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         7 December 2004
51st Session of the United Nations University's Council meeting is being held in Helsinki, 6 - 10 December 2004

The Council of the United Nations University, which is the governing Council of the University, meets in Helsinki during 6 - 10 December 2004 for its 51st session. The Chairperson of the UNU Council is Professor Vappu Taipale, Director-General of The National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), an agency under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland.

The Council of UNU meets annually to formulate the principles and policies which govern the activities and operations of the United Nations University. Among many other responsibilities, the Council decides upon the research and training centres and programmes which are to constitute the totality of the University in developed or developing countries, considers and approves the work programme, and adopts the budget of the University on the basis of proposals submitted to it by the Rector.

The UNU Council is established on a broad geographical basis with due regard to major academic, scientific, educational and cultural trends in the world, taking into account the various fields of study. The list of 24 members of the Council is herewith attached.

The UNU Centre is located in Tokyo, Japan. It coordinates the overall research, capacity-building, dissemination and networking activities with its 13 Research and Training Centres and Programmes around the world. The UNU works closely with the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as with academic, policy and NGO communities worldwide. The main research programme areas of the UNU are Peace and Governance, and Environment and Development.

The 51st Session of the UNU Council is being held in Helsinki, where UNU-WIDER, the first Research and Training Centre of the United Nations University, is located. The Rector of UNU, Professor Hans van Ginkel, and the directors of all UNU Research and Training Centres and Programmes (RTCs & RTPs) will also participate in the Council meeting.

On the occasion of UNU Council session, a scientific seminar on the Research for Tomorrow's World, jointly organized by the Ministry of Education of Finland and the United Nations University on Thursday, 9 December 2004 at 15.30 hours. Issues concerned with environment, technology, poverty and conflict lie at the heart of the global development agenda. They are also the core interests of the United Nations University. This seminar will bring together scholars from the United Nations University and the Finnish academic community to discuss how research can improve our understanding of how the world is evolving and how it can assist in the design of policies for a better global future. The seminar will be held at the House of Estates (Säätytalo) and the programme is attached. The seminar is open for the media representatives.

The list of the UNU Council members and details on the United Nations University are enclosed. For more details on the United Nations University and its network:

For more details and interviews with the participants, please contact:

Ara Kazandjian, Outreach and Media Coordinator
World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER), Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, 00160 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. (+358-9) 615-99-210; Mobile telephone: (+358-50) 351-0325

For Tokyo-based media inquires, please contact:

Ms. Akiko Mochizuki, UNU Office of Communications
Tel. +81-3-3499-2811
E-mail: Akiko Mochizuki

Scientific seminar jointly organized by the United Nations University and the Ministry of Education, Finland

Research for Tomorrow's World

Thursday, 9 December 2004, 15:30hrs
Säätytalo (House of Estates), Snellmaninkatu, Helsinki


Chairperson: Mr Markku Linna, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Finland

The Global Economy and Conflict Prevention
Tony Addison, Deputy Director of UNU-WIDER, Helsinki

Regional Security and Global Governance
Luk van Langenhove, Director of UNU-CRIS, Brugge

Vulnerability Concepts to Describe Human (In)Security
Janos Bogardi, Director of UNU-EHS, Bonn

Multilateral Action on the Global Water Crisis
Ralph Daley, Director of UNU-INWEH, Hamilton Ontario

Information Technology and Economic Development
Matti Pohjola, Professor, Helsinki School of Economics

Geothermal Energy amongst the World's Energy Sources
Ingvar Fridleifsson, Director of the National Energy Authority and UNU Training Programme on Geothermal Energy, Reykjavík

Hydrogen Fuel Cells in the Transport Sector
Lynn Mytelka, Director of UNU-INTECH, Maastricht

Growth and Equity: The Case of Finland
Markus Jäntti (Senior Research Associate at UNU-WIDER, Helsinki

United Nations University

Basic Facts:

Mission: "to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States"

Five Key Roles:

An international community of scholars
A bridge between the United Nations and the international academic community
A think-tank for the United Nations system
A builder of capacities, particularly in developing countries
A platform for dialogue and new and creative ideas


Governing Council: 24 international experts serving in their individual capacity
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Institutes: 13 Research and Training Centres and Programmes around the world
Partners: Over 30 UN organizations and more than 100 research institutions globally
Programme Areas: Peace and Governance, and Environment and Development

Academic Management:

Prof. Dr. J. A. van Ginkel, Rector
Prof. Dr. Ramesh Thakur, Senior Vice-Rector; Peace and Governance
Prof. Itaru Yasui, Vice-Rector; Environment and Sustainable Development

Annual Budget: US$ 37.1 million (2003)

Staff: 254 from over 30 countries Established: By the United Nations General Assembly on 6 December 1973 [Resolution 3081 (XXVIII)]

Council of the United Nations University

The Council of the UNU is the governing board of the University and is composed of 24 members who are appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of UNESCO. Members serve in their individual capacity for six-year terms. The Rector of the UNU is the chief academic and administrative officer of the University and is a member of the Council.

Professor Vappu Taipale, the current Chairperson of the UNU Council, is the Director-General, of The National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), which is an expert agency of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland.

UNU Research and Training Centres and Programmes Worldwide

  • UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki, Finland

  • UNU Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH), Maastricht, The Netherlands

  • UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Accra, Ghana

  • UNU International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST), Macao, China

  • UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Yokohama, Japan

  • UNU International Leadership Institute (UNU-ILI), Amman, Jordan

  • UNU International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), Ontario, Canada

  • UNU Programme for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Bruges, Belgium

  • UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany

  • UNU Programme for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU-BIOLAC), Caracas, Venezuela

  • UNU Food and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development (UNU-FNP), Ithaca, New York, USA

  • UNU Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP), Reykjavík, Iceland

  • UNU Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP), Reykjavík, Iceland

Members of the Council of the United Nations University for 2004
Appointed Members

Professor Vappu Taipale (Finland) (Chair of the Council), Director-General, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), Helsinki, Finland

Professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad (Qatar), President, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Professor Rafaa Ben Achour (Tunisia), Faculté des sciences juridiques, politiques et sociales; and former Secrétaire d'état auprès du ministre de l'éducation chargé de l'innovation pédagogique, Ministère de l'éducation, Tunis, Tunisia

Professor Lidia R. Arthur Brito (Mozambique), Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of Mozambique; and Assistant Professor, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique

Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka), Secretary-General, Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), Colombo, Sri Lanka; former Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations, New York; and former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva

Professor Gloria Cristina Florez Davila (Peru), Professor, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru

Dr. Eduardo Carrega Marçal Grilo (Portugal), Trustee, Gulbenkian Foundation; and former Minister of Education of Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal

Dr. Ahmad Jalali (Iran), Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to UNESCO, Paris, France

Dr. Ji, Fusheng (China), former Director-General, Department of High Technology and Fundamental Research of China; and former Counselor, Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations

Professor Peter H. Katjavivi (Namibia), Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, Embassy of the Republic of Namibia, Brussels, Belgium; and former Vice-Chancellor, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia

Professor Marju Lauristin (Estonia), Professor of Social Communication, Tartu University; and former Minister of Social Affairs of Estonia

Professor Andrei Marga (Romania), Professor of Contemporary Philosophy and Logic; and former Rector, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

Professor José Raymundo Martins Romeo (Brazil), Rector, Colégio do Brasil; former Rector and currently Professor of Physics, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dr. Dorothy L. Njeuma (Cameroon), Vice-Chancellor, University of Buea, Cameroon

Dr. Otto S. R. Ongkosongo (Indonesia), Geologist and Research Professor, Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta, Indonesia

Professor Jocelyne Perard (France), Centre de Recherches de Climatologie, Université de Bourgogne - UMR CNRS, Dijon, France

Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr (Ghana), Secretary-General, Association of African University; and former Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law, University of Ghana

Professor Dr. Dagmar Schipanski (Germany), President, Thuringian Parliament, Erfurt, Germany

Mr. Terusuke Terada (Japan), President, Foreign Press Center/Japan; and former Ambassador of Japan to Mexico, Belize, and Republic of Korea

Dr. Juan Vela Valdes (Cuba), Rector, Universidad de la Habana, Cuba

Professor Hebe Maria Cristina Vessuri (Venezuela), Senior Researcher and Head, Department of Science Studies, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas (IVIC), Caracas, Venezuela

Professor Dr. Lyudmila A. Verbitskaya (Russian Federation), Rector and Professor of Linguistic, Saint-Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Professor David Ward (United States), President, American Council on Education, Washington, DC; and former Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Professor Alison Wolf (United Kingdom), Professor of Management and Professional Development, King's College London, University of London, United Kingdom

UNU Rector

Professor Dr. J. A. van Ginkel (The Netherlands)

Ex-Officio Members

Mr. Kofi Annan (Ghana), Secretary-General, United Nations, New York, USA

Mr. Koichiro Matsuura (Japan), Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France

Dr. Marcel Boisard (Switzerland), Executive Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Geneva, Switzerland




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