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             14 December 1999




In January 2000, the United Nations University (UNU) will host a landmark international conference to consider the challenges and opportunities facing the United Nations as we enter the new millennium. "On the Threshold: The United Nations and Global Governance in the New Millennium" will be held from 19 - 21 January at the UNU Centre in Tokyo. This conference is being organized by the UNU and sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Ministry of Education of Japan (tentative), and Asahi Shimbun.

The conference will take stock of key international trends relating to peace, development, governance and the environment, and consider their implications for the United Nations and its Member States. Across these themes, conference participants will discuss the key challenges of the new millennium. In particular, they will seek to identify how national governments and the international community might more broadly address these challenges; what comparative advantage the UN might have in working with the international community in addressing the challenges; and the potential for partnerships among states, international organizations, commercial organizations, and civil society actors to collectively address the challenges. In addition to identifying the impact of processes such as globalization, participants will consider the element of unpredictability - possibly unforeseen developments - in the subjects they discuss.

Eminent scientists and authorities from around the world will use the forum offered by this UNU Millenium Conference to engage in a broad and substantive dialogue on major trends and consequent policy implications/recommendations. The conference papers will serve as an intellectual resource base for preparation of the UN Secretary-General's Millennium Assembly report, while workshop conclusions will feed into the broader UN policy discussions leading up to the UN Millennium Assembly in the fall of 2000.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will deliver the keynote speech. Other participants will include Nobel prize winner Paul Crutzen, International Peace Academy President David Malone, environmentalist M.S. Swaminathan, and University of Tokyo Professor Yozo Yokota.

A copy of the programme is attached. Additional information about the conference is available online at The plenary sessions on the morning of 19 January and all day on 21 January will be open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Media representatives who would like to attend the conference or who wish further information may contact the UNU Public Affairs Section.

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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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