UN Volunteer Atsuhito NAKATA – “When there is something in the world that somebody has to do, I want to be the person who will do it.” (08/04/2019)

Today is the day UN United Volunteer Atsuhito Nakata and his colleague Lek Sophiep were killed on April 8, 1993. They were working together to build peace and democracy in Cambodia. In a world where nationalism is pervasive, we should reaffirm our understanding that humanity as a whole should achieve and sustain peace and democracy.

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Former UN Official Bill Jackson pays Tribute to Late UNV Honorary Ambassador Takehito Nakata who followed his son, UNV Atsuhito Nakata, in pursuing the journey of “a global citizen.” (08/04/2019)

Mr. Bill Jackson, who was Director of External Relations, stated on the anniversary of the death of UNV Atsuhito Nakata that UNV as a whole were very grateful for Mr. Takehito Nakata`s philosophical acceptance of his son’s death, and his willingness to take up the new role of following his son’s work, whereas one could have expected a more hostile reaction from parents.

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Summary record of the seminar held on “Triple Nexus:Nexus among Humanitarian, Development and Peace” and “Sustaining Peace” (30/03/2019)

Koji Sakane, JICA Senior Director for Peacebuilding and Reconstruction made a presentation on current progress and challenges on “Triple Nexus”, which is the conceptual framework of connecting “Peace” with traditional “Humanitarian and Development Nexus”, and challenges for achieving “Sustaining Peace”.

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“Is Peacebuilding Dead? What Next?” by Dr. Achim Wennmann (19/04/2019)

Over the last three decades, peacebuilding practice has been dominated by a set of assumptions that set countries onto the pathway towards a ‘liberal’ peace. Yet the ‘liberal’ project to rebuild societies after armed conflict has become increasingly dysfunctional, orphaned and cashless. These changing strategic landscapes highlight that peacebuilding has reached a critical juncture. What’s next? If ‘liberal’ peacebuilding was a project to achieve participation, prosperity, and stability all at once and at the same time, has the new common denominator become to prioritize stability and prosperity first, and leave participation for later? What does this sequence mean for the notion of inclusive transformation processes and participatory politics? What expertise and know-how in the broader peacebuilding constituency may need to be re-calibrated so that peacebuilding practice remains relevant in managing an ever more turbulent world? The talk will reflect on these questions while providing a glimpse into the diversification of peacebuilding practice over the last two decades, especially in contexts where peace is built without calling the process to get there ‘peacebuilding’.

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Sakiko Fukuda-Parr speaks about the danger of relaying too much on data for assessing the efficacy of the Sustainable Development Goals. (20/03/2019)

In the Special Issue of Global Policy, 2019. Knowledge and Politics in Setting and Measuring SDGs. Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor and Director at the Studley Programs in International Affairs at The New School in New York, and Desmond McNeill of the University of Oslo point out the working of knowledge and politics in setting and measuring the SDGs and danger for too much reliance on indicators that can distort social norms, frame hegemonic discourses, and reinforce power hierarchies. 14 articles and 10 commentaries in the special issue is freely accessible by the following website: https://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/journal-issue/special-issue-knowledge-and-politics-setting-and-measuring-sdgs

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The World Happiness Ranking never reflects Japan’s such a low status in happiness. (21/03/2019)

NHK reported that Finland maintained its top position for the second consecutive year in the 2019 edition of the World Happiness Ranking and that Japan was downgraded 4 ranks to 58th. “Happiness” reflects a subjective feeling of people, and it does not reflect Japan’s such a low status in happiness. Japan should question the intention of the producer of the indicator. It is inappropriate use of indicators or the theme. The indicator “development” seems more appropriate than “happiness” of a nation.

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Setsuko Yamazaki, former UNDP Country Director in Vietnam and Cambodia, proposes paradigm shifts to advisory services in Japan’s development cooperation with Asian countries for realization of the Sustainable Development Goals through SDG 16. (15/03/2019)

Yamazaki suggests three shifts in the Japanese co-operation approach: (1) provision of advisory policy services to meet emerging needs of middle income countries (MICs); (2) an integrated approach to new MICs which are still Least Developed Countries (LDCs), recognizing that their development gains are still fragile and vulnerable to shocks; and (3) sharing of Japanese experience with countries still in the “demographic bonus” period to prepare for a future graying population, all with an aim to institutionalizing their social policy, laws and practices.

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