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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Journalist Judi Rever makes a Presentation: “In Praise of Blood: Crimes by the Rwandan Patriotic Front’’ (28/02/2019)

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.

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The Future of the United Nations discussed by former Senior UN Officials, Diplomats and Scholars at Jindal Global University in New Delhi (20/02/2019)

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.

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It was wonderful to meet at the Jindal Global University in the suburb of New Delhi with Mr. Virendra Dayal, who was the chief of cabinet in the executive office of the United Nations Secretary General from 1982 to 1983 when I was still a young officer in the UN. (20/02/2019)

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JCK Youth Forum organized by the United Nations Association of Japan and participated by Japanese, Chinese and Korean college students will be held at Sophia University in late August. (16/02/2019)

At the courtesy of Ms. Kim, several students of the secretariat are preparing to conduct a simulation conference of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council. Seen in the photo are from the right: Yuki Nakai, Shion, Kusumi Saei, and Yamane Miko. Also shown is Nakano Shinsuke in computer screen participating in the preparatory meeting from Okinawa.Also participated are Maejima Daiki and Hino Moe.

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The Chinese ambassador declares China will continue to actively participate in UN PKO to restore the peace and stability of the concerned countries and areas. (13/02/2019)

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.

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Barbara Crossette reports the current restructuring of the UN may be sidelining UNDP Administrator Steiner, jeopardizing development work. (28/01/2019)

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.

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Second Geneva Dialogue on 2-4 September 2019 (28/01/2019)

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.

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At Davos World Economic Forum, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe called for rebuilding trust in international trade and reform of WTO (23/01/2019)

Speaking in English, he said “I call on all of us to rebuild trust toward the system for international trade. That should be a system that is fair, transparent, and effective in protecting IP (intellectual property) and also in such areas as e-commerce and government procurement.”

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At the Caspian Week held in parallel with the Davos World Economic Forum, I was asked by reporters why a multilateral approach was so important. I told them it was the only way we could sustain peace and development of the international community and humanity by maintaining universal values and promoting fairness among all countries and people. (22/01/2019)

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