The Chair of the High Level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations, Mr. José Ramos-Horta, has written to say that he appreciated the insightful background information and views provided to the Panel as they enabled him and his colleagues to understand better the issues related to UN peace operations from a Japanese perspective. Please find here for summary records of two meetings held with the panel on 26 and 28 January 2015.
On 19 March 2015, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi delivered a keynote speech to start an exchange of views by practitioners and scholars of UN peace operations held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The informal consultation meeting was convened by Stephen Browne and Thomas Weiss, co-directors of the Future United Nations Development System (FUNDS) and sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation.
Moderated by Professors Kurosawa and Yonekawa, Emmi Okada and Raymond Yamamoto made presentations on “Religion and Peacebuilding” and “Proactive Pacifism” on 14th March 2015 in the seminar of the Peacebuilding Research Association of Japan (PRAJ) held at Hosei University Graduate School Building. Valuable comments were made by Professors Higashi, Sakurai, and so forth. This seminar was organized by Professor Katsumi Ishizuka, Secretary-General of the PRAJ.
At his last appearance in the Peacebuilders Training Course in Hiroshima on 25 February, Professor Hasegawa engaged in a dialogue with Hiroshima peacebuilders about the need to integrate the teachings of Eastern and Western philosophical wisdoms in managing the conduct of human behaviors in society and in their relationship with the world.
The Hiroshima peacebuilding associates from Japan and 12 countries reviewed the events that took place in the Kibeho camp in Rwanda for internally displaced persons in April 1995. Fifteen Japanese associates were joined by the equal number of participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Somalia, and Vietnam.
At the seminar held at Hosei University on 31 January 2015 and participated by about 30 scholars, researchers and students, three experts. Professor Takaaki Mizuno of the Kanda University of International Studies, Assistant Professor Naoko Kumagai of the International University and Ms. Momoyo Ise, former Executive Director of the Asian Women’s Fund, presented their views on issues related to “comfort women” engaged by Japanese soldiers during the World War II. (Ishizuka)
Chaired by Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Vice President of the UN Association of Japan and participated by Former Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Kenzo Oshima along with other 18 Japanese scholars and experts met former President José Ramos-Horta, Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel and two of his panel members and discussed how to improve UN peace operations.
On 27th January, Mr. Ichiro Aisawa, former Senior Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Member, the Board of Directors of UN Association of Japan convened a meeting of Japanese parliamentarians including Mr. Norio MITSUYA, former Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Seiji KIHARA, former Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Satsuki EDA, former Minister of Justice and President of the House of Councilors, and Mr. Motohiro ONO, former Vice-Minister of Defense of the Democratic Party Komeito. They were joined by Mr. Kiyohiko TOYAMA of Komeito who was former Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
On 26th January 2015, former President José Ramos-Horta, Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel and two members, Mr. Ian Martin and Ms. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu met with Japanese scholars and practitioners of peacekeeping and Special Political Missions (SPM) at the United Nations University. More than 30 persons participated in the informal consultation and exchanged their views on UN peace operations.