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Japan univesity teams up with UN's FAO


UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Japan’s Meiji University to work together in fields of agricultural education, knowledge sharing and improved food security

Bangkok, Thailand, 21 January 2014 – One of Japan’s top-ranked and most popular private universities is teaming up with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to improve the regional knowledge base and promote a joint effort to fight against hunger and under-nutrition, the FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific announced today.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by FAO’s Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific and Ken-ichi Fukumiya, President of Meiji University.

“This is a strong and meaningful partnership with one of Japan’s most respected and most popular universities,” said Konuma. “The signing of this MoU further strengthens our close and continuing collaboration with Meiji University.”

Meiji University was founded in January 1881 as the Meiji Law School and later expanded to cover ten disciplines, including agriculture. Having sent out more than 520,000 graduates into the world to date, the university has contributed vastly to the progress of society and has worked closely with FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in the field of agriculture. In 2013, four Meiji students have taken up internships in FAO’s Regional Office. Last November, nearly 30 students from Meiji traveled to Bangkok to work with counterparts from Thailand’s Kasetsart University in a FAO-hosted “UN Model Conference” where they shared ideas and wisdom for ending hunger and malnutrition.

Under the new MoU, the FAO and Meiji will further expand their collaboration and will pursue an “overall goal of promoting knowledge sharing and partnership, and contribute to human resource capacity building towards sustainable development through a joint effort and collaboration.”

The co-operation would primary focus on activities in the Asia-Pacific Region, but could expand to other regions if a need arises and through mutual agreement. Specifically, the MoU has identified seven areas for collaboration:

• Capacity building and training for universities students including the organization of internships, lectures, model United Nations and other relevant programmes and events, as appropriate at FAO RAP.

• Curriculum development, lectures and joint events, etc. as appropriate, at Meiji in the fields related to agriculture and FAO’s technical competencies.

• Joint workshops, meetings in the area of common interest, as appropriate.

• Joint research/studies or projects on specific thematic areas where feasible and mutually agreed.

• Exchange of experts or researchers if and when opportunity arises and when mutually agreed.

• Advocacy and awareness raising on food security and hunger issues among students at Meiji (or at an agreed venue) through joint events and exhibitions.

• Collaboration in other areas if determined necessary and mutually agreed.

ENDS

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