At its annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Peacebuilding Research Association of Japan (PRAJ) on 6th December 2014, Professor Katsumi Ishizuka of Kyoei University was appointed as the Secretary-General of PRAJ. He had earlier been appointed as acting Secretary-General after the departure of Mr. Yasuki Uchiyama for his study in England. Professor Ishizuka teaches in the Department of International Business Management at Kyoei University, Japan. He obtained a PhD at Keele University, England, in 2000. His research interests include UN peacekeeping operations and peace-building. He wrote several books including “The History of Peace-building in East Timor” (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India, 2010). The General Assembly of PRAJ re-elected Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa as its President, and it also approved that Professors Satoru Kurosawa and Takaaki Mizuno continue in office as members on the Board of Directors. Then, the Assembly elected Professors Daisaku Higashi, Eiji Oyamada and Masako Yonekawa to the new directors.
On 20 November 2014, JICA held an international symposium which looked at Japan`s ODA from historical, political-economic and comparative perspectives. Professor Hasegawa called for conceptualizing Japanese aid in a global governance perspective.
The 2014 PKO International Conference was held at Sookmyung Women`s University Centennial Memorial Hall on 13 November 2014. At the conference organize by the Korea Peacekeeping Operations Center, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Korea AcaSedemic Council on the United Nations System, Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa spoke about the implications of financial, troop and civilian contributions made by Japan to UN peacekeeping operations since Japan became the member of the United Nations in 1956.
Professor Daisaku Higashi, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Research Center of Sustainable Peace at the Institute of Advanced Global Studies, University of Tokyo, shared his experiences and thoughts on the importance of ensuring inclusivity in rebuilding states and also gave an overview of the activities of the Peace Building Commission. (Emmi Okada)
Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa chaired a panel discussion on the senior mission leadership held on 22 October in Cairo, Egypt. Funded by the Government of Japan, the 9th AU Senior Mission Leadership (SML) course was organized by the African Union and hosted by the Cairo Regional Centre for Training on Conflict Resolution & Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA). As a mentor, Professor Hasegawa also delivered lectures on peace mission leadership, perspective of a SRCC, integrated mission planning and peacebuilding mission during his stay in Cairo for five days.
The Fourth Library Talk was opened by UNU’s Library Chief Mayako Matsui and chaired by Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa. Dr. Vesselin Popovski then outlined some key shifts that have taken place in the legislative, executive and judiciary roles of the UN Security Council since the end of the Cold War which are taken up in the new volume “The Security Council as Global Legislator”, edited by himself and Trudy Fraser (Routledge, 2014). (Emmi Okada, UNU Junior Fellow)
Mr. Charles Murigande, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda spoke at a seminar organized by the Japan Academic Association for International Peace Building held at Hosei University on September 27, 2014. In presenting his speech entitled “Rwanda 20 Years after the genocide”, Ambassador Murigande emphasized that Rwanda had been able to build one of the most stable and safest countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. (Mina Honda)
On 16 September 2014, the Presidents of the United Nations Association of Japan, China and Republic of Korea met in Xian, Shaanxi Province in China, along with the representatives of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). They held candid exchanges of their views on the topics of “the Thoughts of Lao Tzu and the Harmony & Prosperity of East Asia”, “Buddhism Exchanges in East Asia during the Tang Dynasty” and “Prospects of Peace Building Operations and Humanitarian Challenges Ahead”.
2014 Human Development Report was launched on 24 July 2014 at the UN University in Tokyo following opening remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and JICA President Akihiko Tanaka. Mr. Khalid Malik, Director of the Human Development Report Office introduced 2014 Human Development Report and pointed out the need to reduce vulnerabilities and to build resilience throghout the world.
An authors’ workshop was held in Sapporo, Hokkaido on 22 and 23 July in preparation for publication of a book, “Japan and the Developing World: Sixty Years of Japan’s Foreign Aid and the Post 2015 Agenda.” At this workshop organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa presented his draft chapter on “Japan and the United Nations: Its Past, Present and Future.”