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20 November 2001
Mrs. Ogata is currently co-chair of the Tokyo-based Commission on Human Security and Resident Scholar at Ford Foundation in New York, where she is writing a book examining the impact of global trends on the refugee protection regime. Mrs. Ogata was Japan's representative on the UN Commission on Human Rights from 1982 to 1985, and served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, from February 1991 to December 2000, having been re-elected twice. She has a long and distinguished international career in issues related to human rights and international relations, and has served on numerous government advisory councils and the boards of academic associations and foundations.
The Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture is held annually to commemorate the life of Norwegian explorer, scientist, humanist and Nobel laureate Fridjtof Nansen. Born in 1861, Nansen undertook several expeditions to the Arctic. He served as Norwegian Delegate to the League of Nations and as Rector of St. Andrew's University in Scotland. In 1922, Nansen received the Nobel Peace Prize for his achievements as High Commissioner for Refugees of the League of Nations.
The 2001 Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture will be held on Wednesday, 12 December, in the U Thant International Conference Hall (3F) of the UN House in Tokyo. It will begin at 3:00 p.m. with a welcome address by UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel, a message from Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka (delivered by Mr. Koichi Takahashi, Director General, Multilateral Cooperation Department, Minsitry of Foreign Affairs), and introductory remarks by H.E. Ambassador Odd Fosseidbråten of Norway.
Prior to the lecture programme, at 2:30 p.m., Mrs. Ogata and Ambassador Fosseidbråten will officially open a UN Gallery exhibition of children's drawings on "Peace and International Understanding." These drawing, selected from some 250 submissions by children in Norway and Japan, were part of a "Friendship between Japan and Norway" exhibition held earlier this year at National Children's Castle in Tokyo. The timing of the opening of this UN Gallery exhibition is fitting, coming just two days after the award ceremony is Oslo in which the United Nations and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, received the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. Previous UN-related Nobel Peace Prize laureates include the United Nations Peace-keeping Forces, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and UNICEF.
Media representatives are cordially invited to attend.
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