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Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, dies aged 80 (18/08/2018)

 According to the Kofi Annan Foundation, Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully after a short illness, in hospital in Bern, Switzerland in the early hours of August 18 with his wife and children at his side.

Michelle Bachelet is new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (10/08/2018)

 The General Assembly approved on August 10 the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights effective September 2018. Bachelet is a prominent women’s rights advocate who served as the first woman president in Chile and is expected to assert her leadership in advancing human rights in the world with rising racial tension and authoritarian rule.

[NOTICE] Status and Problems of Refugees and Immigrants in Japan will be assessed by President Saburo Takizawa of UNHCR Association of Japan and Ms. Mio Sato IOM Chief of Mission in Japan (19/08/2018)

 To participate, please contact GPAJ Secretary-Genral Masakuni TANIMOTO (tanimoto[@]gpaj.org).
[Date and time] Sunday, August 19, 1900 (Sun) 15: 00 ~ 17: 30
[Venue] Ichigaya JICA Research Institute Conference Room
[Organized by] Global Peacebuilding Association of Japan (GPAJ)

Joint Action Plan drawn up by the Russian Defense Ministry for return of Syrian refugees from neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. (21/07/2018)

 At a press conference held at UN Headquarters on July 20, US Secretary of State Pompeo stated Presidents Trump and Putin discussed how to return Syrian refugees who had fled the war-torn country during their behind closed doors meeting in Helsinki on July 16, 2018.

[UN Family Reunion] Former Chinese Team Leader of Military Observers Hongsheng SHENG who is now Professor of Public International Law at Shanghai University of Political Sciences and Law meets IOM Director General William Swing who was SRSG and Head of MONUC in the Congo 13 years ago. (17/07/2018)

 Professor Hongsheng SHENG met with Director General Ambassador William Swing in Geneva during his participation in the Geneva Dialogue of East Asian Scholars with UN and International Organizations held on July 16 and 17, 2018.

Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, and other Peace and Development Experts present their Perspectives to Asian Scholars (17/07/2018)

 Three other speakers were: Robert Watkins, Former Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Operational Activities in Bangladesh, Delidji Eric Degila, Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Benin Ecole Nationale d’Administration, and Mark Downes, Assistant Director and Head of DCAF’s Operations Department contributed to the Geneva Dialogue with their insightful presentations.

Geneva Dialogue Participants gather at the entrance of Palais des Nations after the long day of discussion. (16/07/2018)

 From right to left on front row; Ms. Erika FREY, University of Teachers Education Zug; Ms. Reina MOTEGI of the University of Tokyo; Professor Misako TAKIZAWA of Oberlin University; Dr. Ai KIHARA-HUNT, Associate Professor, Graduate Program on Human Security, the University of Tokyo, Deputy Director, Research Center for Sustainable Peace, and Deputy Director, ACUNS Tokyo Office; Ryotaro Takehara of the University of Tokyo.


 Second row from left to right: Colonel Amarsaikhan SERDARI, Chief of Special Plans Office of the Mongolian Armed Forces; Professor Takaaki MIZUNO of the Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS); Yasushi KATSUMA, Professor of Waseda University; Ms. Suzuka YAMADA of the University of Tokyo; Ms. Mizuki ARITA of the University of Tokyo; Ms. Moeka TAWADA of the University of Tokyo; Prof. SHENG Hongsheng of Shanghai University of Political Science and Law; Mr. Takashi KAMISHIRO, Head of Field Office Miravalle, UN Verification Mission in Colombia; Professor ZHANG Guihong, Director of the Center for UN Studies, Fudan University and Vice President & Secretary-General, Shanghai UN Research Association.


 Third row from left to right: Professor Aygul KULNAZAROVA of Tama University; Ms. Kana YOKOYAMA of the University of Tokyo; Ms. Maja LIECHTI of the University of Tokyo; Mr. Yuki SAITO of the University of Tokyo; Mr. Eisuke KIMURA of the University of Tokyo; and Mr. Simon PANCHAUD of the University of Geneva.

East Asian Scholars’ Dialogue opened by David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet of the Office of Director-General Michael Møller (16/07/2018)

 Chikvaidze referred to Geneva as a prime place for human rights with the Human Rights Council located in Geneva and a vibrant place for humanitarian aid, disarmament and trade. He noted that no city had a richer history of collaboration than Geneva.

Geneva Dialogue: Senior Legal Coordinator and Head of Protection Policy Madeline Garlick explains UNHCR role in Protection of Refugees (16/07/2018)

 According to Madeline Garlick, addressing challenges around protracted refugees, situation of conflict, finding solutions, responsibility sharing are key conditions for successful refugee protection. People fleeing from persecution should not be penalized for moving illegally. Click here for her full presentation and comments by Asian scholars.

Geneva Dialogue: IOM Director General Ambassador William Swing points to “Mega-trend” in Migration (16/07/2018)

 More than one billion people are migrating with nearly 250 million international migrants and some 750 million domestic migrants. Nearly a quarter of the migrants are forced to move while the majority migrates freely and orderly.

East Asian Scholars and Students Visit Disarmament Commission Chamber (16/07/2018)

 This former Chamber of the Council of the League of Nations is now used by the UN Disarmament Commission which was first created in 1952 but met rarely until 1978 when the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament established a successor Disarmament Commission as a subsidiary deliberative body of the Assembly, composed of all Member States of the United Nations.

East Asian Scholars Starts Geneva Dialogue with the UN and International Organizations: Visit to Human Rights Council (16/07/2018)

 Thirty-two scholars and students from Japan, China, Korea and Mongolia started their two- day dialogue with senior officials of UNOG, UNHCR, IOM, ICRC, UNHCHR and Geneva Graduate Institute on the theme of Human Rights, Migration and Peacebuilding in a Turbulent Age.

ACUNS 2018 Annual Meetings starts in Rome (12/07/2018)

 Professor Kihara-Hunt and her students and ACUNS Tokyo Office Event Staff Ms. Erika Frey join the participants from all over the world in the opening reception.

Concert and Democracy at Village Level in Switzerland (08/07/2018)

 In Switzerland, concerts are held in magnificent auditoriums but also outdoors for villagers to attend and hear. Here is one of the concerts just held in the town of Wadenswil I went yesterday. About 100 people came and, alas, most of them turned out to be more than 60 years old. It`s an aging society here just like Japan. But, Switzerland is accepting foreigners who now constitute more than 30 percent of the population.

UN Budget Committee endorses a reform of the UN which enacts a major cut in UN peacekeeping budget. (02/07/2018)

 According to a report filed by Susan Manuel of PASSBLUE, China`s influence on the process of constructing the new structure of UN peace and security architecture in growing. Please click here her report.

IOM’s Special Council Session elects Portugal’s Antonio Vitorino over Trump nominee as new IOM Director General. (29/06/2018)

 As IOM’s current Director General, William Lacy Swing, steps down after completing the second of two five-year terms, the Special Council`s decisive rejection of the American candidate, Ken Isaacs, in the first round of voting, signaled a growing number of nations are no longer prepared to indefinitely defer to the power of the United States when human rights and values are assaulted by the current US Administration.

German Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) plays an active role in strengthening cooperation among African and Arab states in addressing the challenges in peace operations. (28/06/2018)

 Senior Officials of African Union and League of Arab States attended the workshop and heard a Discourse by President of Global Peacebuilding Association of Japan (GPAJ) Professor S. Hasegawa who stressed the importance of recognizing that Egyptian Civilization preceded two millennium the Civilizations that started in Greece and China.

German Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) and CCCPA hold Peer Coaching “Mediation and Diplomacy” Training Workshop. (26-28/06/2018)

 Senior Officials of African Union and League of Arab States attended the workshop and heard a Discourse by President of Global Peacebuilding Association of Japan (GPAJ) Professor S. Hasegawa on “Philosophy of Peacebuilding: East and West.”

Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding holds its International Advisory Board meeting in Cairo. (26/06/2018)

 At the IAB meeting chaired by Professor Hasegawa, CCCPA Director General Ashraf Swelam explained the expansion geographical area and nature of CCCPA activities include the Arab region and more contemporary issues such as preventing radicalization and extremism, combatting human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, integrated DDR and women, peace and security.

Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of the crisis faced by the United Nations human-rights system. (26/06/2018)

 Click here for Rambcharan`s views and suggestions.

The United States Leaves the UN Human Rights Council. (19/06/2018)

 Ambassador Nikki Haley announced that the United States is withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling it “an organization that is not worthy of its name.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appeared alongside Haley at the State Department.

Kick-off Meeting held for the 2nd GPAJ Annual Conference (13/06/2018)

 The first meeting of the GPAJ Executive Committee was held on June 13 at Le Gourmand Bistro in Ebisu in preparation for the 2018 Annual Research Convention to be held on December 8 at JICA Research Institute at Ichigaya. Nine members commenced their work to be coordinated by Professor Kurosawa as Executive Chairman. (Kenji Nakazawa)

Ambassador Simona Leskovar explains Slovenia`s Accomplishments and Challenges to Japanese Scholars and Experts on Peace and Development (26/05/2018)

 At the 30th Seminar held on Saturday, 26 May 2018 at Tokyo University Komaba Campus, GPAJ members asked the Ambassador how Slovenia gained independence from ex-Yugoslavia and how Slovenia is deal with the mass inflow of refugees and migrants.

The outcome of the national elections in Timor-Leste examined by GPAJ seminar participants (26/05/2018)

 Timorese Embassy Counselor Nuno ALVES made a detailed presentation on the political and economic developments since 2008, followed by Daisuke Nihei of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan who provided an analysis of votes received by respective political parties on May 12, 2018. (Report filed by Denishi Joshi)

Timorese voters give the Aliança de Mudança para o Progresso (AMP), a coalition of three parties, an absolute majority of 34 of the 65 seats in Parliament. (24/05/2018)

 As the Global Peacebuilding Association of Japan holds a special session on the outcome of the national elections, Chairman of the AMP Xanana Gusmão sends his message affirming the commitment of Timorese political leaders to democratic governance. Please click here for his message.

Mona Ali Khalil: “The UN’s Cruz Report on Improving Peacekeepers’ Security Goes Too Far” (20/05/2018)

 UN report on improving the security of all peacekeepers is viewed as pushing overwhelming and aggressive operations making the UN party to conflict and potentially undermining the security of both UN personnel and the civilians they are meant to protect. Here is her article.

East Asian Scholars and Practitioners` meeting with Heads of UN and International Organizations in Geneva (16-17/07/2018)

 You can access (1) the latest provisional program from here and (2) the latest administrative and logistics information (as of 10/JUL/2018) from here. If you are interested in participating, please contact ACUNS Tokyo Deputy Director, Associate Professor Ai Kihara-Hunt. Her e-mail address is kiharahunt[*]yahoo.com (Please change [*] to @ when sending an email).

Ambassador Simona LESKOVAR of Slovenia and Counselor Nuno Alvares Moniz Marques ALVES of Timor-Leste will present challenges faced by their countries. (26/05/2018)

 Slovenia became an independent country on June 25, 1991, and currently it is considered the most advanced among nation states born out of the former Yugoslavia but it still faces many challenges. Timor-Leste regained its sovereignty in 2005 and adopted its democratic form of governance but its democratic institutions remain fragile. The counselor will explain the outcome of May 12 national assembly elections.

António Guterres proposes a 50 percent increase in regular posts in the Peacebuilding Support Office at a Security Council`s High-level Briefing session on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace (25/04/2018)

 António Guterres also calls for strong partnerships beyond the United Nations and a broad and inclusive approach with international financial institutions including the World Bank, and other multilateral donors, the business community, civil society and local actors.

Ms. Shoko Noda-Tackling Climate Change as a Representative of the UN System in the Maldives (22/04/2018)

 Ms. Shoko Noda, UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative for UNDP in the Maldives has been featured on the “People” column of Asahi Newspaper. In the article, Ms. Noda talks about how she became interested to work for the UN as well as introducing her current work in the Maldives. You can read her article (in Japanese) here.

Delegates from China, Korea and Mongolia meet with Japanese political leaders and government officials as well as Japanese experts and scholars on UN peace operations (19-20/04/2018)

 In their discussion of protection of civilians (POC) issues, East Asian groups examined the Kigali Principle and Cruz Report, and recommended that four countries should strengthen the coordination of their pre-deployment and on-site POC activities while noting progress made by the annual Khan Quest operations exercise in Mongolia.

Ms. Shoko Noda- Series: “Thinking about Sustainability Issues in the Maldives” (19/04/2018)

 Ms. Kaoru Nemoto, United Nations Information Centre Director, visited the Maldives from 10 to 16 March 2018, observing the frontlines of climate change adaptation and mitigation. She also met with the Resident Coordinator, Ms. Shoko Noda, and reported on the impacts of climate change to the people of the Maldives, including unpredictable weather patterns and rising sea levels. Ms. Nemoto’s reports on Huffpost Japan (in Japanese) can be read from here.

The Liberal Democratic Party Foreign Affairs Research Committee and the World Federation Japan National Diet Committee briefed about the current UN reform efforts. (11-12/04/2018)

 At the request of Mr. Seishiro ETO, Chairman of both Committees, the President of the Global Peacebuilding Association of Japan explained the development of UN reform efforts carried out by Secretaries-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon and António Guterres.

[Obituary] Katsuhide Kitatani (1931-2018) (09/04/2018)

 Mr. Kitatani passed away at 6:00 a.m. April 6, 2018 in Tokyo with his wife, Akiko, at his side. The funeral took place at the Minato Citizens’ Funeral Hall “Yasuragi Kaikan” in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo, at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 9. Mr. Kitatani was 86 and 6 months old and was survived by Akiko, his wife of 56 years, his twin sons Jun and Ken, their wives Nicole and Nina (Mami) and Jun and Nicole’s two children, Noah and Laila.

Mr. Katsuhide Kitatani passed away. (06/04/2018)

 Mr. Kitatani passed away at 6:00 a.m. April 6, 2018 in Tokyo with his wife, Akiko, at his side. The funeral will take place at the Minato Citizens’ Funeral Hall “Yasuragi Kaikan” in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo, at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 9.

Sukehiro HASEGAWA “United Nations Peacebuilding – What is needed to build a world without conflicts?” NOW ON SALE (23/03/2018)

 The author who has stood on the front line of UN peace operations reflects the path travelled by Boutros-Ghali with his Agenda for Peace, Kofi Annan In Larger Freedom, Ban Ki-moon`s HIPPO panel and António Guterres` Conflict Prevention, and identifies what makes decisive difference in conflict resolution and prevention.

Former Japanese Ambassador and UN Under-Secretary-General Kenzo OSHIMA emphasizes the leadership of Secretary-General is indispensable. (17/03/2018)

 Oshima found significant Secretary-General António Guterres` assessment that the UN suffered from “Fragmented structures, Byzantine procedures, Endless red tape.”

East Asian Forum on UN Peace Operations @UNU (20/04/2018)

 The Academic Council on the United System (ACUNS) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) will hold the East Asian Forum on UN Peace Operations entitled New Directions and New Approaches in UN Peace Operations: The Primacy of Politics and Protection of Civilians at the Elisabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor, the UN University on 20th April 2018. If you are interested in participating in this forum, please contact Associate Professor Kihara-Hunt, kiharahunt[@]yahoo.com by email (Please change [@] to @ when sending an email). Please click here for detail.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres introduced his report on “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” (05/03/2018)

 Guterres found it necessary to sustain peace efforts not only once conflict had broken out but also long beforehand, through the prevention of conflict and addressing its root causes.

Former Japanese Ambassador explains the humanitarian and peacebuilding challenges in South Sudan from his field perspective (28/01/2018)

 Professors Mitsugi Endo of Tokyo University and Daisaku Higashi of Sophia University as well as Mr. Takaki Imai, Representative of Japan Volunteers Center, commented on the causes of conflicts and the prospect for overcoming the challenges.

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