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Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark Visits Keio and Gives Lecture

On the occasion of the signing of a partnership agreement on November 24 between Keio University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, the Administrator of UNDP (Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years over three terms from 1999-2008, and in 2009 the first female Administrator of UNDP), gave a lecture especially for Keio students about sustainable development goals and youth leadership.

Under the new agreement between Keio and UNDP, there are plans to offer Keio students (graduate-level) the opportunity to participate in an internship program at the UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo with the goal of nurturing future leaders who can contribute to international peace and solving issues surrounding global development. For Keio students this presents more opportunities to gain practical experience in international organizations and to learn about complicated and diverse global issues.

At the signing ceremony in the University Library (Old Building) Memorial Room on Mita Campus, Keio University President Atsushi Seike and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark watched over the signing of the agreement by Keio University Vice-President Jiro Kokuryo and Mr. Tetsuo Kondo, Director of the UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo. It was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere during the ceremony, which was also attended from the Keio side by Prof. Juro Iwatani, Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Prof. Susumu Tomooka, Director of the International Center.

▲From left: President Seike, Vice-President Kokuryo, Director Kondo, Administrator Clark

After signing the agreement, Ms. Clark gave a lecture titled “Youth as Partners for Change in the Implementation of Agenda 2030” at the North Hall on Mita Campus. With Prof. Yuko Kasuya of the Faculty of Law acting as chair, about 100 Keio students came to eagerly listen to the lecture. The UNDP Administrator spoke earnestly and genially about her high expectations for the youth who in the future will shoulder the responsibility of the global society. In her speech, she talked about the challenges that the youth face, but she stressed their potential as agents of change and provided examples of young people around the world making positive contributions in their communities. “I have seen how young people’s incredible drive and commitment can change things for the better. On a daily basis, young people show their power for transformational change,” Ms. Clark said. After finishing her speech she happily complied to the students’ requests to have pictures taken with them.

Read a transcript of the speech UNDP Administrator Helen Clark gave at Keio University on the UNDP website here.

Photos: Aki Takematsu

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