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                               28 October 1999


On 15-16 November 1999, the United Nations University (UNU) will hold an international conference on "Iran in a Globalizing World: New Horizons, New Perspectives" at the UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. This will be the first of a series of international conferences on economic development that the UNU will organize in the coming years.

The initiative for this series of conferences was made in a joint press statement issued by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi of Iran and Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura of Japan following their meeting in December 1998. Iran is a fitting focus for the inaugural conference of the series since that nation is now celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, an event that had profound effects not only within Iran but throughout the region and the world. Much has changed in the international geopolitical sphere during the past two decades, and after years of relative isolation Iran now faces the task of trying to forge new international linkages and deal with the challenges and opportunities presented by the increasingly complex and inter-related nature of today's globalizing world.

It is doubly appropriate that Iran is the focus of the first conference since this is also the first in a series of events being organized by the UNU in preparation for the "Year of Dialogue among Civilizations." The 53rd session of the United Nations General Assembly designated 2001 as the "Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations" in response to a proposal made to it by President Mohammad Khatami of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The two-day conference will feature sessions on "Globalization and Development," "Energy-related Issues in the Region," and "Preserving Cultural Integrity and Promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations," followed by a symposium on the conference's central theme of "Iran in a Globalizing World." Speakers will include representatives of government ministries, non-governmental organizations, universities, and policy research institutes from Iran, Japan, and several other nations.

All sessions are open to the public; admission is free, although advance registration is required. Simultaneous English-Japanese interpretation will be provided.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. A copy of the programme is attached.

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For further information, please contact:

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

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