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2024年05月02日(Thu)

Meeting with Japan’s G7 Sherpa for strengthening partnership with civil society

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Aoi Horiuchi, Deputy Director, THINK Lobby

 *This article is originally published at the Japan Civil Society Coalition on G7  on 2 May 2024, in Japanese.

On Wednesday 24 April 2024, civil society groups met Keiichi Ono, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, who holds the position of ‘Sherpa’, coordinating the agenda on behalf of the Prime Minister at the G7 Hiroshima Summit. Mr. Ono was in charge of coordinating the wording of the Leaders’ Declaration for last year’s G7 Hiroshima Summit and, as part of the Sherpa team, received recommendations from civil society and other diverse engagement groups.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mariko Kinai, Executive Director of World Vision Japan, who served as Co-Chair of the Japan Civil Society Coalition on G7 2023, thanked for the opportunity to work and collaborate with civil society in preparation for the G7 Hiroshima Summit in 2023, and reported on civil society activities. In order to further strengthen partnership between governments and civil society in the future, Kinai asked for regular dialogues with civil society, even after the end of the Presidency period, to be reflected in the outcome documents.

Aoi Horiuchi, Senior Advocacy Officer, Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, who served as Secretary of the Japan Civil Society Coalition on G7 2023 and a member of the C7 Steering Committee, then reported on civil society initiatives in the lead-up to this year’s G7 Summit in Italy, and the C7 Summit to be held in Rome on 14 and 15 May. Horiuchi informed that several Japanese civil society members were also preparing to participate.

Masaki Inaba, Co-chair of Africa Japan Forum, one of the coordinators of the C7 Global Health Working Group in 2023, highlighted issues such as equitable access to health, strengthening international health architecture, universal health coverage, climate and health, which are the focus of this year’s C7 in terms of Global Health. Yuta Takahashi, Co-chair of Kakuwaka Hiroshima/Katawara, a participant in the Working Group on Peace, Common Security and Nuclear Disarmament Working Group, informed the Sherpa that the Japan NGO Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (JANA) was launched as a civil society movement on nuclear disarmament after the G7 Hiroshima Summit, and requested that nuclear disarmament be made a priority agenda item again in 2024.

Mr. Ono said, ‘We are always grateful for suggestions from civil society. We have a track record of creating agendas together with civil society, such as at the Nutrition Summit, and we would like to continue to hear your voices. When we prepared the Communiqué last year, we kept the recommendations from each of the engagement groups in mind as key words when we were negotiating. We would like to meet with civil society in the future as time permits, if requested. We are working as a Sherpa team and would like to adjust our schedule accordingly. The next time Japan will chair the Summit will be in 2030, which is also the target year for achieving the SDGs, so it will be a very busy year. Japan has a role to play in leading the global discussions and we would definitely like to hear the voices of the engagement groups”.

Civil society groups also submitted C7 Statements to the G7 Ministers’ Meetings, which can be downloaded from the link below.

 

Participants at the meeting are as below.

MoFA:

  • Keiichi Ono, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Toshio Matsuda, Director, Non-Governmental Organizations Cooperation Division, Aid Policy and Management Division, International Cooperation Bureau

 

CSOs:

  • Mariko Kinai, Executive Director, World Vision Japan
  • Hideki Wakabayashi, Board, Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation
  • Aoi Horiuchi, Senior Advocacy Odficer, Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation
  • Masaki Inaba, Co-chair, Africa Japan Forum
  • Yuta Takahashi, Co-chair, Hiroshiman Youth Action for a Nuclear-Free World (Kakuwaka Hiroshima) / Chair, Katawara
  • Eriko Nitta, Executive Director, Japan Civil Society Network on SDGs