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
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.
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.
An international group of MPs calls for a body to strengthen the democratic representation of the world’s citizens in global affairs and the UN’s decision-making, reports The Guardian, 6 March 2019.
On the 28 February 2019 Canadian Journalist Judi Rever made a presentation of her book suggesting that systematic killings of Hutus had been carried out by the Rwandan Patriotic Front during and after what is known to the international community as the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. Her claims provoked a vivid debate among the participants of the round table.
At the conference held on “the Future of the United Nations” at JGU, GPAJ President Hasegawa made a keynote speech on the implications of the Meiji Restoration for the future of the United Nations.
Virendra Dayal, former Chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary General said, “The UN must address many challenges faced by the world, including forced displacement, hunger, inequality, trade disputes, increasing debt burden and danger to media freedom,” while former UN Special Representative Hasegawa spoke about the significance of Gandhian non-violence and Meiji Revolution in Japan and recommended the re-composition of the Security Council.
At an exhibition on “The Chinese Army to Protect the World Peace” held in New York, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, commended China for currently deploying a total of 2,508 uniformed personnel, including 70 women, to 8 of the UN’s current peacekeeping missions, including UNMISS, UNIFIL, and MINUSMA. Khare also noted China has contributed approximately 5.8 million dollars to UN Peacekeeping through the Peace and Security Trust Fund since 2017.
The President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) welcomed nearly two years ago the appointment of Achim Steiner as the Organization’s new Administrator. UNDP then occupied still the central role in the UN development system. Today, former and current officials of UNDP see the possibility of Secretary-General António Guerres’s organizational reform may put UNDP as uncertain if not in peril.
Chef de Cabinet David Chikvaidze of United Nations Office in Geneva discussed and agreed to hold the second Geneva Dialogue between Asian Scholars and senior officials of UN and International Organizations on September 2-4, 2019 in a meeting held with Executive Director for Academic Exchange of UN Association of Japan and Director of ACUNS Liaison Office in Tokyo Sukehiro Hasegawa. Please click here to see the report of the Geneva Dialogue held last year.