sathirathai of the Kingdom of Thailand and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Choi Sung-hong of the Republic of Korea, in order to develop bilateral relations and promote cooperation in international organizations.
* denotes an ESCAP-related event
+ denotes no connection with ESCAP
|Morning:||* Policy speech at the 57th Session of ESCAP|
|Afternoon:||+ Participated in the opening ceremony of the SEED-Net project (cooperation between major universities in ASEAN countries and the Government of Japan) at Chulalongkorn University
* Attended an award ceremony at ESCAP for an Indian support group for persons with disabilities (sponsored by the Japanese Government. Senior Vice-Minister Araki presented a cheque for US$30,000.)
* Attended a reception hosted by Foreign Minister Surakiart of Thailand
* Senior Vice-Minister Araki hosted a reception
|Morning:||* Met with Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Choi (head of the delegation from the Republic of Korea)
* Participated in the ESCAP Ministerial Roundtable meeting
|Afternoon:||* Met with Japanese staff working at ESCAP
* Attended a reception hosted by the Chinese delegation
+ Met with Japanese businessmen residing in Thailand
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