YOKOHAMA, 23 October 2018 – In his speech during the Grand Finale of the World Circular Economy Forum, which was jointly organized by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, UNIDO Deputy to the Director General Hiroshi Kuniyoshi called for a globally coherent approach to Circular Economy.
“While the principles of Circular Economy have been in use for many years in countries,” said Kuniyoshi, “the near-universal recognition of the Circular Economy’s merits is a relatively recent development. However, the need for international cooperation is acute as all nations should be able to participate equally, in pursuit of prosperity and their future sustainability.”
UNIDO believes in the immense potential for the industrial sector to become a driver of a global Circular Economy; through its environment- and energy-related portfolios, the Organization has been developing the building blocks of Circular Economy in developing and transitional economies around the world for over two decades. Today, UNIDO ensures that manufacturers of the Global South can positively contribute to, and benefit from, new global supply chains and trade systems that are a product of the increasing adoption of the Circular Economy.
At the same time, UNIDO sees it as critically important to promote international cooperation on Circular Economy, as it did recently through the Bangkok Statement promulgated by the participants of the fifth Green Industry Conference where an effective international cooperation was brought about through a transparent and open exchange on how to engage in Circular Economy. UNIDO therefore aims at identifying complementarities and ensuring compatibility amongst highly diversified approaches to the adoption of Circular Economy globally.
The WCEF 2018 Grand Finale included, in addition to UNIDO Deputy to the Director General Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, UNEP International Resource Panel Co-Chair Janez Potocnik, European Commission Director General for DG Environment Daniel Calleja, and Director of the Office of the Secretary-General of ASEAN Adeline Lee. Closing words were delivered by State Minister of the Environment Tsukasa Akimoto and Sitra Director Mari Pantsar. The WCEF 2018 attracted more than 1,000 attendees from over 70 countries to examine how businesses can seize new opportunities, gain a competitive advantage through Circular Economy solutions and how the Circular Economy can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Watch the WCEF2018 Grand Finale here (Hiroshi Kuniyoshi’s speech can be viewed from 42:00 to 48:00).