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         22 May 2002

His Excellency Dr. Han Seung-soo, President of the United Nations General Assembly, will give a public lecture entitled "The Role of the United Nations in a Globalizing World" on Wednesday, 29 May 2002. The lecture will take place from 14:30 - 16:00 in the UNU's U Thant International Conference Hall, at the UN House in Tokyo.

The world changed dramatically during the second half of the twentieth century. The technological revolution in transport and communications has eroded the barriers of distance and time. National economies have become ever-more closely integrated through cross-border flows of trade, investment and finance. In the political realm, communism has collapsed and capitalism has emerged triumphant. And there are now a myriad of new actors - from firms to NGOs - participating in the global economy and polity.

The process of globalization has given rise to new problems and governance needs. As we enter the twenty-first century, almost one-third of the people in the developing world, an estimated 1.2 billion, live in absolute poverty and cannot meet their basic human needs. A similar number do not have access to clean water. Furthermore, new problems have surfaced; some are a direct consequence of globalization. The aim of the lecture is to enhance public awareness in Japan on the work of the United Nations in addressing the "old" and "new" challenges that face the international community.

Dr. Han has served in many areas of public life in the Republic of Korea, most recently as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Dr. Han played the leading role in furthering his government's policy of peace and reconciliation ("Sunshine Policy") on the Korean Peninsula. From 1996 to 1997, he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy, and he served as Chief of Staff to the President from 1994 to 1995. He held the post of Minister of Trade and Industry from 1988 to 1990. In 1993 and 1994, Dr. Han represented the Republic of Korea as its Ambassador to the United States.

After the lecture, from 16:15 - 16:30, Dr. Han will open a photographic exhibition on "Water: Mirror of the World" in the UN Gallery on the first floor. The exhibition is composed of eighty water-related photographs which aspire, through the universal language of imagery, to provoke a respect for water as a mirror of the world and as an essential element of life.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. Simultaneous English-Japanese interpretation will be provided.

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For more information, please contact:
UNU Public Affairs Section,
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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