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UN Day 2006 - 25 October

Japan at 50 in the UN


Media Release: UN Day 2006: Events in Japan (56 KB PDF)

UN Day 2006 pages are available in Japanese

Entry into the United Nations on December 18, 1956 was a major event for Japan in its efforts to re-join the international community after the end of World War Two. Japan is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its UN membership this year.

The UN Day events in Tokyo highlight the relationship between the United Nations and Japan against this background. The rich and important interactions between the United Nations and Japan will evolve for them in the coming period. The tone of the presentations and discussions in the course of the UN Day events in Tokyo will be highly oriented toward the future, and will seek a scope for further mutual enrichment.

About the day

As part of the celebrations a symposium was held on the theme of Japan's participation in the UN — and in the world. UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel opened the proceedings and his speech was followed by congratulatory remarks on behalf on the government of Japan by Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Masakazu Sekiguchi. The keynote speech was delivered by Professor Akiko Yamanaka, Member of the House of Representatives, Japan.

The morning session, "Examining the Relationship Between Japan and the United Nations System," featured two panels of internationally-renowned academics and diplomats. The first was moderated by Yozo Yokota, Special Adviser to the Rector and professor at Chuo University Law School. Koji Tsuruoka, Director-General for Global Issues in Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wasswa Biriggwa, Ugandan Ambassador, Ryokichi Hirono, Professor Emeritus at Seikei University, and Keiko Nishino, Director of the GLM Institute, discussed "Perspectives from Japan."

The second panel, moderated by the Rector, looked at "Perspectives from the United Nations" and featured Vesselin Popovski, Acadamic Programme Officer, UNU, Professor Ryuichi Ida from Kyoto University, and Professor Hiroko Akizuki from Asia University.

The afternoon session, "World Community, Japan, and the United Nations," looked at Japan's larger role in world affairs in the light of its astonishing post-war history and its significant support for development around the world through the UN and other agencies. The session began with a video message from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Ted Turner, Chairman of the United Nations Foundation, celebrated UN Day in Tokyo with an informal interview conducted by Charmine Koda, Director of United Nations Information Centre, Japan, before a standing-room-only crowd in the U Thant Hall at UN House. Rector van Ginkel then moderated the first session of the afternoon, "Global Cooperation and Japan in the United Nations," with Nafis Sadik of the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors, Judge Hisashi Owada of the International Court of Justice, Timothy Wirth, UNF Board of Directors and President of the Better World Fund, and Andrew Young, former Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to the UN.

The final session of the day, "Field Operations of the United Nations and Japan," was moderated by Kiyoko Ikegami, Director of the UN Population Fund, Japan, and featured Robert Robinson, UNHCR representative in Japan, Jan Meeuwissen, Senior Human Settlement Officer from UN-HABITAT, Japan, Aiichiro Yamamoto from JICA, Keiko Kiyama, Director of JEN NGO, and Yoshiteru Uramoto, Director of UNICEF.


09:00 MC: Professor Itaru Yasui, Vice Rector, UNU
Congratulatory Remarks
Masakazu Sekiguchi, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
09:05 Opening Remarks
Hans van Ginkel, Rector, United Nations University (UNU)

I. Examining the Relationship between Japan and the United Nations System

09:15 Keynote Speech
Akiko Yamanaka, Member of the House of Representatives, Japan, and Director, Women's Affairs Division, LDP
09:45 Session One: "Perspectives from Japan"
Moderator: Yozo Yokota, Special Adviser to the Rector, UNU
Panelists: Koji Tsuruoka, Director General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Wasswa Biriggwa, Ambassador, Embassy of Republic of Uganda; Ryokichi Hirono, Professor Emeritus, Seikei University; Keiko Nishino, Director, GLM Institute
11:00 Coffee Break
11:15 Session Two: "Perspectives from the United Nations"
Moderator: Hans van Ginkel, Rector, UNU
Panelists: Vesselin Popovski, Academic Programme Officer, UNU; Ryuichi Ida, Professor, Kyoto University; Hiroko Akizuki, Professor, Asia University
12:30 Lunch

II. World Community, Japan and the United Nations

14:00 Video Message from Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations
14:15 Dialogue with Ted Turner, Chairman, Board of Directors, United Nations Foundation (UNF); Chairman, Turner Enterprises; and Founder, CNN "Global Society, United Nations and Japan"
Moderator: Charmine Koda, Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
15:00 Session Three: "Global Cooperation and Japan in the United Nations"
Moderator: Hans van Ginkel, Rector, UNU
Panelists: Nafis Sadik, Member, Board of Directors, UNF; Timothy E. Wirth, Member, Board of Directors, UNF, and President, Better World Fund; Hisashi Owada, Judge, International Court of Justice and Member, Board of Directors, UNF
16:00 Coffee Break
16:15 Session Four: "Field Operations of the United Nations and Japan"
Moderator: Kiyoko Ikegami, Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Japan
Panelists: Robert Robinson, Representative in Japan, UNHCR; Jan Meeuwissen, Senior Human Settlement Officer, UN-HABITAT, Fukuoka Office; Aiichiro Yamamoto, Senior Assistant to the Director-General, Africa Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Keiko Kiyama, Director, NGO JEN; Yoshiteru Uramoto, Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
17:15 Concluding Remarks
Hans van Ginkel, Rector, UNU

III. Reception

17:30 Second-floor Reception Hall, UN House


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