UNU-IAS Director Speaks on SDGs at EXPO 2025 Symposium


  • 2023•03•10     Tokyo

    Photo: Miwa Higashimuki / UNU-IAS

    On 2 March 2023, Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) participated in a panel discussion at the symposium The Future Society Created by Expo 2025: From Osaka/Kansai to Japan and from Japan to the World, held in Tokyo. Focusing on the World Expo 2025 to be held in Osaka/Kansai, Japan, the event engaged approximately 1,300 participants both in person and online. Companies and local governments introduced relevant initiatives, and panellists discussed new science technology, “Theme Weeks,” and collaboration between local governments to explore more innovative ways to carry out the Expo. The symposium was organized by Secretariat of the Headquarters for the World Expo 2025, Cabinet Secretariat, Japan, and co-sponsored by Nikkei Inc.

    Presenting in a panel discussion on “Theme Weeks,” Prof. Yamaguchi noted that progress on the SDGs had slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She underlined that the SDGs principle of “leaving no one behind” was key to the success of EXPO 2025, and suggested that the “Theme Weeks” address multiple goals to enhance synergies between them, rather than focusing on individual goals. Prof. Yamaguchi emphasised that the weeks should stimulate citizens to take the initiative in solving local problems and localising the SDGs. She highlighted the importance of SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) and proposed engaging various networks for each theme of EXPO 2025. This will help to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable society by sharing best practices and promoting inter-regional dialogue. Such networks include three partnerships for which UNU-IAS serves as the secretariat: the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) on biodiversity, the global network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and the UNU SDG–Universities Platform (SDG–UP) engaging Japanese universities.

    During the discussion Prof. Yamaguchi noted the high awareness of the SDGs among Japanese youth, and stressed the importance of communicating with youth to deepen their understanding and encourage participation in collective actions through EXPO 2025. To enhance the appeal of the expo, she encouraged supporting youth participation and communicating their activities to the world through various channels, including art and international conferences, referring to the RCE Youth Art Challenge, which UNU-IAS is organising in partnership with UNESCO on themes such as climate change and biodiversity. She also noted the potential of EXPO 2025 as a platform to offer unique experiences for the young generation and contribute towards building a more sustainable society.