Download complete speech: The Role of NGOs for Intensifying HIV/AIDS Prevention
Ms. Kaori Ishii, Officer-in-Charge of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), UNDP, expressed happiness at the sizable delegation from Japan and other countries. Ms. Ishii explained the work of TICAD in both English and Japanese. The first TICAD summit was in 1993 in Tokyo and has been held every five years. The summits are for policy dialog among African and International leaders to promote African development. Ms. Ishii defined twin priorities of TICAD as African ownership and international partnership. The summit last May was co-organized by Japan, UNOCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), World Bank and UNDP (UN Development Program). The theme was A Vibrant African Continent of Hope and Opportunity. Focuses of the summit were economic development, human security and the effects of climate change. 41 African heads of state, 3000 individuals and 1300 journalists attended. The summit outcome was taken to the G8 Summit in Hokkaido. Ms. Ishii announced that Japan continues its commitment to aid previously agreed upon, in spite of the economic crisis. Japan will boost support to Africa for community development, water, health and the environment. UNDP began four projects resulting from the recent TICAD 4. One project that UNDP, Japan and partners are working on is fostering support for HIV/AIDS research, policy dialog and care. A pilot project establishes an enabling policy and institutional framework for effective home based care of HIV/AIDS patients. Ms. Ishii reminded us that Africa is 20% of world land that holds 30% of global natural resources but it is still fragile, with millions below the poverty level, the pandemics of HIV/AIDS, malaria etc, and the effects of climate change. The continent is better poised for prosperity than ever but the economic crisis' impact is unknown.
Ms. Ishii concluded with her observation in her six years with TICAD. She noticed African tribal chiefs ponder difficult decisions by "sleeping on it" and asking input of their wives. Similar to their Japanese counterpart, wives often have a final say. But this is not set into legislation; it depends on individuals' wisdom and respect. In this context, Ms. Ishii expressed appreciation for the mission and achievements of WFWPI to seek equal partnership of men and women at home, work, schools and society. She committed to seek partnership between TICAD and WFWPI.