MOA signed between

MOA signed between Nippon Foundation and Asean Secretariat

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat and The Nippon Foundation of Japan signed a Memorandum of Agreement on 27 June 2008 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary-General, and Mr Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation signed on behalf of their respective organizations.

Picture shows from left to right: M Rajaretnam (Director/Chief Executive, International Centre Goa, India), Yohei Sasakawa (Chairman, The Nippon Foundation, Japan), Surin Pitsuan (Secretary-General, ASEAN), Shuichi Ohno (Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation) after the signing ceremony at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Indonesia

The MOA established the framework for future collaboration of both parties as strategic partners to implement projects in areas of their mutual interest in the ASEAN region.
The Nippon Foundation will provide a total of US$5 million for a period of 5 years to support, develop and implement projects of regional nature and importance in 5 broadly defined areas:

1. Maritime civilian safety
2. Leprosy and human dignity
3. Human resource networking and development
4. Promotion of traditional and alternative medicine for primary health care
5. Promoting equal opportunities and capacity building for the disabled

The MOA was signed with “the intention of further promoting friendly relations between the Secretariat and the Foundation and the wellbeing of the people of ASEAN”.

Dr Pitsuwan remarked that the MOA will be a reflection ‘of our common concern for the little people of ASEAN”. According to him the cooperation will fill the gaps in the human development and human dignity of the peoples of ASEAN. The Secretary General said that ASEAN has strong determination to help but has limited capacity and that with this support from the Nippon Foundation the work of the secretariat in the 10 member states will be strengthened.

Mr Sasakawa , whose personal involvement in bringing cheer to many parts of the world where the Nippon Foundation is present, called this cooperation “a new initiative’ and “path-breaking”. The MOA is historic because this is the first time that the foundation is dealing with a regional organization. Mr Sasakawa also stressed the importance of undertaking humanitarian activities to build trust and mutual confidence.

Both Dr Pitsuwan and Mr Sasakawa said that such cooperation will reach out to civil society groups in ASEAN to undertake these projects with the cooperation of government institutions and the secretariat.