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         17 May 2004

On Wednesday, 19 May 2004, His Excellency Mr. Jean Ping, Gabonese Foreign Minister and next President of the United Nations General Assembly, will deliver a public lecture at UN House in Tokyo. The topic of Mr. Ping's lecture will be "The Promotion of African Peace and Development: The Role of African Regional Organizations and the United Nations." This lecture is being organized by United Nations University (UNU).

Mr. Ping is President-designate of the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which will begin in September. He has served as a minister in the government of the Gabonese Republic since 1990, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and French-Speaking Communities since 1999. He previously served as Director of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic (1984-90) and as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Gabon's Permanent Mission to UNESCO (1978-84). He also has worked for such organizations as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the World Bank, and based upon these experiences, he has written books and articles on the Gabonese economy as well as development issue in Africa in general.

The aim of the lecture is to enhance public awareness in Japan on African development. Mr. Ping will explain the important role that African regional organizations and the United Nations play in the promotion of peace and development in the continent. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.

Simultaneous French-Japanese-English interpretation of Mr. Ping's lecture will be provided. The lecture, which will begin at 11:00 AM in the Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall of UN House, is open to the public, but advance registration is required. A registration reply form can be downloaded from events2004/Ping-reply.doc.

Registration will begin at 10:30 AM on the 2nd floor of UN House. Mr. Ping's lecture will be preceded by opening remarks from H.E. Mr. Salah Hannachi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps. The event will be moderated by UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. A copy of the programme is available online at

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