UN Day 2006
Speaker and Panellist Biographies
Professor, Asia University
Hiroko Akizuki is Professor of International Law at Asia University. She earned a Ph.D. from International Christian University in 1997. She was a Programme Officer for UNDP from 1987 to 1989 and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University from 2005 to 2006. Her publications include Kokurenho Josetsu (Introduction to the Law of the United Nations, 1999).
Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
Wassawa Biriggwa has worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, Massachusetts as an audio-visual specialist and later as Marketing Communications Manager, and at Citibank, New York, as an international institution banking officer from 1980. During the civil war in Uganda, he worked for peace (1984-1986) when the country was liberated by the National Resistance Movement. He formed Celtel Uganda Ltd. in 1995, and was later appointed by the President of Uganda to represent him as Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the Africa Union. Ambassador Biriggwa was stationed to Japan in 2006.
Hans van GINKEL
Rector, United Nations University
Hans van Ginkel was appointed the fourth Rector in September 1997. Holds a Ph.D. cum laude from Utrecht University where he was Rector from 1986 to 1997. He served as President of the International Association of Universities (2000–04). His special fields of interest are urban and regional development, population and housing studies, public administration, science policy, internationalization and university management. He received a Knighthood in the Order of the Netherlands’ Lion from Queen Beatrix in 1994.
Professor Emeritus, Seikei University
Ryokichi Hirono graduated from the University of Chicago and currently teaches international development at the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. He holds various public positions, including Vice President of the International Development Evaluation Association, Vice Chairman of the International Management Association of Japan, and Vice President of the Japan Evaluation Society. He is now a Senior Programme Adviser to the United Nations University, as well as to the Japan Council for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development which began in 2005.
Professor, Kyoto University
Ryuichi Ida is Professor of Law of International Organizations at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Law and a member of the Science Council of Japan. He completed undergraduate studies at Kyoto University in 1972, received his LLM in 1974, and holds a D.E.A. droit international (France). He lectures at different universities and institutions both in Japan and abroad, including the Hague Academy of International Law, and Université de Paris 2. He is a former member and Chairperson of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO.
Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Japan
Kiyoko Ikegami has held her current post since 2002 and has previously held various positions at UNHCR and UN headquarters, as well as serving as Director of the Planning & Development Division of the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICEP) during which she was seconded to the London Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). She serves as a member of the External Advisory Meeting on ODA Evaluation.
Secretary General, NGO, JEN
Keiko Kiyama has been working for refugees, displaced people and victims of natural disasters, since she joined JEN in 1994 as Secretary General. From 1994 to 2000 she was the regional representative for former Yugoslav countries where she and her teams implemented hundreds of UN projects in a variety of sectors. She holds an MA in Sociology from SUNY at Buffalo, New York. In 2006 she received the "Woman of the Year" award from Nikkei Women magazine for JEN's contribution to the world.
Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Tokyo
Charmine Koda is a graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a former television host (NHK Television) and news program co-anchor (Fuji Television). She worked for many years as a journalist specializing in environmental issues.
Senior Human Settlement Officer, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Fukuoka Office
Jan Meeuwissen is a Senior Human Settlements Officer at the UN-Habitat Fukuoka Office, the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. He is responsible for the coordination of UN-Habitat development projects in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste. He has worked for UN-Habitat since 1982. He is Dutch and he holds a Master's Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands.
Representative, Global Link Management, Inc. (GLM Institute)
Keiko Nishino served with UNICEF in Dhaka and New York from 1981 to 1991. Since 1991 she has co-managed the GLM Institute, a Japanese consultancy firm involved in development assistance, human resources, and social development. She holds an MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Judge, International Court of Justice
Member of the Board of Directors, UNF
In addition to his position at the International Court of Justice, Judge Owada is also an advisor to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and a Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank. He has served in various posts in the foreign service of Japan, spending a large part of his career on legal as well as United Nations affairs, on the United States, and on the Soviet Union.
Academic Programme Officer and Director of Studies on International Order and Justice, United Nations University
Vesselin Popovski holds an MA in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from King's College. He is a former Bulgarian diplomat (1988–96) and served in Sophia, New York and London. From 1999 to 2002 he lectured at Exeter University, King's College, Westminster University (UK) and Huron University (USA). He has conducted field training of Russian lawyers for the European Union and International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights in Vienna (2002–04).
Representative in Japan, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Robert Robinson has extensive experience in the field as well as at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. Since joining UNHCR in 1981 as Associate Education Officer in Sudan, he has held positions in Geneva, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Armenia. From 1997 to 2002 he served as Chief of Mission in Croatia as well as Humanitarian Coordinator for Croatia.
Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General
Member of the Board of Directors, UNF
In 1987, Dr. Sadik was appointed Executive Director of UNFPA with the rank of Under-Secretary-General, becoming one of the highest-ranking women in the UN system and the first woman in the history of the United Nations to lead one of its major voluntarily-funded programmes.
Director, General for Global Issues, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Koji Tsuruoka graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Tokyo in 1976 and received his LLM from Harvard Law School in 1978. He has served in embassies in Moscow, Washington and Jakarta, and was Chief Negotiator for services during the Uruguay Round. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he has served as the director of the legal division and North American division. He was Deputy Director General of the Foreign Policy Bureau from 2003 to 2006. He has acted as Japan's representation to many international conferences, including the preparatory committee of the International Criminal Court and, most recently, for informal meetings held during the 59th session of the UN General Assembly on the World Summit Outcome Document of 2005. Since 2002 he has been Professor of International Relations at the Graduate Institute of Policy Studies.
Chairman, Board of Directors, UNF
Chairman, Turner Enterprises
Ted Turner is Chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc. and former Vice Chairman of Time Warner Inc., the world's leading media company. He is the founder of CNN, an environmentalist, and a philanthropist. He created the UN Foundation 1998 with his historic gift in support of the United Nations. He has said that his gift is an "investment in the future of humanity."
Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Japan
Yoshiteru Uramoto has been Director of UNICEF Tokyo (Office for Japan and the Republic of Korea) since December 2004. He joined UNICEF in May 1978 and has held posts in Myanmar, Sudan, India, Former-Yugoslavia, New York headquarters, Indonesia, and East Timor as a programme planner and senior manager. He holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Timothy E. WIRTH
President, UNF and Better World Fund
Former US Senator and Congressman
Senator Wirth was chosen by Ted Turner to run the UN Foundation because of his extensive experience and knowledge of international issues, particularly the environment and reproductive health. He spent more than 20 years in the United States Congress, representing Colorado both in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Senior Assistant to the Director-General, Africa Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Aiichiro Yamamoto holds an MA in Public Administration from Columbia University. He joined JICA in 1979 and has held numerous posts both in Tokyo and overseas. He worked in East Timor, on secondment to UNTAET as Senior Civil Affairs Officer in 2000 and 2001. More recently, he served as Resident Representative of the JICA United Kingdom Office (2001-2005). He took up his current post as Senior Assistant to the Director-General, Africa Department of JICA, in August 2005.
Member of the House of Representatives, Japan
Director, Women's Affairs Division, LDP
Akiko Yamanaka is a Member of the House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan, Director, Women's Affairs Division, LDP, and former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Special Advisor to the Rector of UNU. She is Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of International Media and Communication, Hokkaido University (International Negotiation Strategy), and has also been a Visiting Professor at the United Nations University. Professor Yamanaka has been awarded the OISCA Prize (for contributions to Asia) and the International Soroptomist Japan's Sen Kyoko Prize for her contributions to international understanding.
Vice-Rector, Environment and Sustainable Development, United Nations University
Itaru Yasui earned his doctorate in engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1973. He is a former professor at the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, a member of the Ceramics Society of Japan and Chair of the Board of Trustee of the Japan Association on Environmental Studies. He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, and member of a number of governmental councils and committees and other academic societies.
Professor, Chuo University Law School
Special Advisor to the Rector, United Nations University
Yozo Yokota has worked as Legal Counsel at the World Bank and as a professor at International Christian University and the University of Tokyo. He is currently a professor at Chuo University, Special Advisor to the Rector of the United Nations University, a member of the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights and a member of the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. He is the author of many books including The 20th Century and International Organization, Introduction to International Law, Legal Structure of International Organization, The Law of International Relations and Human Rights in Japan and in the World.