August 27, 2021
On August 19, a signing ceremony was held to celebrate the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Okayama University and University for Peace established by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UPEACE). The MoU was signed on July 20 and outlines both universities’ commitment to working toward achieving the SDGs as a means to contribute to planetary health.
Several members of staff representing Okayama University and UPEACE attended the event, including President MAKINO Hirofumi; Executive Director for Academic Affairs and Provost FUNAHASHI Hiroaki; Senior Vice President for Global Engagement Strategy, Chairholder of UNESCO Chair in Research and Education for Sustainable Development, and Earth Charter International Council Member YOKOI Atsufumi; and Vice President for International Affairs SUZUKI Takayoshi from Okayama University and Rector Francisco Rojas ARAVENA and Dean Juan Carlos SAINZ-BORGO from UPEACE. Distinguished guests included Charge d’Affaires ad interim from the Embassy of Japan in Costa Rica SHIRAKATA Nobuyuki; Deputy Mayor of Okayama City NASU Masami; and Executive Director of the Earth Charter International Secretariat and the Center for Education for Sustainable Development and Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter Mirian VILELA.
UPEACE was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations and is located in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. The cities of Okayama and San José share a special connection as international friendship exchange cities and celebrated their 50th anniversary as sister cities in 2019. In commemoration of the event, Okayama City Mayor OMORI Masao visited San José, prompting President Makino and Vice President Yokoi to visit UPEACE and the Earth Charter International (Earth Charter International operates out of UPEACE) in December of the same year. Both these visits facilitated the present agreement between Okayama University and UPEACE.
With the conclusion of this agreement, Okayama University and UPEACE will work together to achieve the SDGs with Okayama City and San Jose by promoting comprehensive human resource development and social contribution projects through integrated efforts in line with frameworks set out by Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and the Earth Charter.