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  December 1998    

Seminars probe future of human rights
The Shonan Session of the UNU Global Seminar was held from 7 to 11 September at Shonan Village in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Later that month, UNU and the Kobe International Association organized the Global Seminar's Fourth Kobe Session from 29 September to 2 October at the Hotel Pearl City Kobe, Kobe.

The UNU Global Seminar is designed to enhance international awareness among the student population in Japan through interaction with scholars and experts working in UNU's global networks.

Undergraduate students in their junior year and above and those in postgraduate courses in Japanese universities attended the two four-day sessions.

In the Kanto area, the UNU has been organizing an annual Global Seminar since 1985. From 1995, in celebration of the United Nations' 50th and UNU's 20th anniversaries, a similar seminar series was initiated also in the Kansai area.

In the Fourth Kobe Session, lecturers included Prof. Yoichi Higuchi, Sophia University; Janusz Symonides, Director of UNESCO's Division of Human Rights, Democracy and Peace; Prof. Masahiro Morioka, University of Osaka Prefecture; Prof. Norani Othmann, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies; Prof. Kentaro Serita, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University; and Milton Moreno, External Relations Officer for Korea, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Office for Japan and the Republic of Korea.

As 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this year's seminars focused on "The United Nations and Human Rights: Assessing the Past and Looking towards the Future." The keynote lecturers at Shonan included Prof. David P. Forsythe, Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska; and Prof. Yozo Yokota, Department of Law, University of Tokyo.

The Shonan Session was jointly organized with the Kanagawa Foundation for Academic and Cultural Exchange (K-FACE), and Aoyama Gakuin University, Chuo University, International University of Japan, International Christian University, Keio University, Tokai University, University of Tokyo, Tsuda College and Waseda University collaborated with the UNU in its planning and organization.

Past seminar topics included "The UN at 50: Building Peace" (1995); "Global Society in Transition and UN Reform" (1995, Kobe); "Globalism and Regionalism" (1996); "Our Planet and Human Security" (1996, Kobe); "Attitudes of Member States toward the United Nations" (1997); and "Global Environment and Humanity" (1997, Kobe).

The Shonan Session was also supported by the Japan Foundation for the UNU and sponsored by Japan Air Lines.

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