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.”
We had an honor to welcome His Excellency, Mr. Nenad Glišić, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbiato speak at a seminar organized by the Japan Academic Council on International Peacebuilding (JACIP) on July 12, 2014.Ambassador delivered a lecture entitled “Serbia’s challenge in light of its special emphasis on the Kosovo issue.” (Takaya Furukawa, Hosei University Sophomore Student)
On 15 May 2014, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate José Manuel Ramos-Horta who is currently the United Nations’ Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau delivered a lecture at the invitation of the Sergio Viera de Mello Foundation in Geneva.
At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Professor Hasegawa, accompanied by Hirotaka Kawakami, participated in the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) symposium on peace and reconciliation processes and initiatives, held in Manila on April 7 and 8, 2014. The participants were Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and senior diplomats from each member country, and renowned scholars and practitioners were invited as guest speakers. The symposium coincided with the recently concluded Bangsamoro agreement between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and accordingly the key figures in the peace process also joined to present their perspectives and learned lessons. Professor Hasegawa made a presentation on rules-based and situational leadership approaches to inter-state dispute management and resolution, by sharing his experience and reflection to serve Timor-Leste as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG). After his presentations, he received several questions regarding the efficacy of resorting to international law in resettling territorial issues. (Hirotaka Kawakami, Program Associate, Hiroshima Peacebuilders Center)
On 14 March 2014, Timor-Leste Finance Minister Emilia Pires, who was member the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, explained how the new development goals were established with inclusion of the need for good governance and effective institutions as well as stable and peaceful societies as 10th and 11th goals of new MDGs. In her conversation with Rector David Malone of the UN University, she also provided detailed accounts of peace and state building challenges faced by Timor-Leste and other conflict prone countries. She emphasized the need to hold genuine partnership between host and donor countries by asking that the donor and partner countries talk “nothing about us, without us.”
On 14 March, Timorese Finance Minister Emilia Pires visited the secretariat of the Japan Forum on International Relations and met with Mr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Senior Executive Director. Mr. Ishikawa informed the Minister about the role played by Japan Forum in fostering exchange of views on current international issues, while Minister Pires explained about the g7+ group of fragile countries aimed at self-reliance and cooperation.
On 3 March, the UN University Library held its first library talk on the book, Primordial Leadership: Peacebuilding and National Ownership written by Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa. Ambassador Isilio da Silva of Timor-Leste pointed out the significance of five key attributes of leadership that contributed to successful peacebuilding in Timor-Leste. The Ambassador was followed by several other discussants that included Mr. Ken Inoue, former Director for Governance Support, UNMIT, Mr. Takakazu Ito, Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support (DFS), New York, Katsumi Ishizuka, Professor, Kyoei University, Professor Miko Maekawa of Osaka University, Ms. Seiko Toyama, International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Cabinet Office and Mr. Satoru Miyazawa, UNHCR.
On 1 March 2014, Ms. Seiko Toyama of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters of the Cabinet Office and Mr. Shogo Yoshida, Candidate for Tokyo University Graduate School made their presentations. Ms. Toyama mentioned UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, particularly in UNMISS in South Sudan. She also explained the role played by the Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel. Mr. Yoshida presented his bachelor thesis on the possibility for the concept of human security being reflected within the framework of existing UN peacekeeping activities, using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the peacekeeping operations in Timor-Leste. Moreover, he adverted to his draft of research proposal for the master’s course.