Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yuko Arimori, two-time Olympic marathon medalist attend a news conference as the foundation teams up with the Japan Sports Agency and Tokyo 2020 to promote the Sustainable Development Goals in conjunction with the Olympics, in Tokyo, on Friday. Photo: REUTERS/Toru Hanai
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Bill Gates links up with Tokyo 2020 to tackle global development goals

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By Jack Tarrant

U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates will launch an "Our Global Goals" partnership with the Japan Sports Agency in an effort to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by publicising them through the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and the world's second richest person, has devoted much of his time in recent years to his family foundation, which aims to help reach the SDG objectives, including ending extreme poverty and combating climate change by 2030.

At an event in Tokyo on Friday, Gates said he was linking up with an Olympic Games for the first time to use it as a way to increase awareness of the SDGs and also urged Japan to become a world leader in aid and development.

"Countries like Japan will need to continue to invest generously, actually even more generously than they currently are," the 63-year-old Gates said. "Today, Japan spends around three to five percent of its aid budget on global health, so there is an opportunity to do even more. The sports community in Japan is fast approaching an exciting moment, as the eyes of the world will be on Tokyo as the Olympics get nearer.

"I am excited that you are using this opportunity to raise awareness and be ambassadors for a better world."

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From left: Tokyo Olympic organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori, Tomoko Ukishima, second from left, the State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yuko Arimori, two-time Olympic marathon medalist, pose for photographers during a press conference in Tokyo on Friday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko

Gates, who was joined on stage by Tokyo 2020 president and former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Sports Minister Tomoko Ukishima and Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori, did not release many details but plans to launch the program in 2019 as the buildup to the Games intensified.

"The opportunity for Japan is, even in a time when many countries are turning inward, to continue to say that we need to help those that are not doing as well," said Gates. "Continuing to commit to the global fund, continuing to commit to increase what they are doing with vaccines and polio is also part of that.

"The whole world loves sports and we have to be create in how we take those amazing achievements and use that to remind people that there are some who are facing big challenges."

Gates said in April he would invest $1 billion through 2023 to fund research and development efforts in combating malaria.

According to the World Health Organization, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide, causing 445,000 deaths in 2016, the most recent year with available data.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

3 Comments
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"Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and the world's second richest person, has devoted much of his time in recent years to his family foundation, which aims to help reach the SDG objectives, including ending extreme poverty and combating climate change by 2030."

I commend Gates on his efforts. But I'm afraid extreme poverty is going to continue if China and India and other countries don't do something to curb their population growth. Combating climate change? Even if we stopped all burning of fossil fuels, the Earth's climate is gonna change, we had better adapt.

By the way, can Gates still jump over office chairs?

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Many ways to start drawing down CO2 since just stopping pollution isn't enough. We have to take down what is already up there since it'll last hundreds of years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But I'm afraid extreme poverty is going to continue if China and India and other countries don't do something to curb their population growth.

The fertility rate of both India and China is below the world average. China's is below the level needed to sustain the current population level, India's just above.

http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/total-fertility-rate/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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