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                               1 September 1999

UNU Invites Applicants for Akino Fellowships
to study “peace and environment in Central Asia”

In March 1999, the United Nations University (UNU) received a ¥100 million contribution from the Government of Japan in memory of Dr. Yutaka Akino, who was killed in July 1998 while on active service as a Civil Affairs Officer of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). The UNU and Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) have agreed that half of this money, or ¥50 million, will be used to fund a new 5-year “Akino Memorial Research Project” on Eurasia, particularly Central Asia.

The overall theme of the project, whose main purpose is to help train young Japanese scholars in Central Asian studies, will be “Peace and Environment in Central Asia.” This theme, which represents the UNU’s two main programme areas (“Peace and Governance” and “Environment and Sustainable Development”) is broad enough to accommodate a variety of specific research on the political, economic and social factors affecting peace and stability in Central Asian counties as well as a number of environmental issues (such as desertification) endemic to the region.

The UNU is inviting young Japanese scholars, including Ph.D. candidates and post-doctoral fellows, to submit a research proposal within the general framework of “Peace and Environment in Central Asia.” These proposals, which can include up to one year of field study in Central Asia, must be received by 31 October 1999. (The geographic area of “Central Asia” will be flexibly interpreted to accommodate the late Dr. Akino’s research interests.) Successful applicants will be notified in mid-December.

The Akino (Memorial Research) Fellowship proposals will be reviewed by a committee consisting of two UNU In-House Organizers — Prof. Hideo Sato, Senior Adviser to the Rector, and Prof. Iwao Kobori, Visiting Professor — and three Core Research Scholars — Prof. Hisao Komatsu (University of Tokyo), Prof. Tomohiko Uyama (University of Hokkaido), and Prof. Tsuneo Tsukatani (University of Kyoto). These Core Research Scholars will also supervise the Akino Fellows while they are in Japan, and two Central Asian scholars (one for international relations, one for environment) will be appointed to supervise them while they are conducting field research.

The Akino Memorial Research Project will be formally launched in January 2000 with an introductory seminar by the Core Research Scholars. Thereafter, occasional seminars based on the research by the Akino Fellows will be held, as well as annual or biannual public conferences on Central Asia at the UNU Centre. Papers written by the Akino Fellows will be made available as part of the UNU Occasional Papers Series or may be collected and published as a book by UNU Press.

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For further information, please contact:

UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246     Fax (03) 3406-7346

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