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Yohei Sasakawa
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Leaving on 2-Week Trip to Malaysia, East Timor, Switzerland, Poland [2022/05/17]
I left Narita International Airport east of Tokyo on May 16 on a two-week, four-nation tour that will take me to Malaysia, East Timor, Switzerland and Poland.

On May 17 in Malaysia, I will meet with former deputy prime minister Anwar bin Ibrahim and other current and past government and party leaders.

In East Timor, I will attend the May 19 inaugural ceremony of Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta, an old friend of mine, who will be sworn in as president of the Southeast Asian nation.

Previously the head of state from 2007 until 2012, he won the second round of voting of the presidential election on April 19 by defeating incumbent Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres. Mr. Ramos-Horta was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to a guerrilla war in East Timor waged against Indonesia after it annexed the former Portuguese colony by force in 1975. I look forward to meeting with him personally while I am there.

I will then fly on to Geneva to attend the 75th World Health Assembly−the WHO’s decision-making body−in my capacity as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination. In the Swiss city, I will meet May 23-24 separately with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the health ministers of various member states as well as Ambassador Kazuyuki Yamazaki of the Japanese Permanent Mission to the International Organizations in Geneva.

On May 25 in Poland, I will visit areas near the border with Ukraine to see firsthand the situation surrounding Ukrainians displaced by the continued Russian military attacks. The following day, I will also meet with representatives of Jagiellonian University, the country’s oldest university established in 1364, as well as international NGOs and other partners to discuss how best to push ahead with the foundation’s project to support Ukrainians with disabilities amid the conflict.

In the two-tier initiative, the foundation has provided Access Israel, an Israeli NGO, with about 290 million yen (about $2.25 million) to support its activities to help Ukrainians with disabilities flee their war-torn homeland. We are also dispatching more than 100 Japanese student volunteers to countries neighboring Ukraine to support Ukrainians with disabilities who have fled their country, through distribution of medical supplies, food and other daily necessities.

I will return to Geneva where on May 27 I will present the Sasakawa Health Prize, which was established at the WHO by my late father, Ryoichi Sasakawa, to recognize notable advances made in the promotion of primary health care throughout the world.

I arrive back in Japan on May 29.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 12:00 | FORGING GLOBAL TIES | URL | comment(0)