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         24 April 2001

The United Nations University (UNU) will launch the U Thant Distinguished Lecture Series at 11:00 a.m. on 7 June 2001. This series, co-organized by the UNU Centre and the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS), is a forum through which eminent thinkers and world leaders will speak on the role of the United Nations in addressing the challenges facing the world's peoples and nations in the twenty-first century.

The inaugural lecture will be offered by Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia since July 1981, and held in the U Thant International Hall (3rd floor of the UN House in Tokyo). The topic of the address will be "Globalization, Global Community and the United Nations." Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir created a blueprint for his country's future called "Vision 2020," which has contributed to the pivotal role that he has played in Malaysia's advance towards fully developed status.

The UNU has a tradition of inviting world leaders and renowned individuals to Tokyo to explore the role of the United Nations in a rapidly changing world. The U Thant Distinguished Lecture Series will build upon this tradition by providing an opportunity for up to four prominent individuals each year to visit the University and share their insights and experiences with scholars, policy makers, business leaders and also the general public.

It was U Thant, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1961 to 1971, who originally proposed the establishment of a United Nations University that would be devoted to researching pressing global issues and promoting "international understanding both at the political and cultural levels." As a result of his vision, the UNU was established in Tokyo and last year celebrated its 25th anniversary. The dedication of this lecture series to the former Secretary-General is a reflection of the University's continued efforts to encourage the exchange of ideas regarding the UN's role in addressing our shared global challenges.

A limited number of seats will be available for the general public, but advance registration is required. Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the inaugural lecture on 7 June 2001, from 11:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. We request that you confirm your attendance in advance with 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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