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UNU-ISP Senior Academic Programme Officer Skrikantha Herath then gave additional course details to students and spoke of the open learning environment they would enjoy during their studies at UNU.
The keynote address was delivered by Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, director of the Japan Foundation for the United Nations University, who spoke on sustainability science and the challenges presented by the need for holistic approaches to the pressing problems of our time.
Also present on the panel was Professor Janette Lindesay from Australian National University who has been an instrumental member of the course development working group.
UNU extends a very warm welcome to the 5 students who begin their master’s degree studies today, the 8 research students who will join them, and the 22 students from partner universities around the world. May your studies be challenging and rewarding!
UN Security Council Resolution 1325, 10 Years On
Women Making Peace
2010.09.10 • UNU-ISP hosted an experts’ meeting and a public forum to assess progress made towards integrating women’s voices, perspectives and skills in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The day of events at UNU headquarters in Tokyo was organized by UNU-ISP, Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW), Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
In October 2000, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a groundbreaking resolution on women, peace and security. UNSC resolution 1325 addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women, and recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions that women make to conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
In the experts’ meeting, scholars, activists, policy makers and UN agencies examined the impact of UNSC resolution 1325, the remaining obstacles to women’s participation, and indicators to measure progress. The participants also considered the role of the newly-formed UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), which brings together four previously distinct parts of the UN system focusing exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Several recent UNU-ISP research projects have examined gender issues in conflict and peacebuilding, resulting in books including Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impacts of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Vanessa Farr, Henri Myrttinen and Albrecht Schnabel, eds., UNU Press).
"Environmental issues are global issues"
President Rafael Correa of Ecuador Delivers 17th U Thant Distinguished Lecture
2010.09.09 • President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, on a working visit to Japan with senior cabinet ministers, began the 17th U Thant Distinguished Lecture at UNU Headquarters on Tuesday with a sweeping broadside against neoliberalism and the so-called Washington Consensus.
"Neoliberalism is not a good policy. We were not able to achieve economic development," the president said. "Latin America never arrived at this 'consensus’ and was not represented: the Washington Consensus was formulated by the global elite. Income disparity and economic hardship grew.
We are now rising to take up the challenge."
President Correa said that Ecuador is trying to become a middle-class country, and outlined some of the steps being taken to realise this goal, specifically reform of the taxation system and the labour environment.
During his lecture the president returned repeatedly, and in practical terms, to the notion of the redistribution of wealth. "Compared to Europe our income disparity is huge," he said. "We need to have a structure in place to achieve social justice. The wealthier should pay more, for example for health care, than the poor.
"Another way to redistribute wealth is democracy. Democratise corporate management and natural resources." He gave an example of the Puna district where people living around the lake are denied access to its resources because of corporate monopolisation.
But democracy, he said, "doesn’t mean you have to grasp power."
Speaking on globalisation and development, the president called for popular inclusion. "If globalisation occurs without governance, without the voice of the people, what will it bring? People will simply become consumers. We see labour being exploited in the name of competitiveness. You can’t solve the financial crisis by just creating liquidity: there must be a social change also.
"The concept of wealth will change. If China develops like Japan the world will be destroyed, so development cannot be pursued as it was in the past. That concept may have been wrong: development was not defined correctly.
"The Andean people developed in harmony with nature, not by 'having more,’" he said. "That was 'development’ in ancient times."
Video of President Correa's full lecture and the wide-ranging question and answer session following it can be viewed on UNU's video portal.
Note: reporting is based on interpreted speech.
Japan-Ecuador Summit Meeting
Japan-Ecuador Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
2nd NVMP-StEP Ewaste Summer School
Young researchers meet in Eindhoven and Hoboken to look at the future of e-waste
2010.09.09 • Philips and Umicore hosted an international group of young researchers looking at the growing problem of waste electronic and electrical equipment, more commonly known as e-waste. Sponsored by the NVMP Foundation, the Dutch Association for the Disposal of Metal and Electrical Products, the E-waste Summer School was organised by the United Nations University under the aegis of the StEP Initiative and took place from 29 August to 7 September.
"Building research capacity on e-waste management is a key objective of NVMP. Hence, the Summer School is a wonderful platform for this", said André Habets, in charge of Research and Development at NVMP.
Nineteen students from all continents participated in this second NVMP-StEP E-waste Summer School. Between them, they represented 18 countries of origin or place of study. The issues discussed during the ten days ranged from environmental justice to consumer behaviour to recycling technology.
Photo by Gerard van Bree.
Inaugural Ceremony and Symposium
UNU-ISP Postgraduate Programmes Open
2010.09.03 • The United Nations University celebrated the launch of a new postgraduate programme, the Master of Science in Sustainability, Development, and Peace, with a ceremony and symposium on Friday, 3 September. The two-year degree will be offered by the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace with the first group of students beginning their studies on September 13.
In his opening remarks, UNU Rector Konrad Osterwalder expressed his deep appreciation for the support given to UNU and highlighted UNU’s unique characteristics and importance to the global community. Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, former UNESCO Director-General, honoured UNU’s achievements and expressed his expectation that UNU will produce international leaders and experts.
The ceremony was followed by a symposium featuring a keynote lecture by Dennis Meadows, Professor Emeritus of Systems Policy at the University of New Hampshire and co-author of the 1972 book The Limits to Growth.
Japan-CARICOM Public Symposium
Climate Change and Biodiversity
2010.09.02 • The Caribbean Community (CARICOM, consisting of fifteen member states and five associate member states of the Caribbean region) represents one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet. These Small Island Developing States are facing pressing threats including loss of biodiversity, and are extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as frequent and intense hurricanes, subsequent flooding and erosion, and rising sea level, that threaten livelihoods and human well-being
On the occasion of the Second Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference held in Tokyo, on 2 September 2010 a Japan-CARICOM Public Symposium on Climate Change and Biodiversity was organized by the United Nations University (UNU), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This public dialogue, held in the United Nations University U Thant Hall in Tokyo, convened Caribbean ministerial level and Japanese senior academics and experts to exchange views on the Caribbean region's urgent climate change and biodiversity issues, as well as on issues of Caribbean society, economy and culture. Particpants also explored future cooperation between CARICOM and Japan
The symposium began with opening remarks by Shuji Kira (Parlimentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan), Konrad Osterwalder (UNU Rector) and Yoshihisa Ueda (Representative of the IDB Office in Asia). Keynote speakers were Louis Straker (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), Maxine McClean (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Barbados), Charles Peter David (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Grenada) and Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Guyana).
Key outcomes of the symposium include recognition of a sense of urgency in addressing the issues facing the Caribbean; recognition of the importance of capacity building as a pillar for climate change adaptation in the Caribbean; identification of the potential for cooperation in use of technology, training and knowledge transfer for climate change adaptation; and a willingness by the organizers to further engage in the region.
Town Hall Meeting
Secretary-General Addresses UN Staff in Tokyo
2010.08.04 • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed UN staff in Tokyo at a town hall meeting at UNU Headquarters today. Mr. Ban is visiting Japan to meet with Prime Minister Kan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Okada, and other senior officials and to attend ceremonies on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan.
At the town hall meeting, moderated by UNU Rector Konrad Osterwalder, Mr. Ban said that the core theme of his visit was peace and disarmament. He hoped to send a strong message, he said, through his presence. On Friday, August 6, Mr. Ban will become the first secretary-general to attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.
Before taking questions from the audience, Mr. Ban also spoke of the creation of a new agency for women and gender equality. UN Women will unite those entities and programmes now working on these issues.
Meeting between Mr. Naoto Kan and Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Meeting between Mr. Katsuya Okada and Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Page last modified 2011.06.07.
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