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UNU Global Seminar Series

Global Seminars 2008 Leaflet2008 UNU-GS Leaflet
(536 KB PDF)

Enhancing awareness of contemporary global issues and the role of the United Nations in addressing them.

The aim of the UNU Global Seminars is to enhance awareness about contemporary global issues and the role of the United Nations in addressing those issues. Students and young professionals are given the opportunity to interact with distinguished scholars and practitioners from Japan and abroad, and to explore a specific issue in depth through lectures and group discussions. Seven regional sessions (each of four- or five-days duration) will be held in Japan in 2008.

These sessions are open to university students, graduate students and young professionals residing in Japan. Lectures may be in Japanese or English, so participants are required to understand both languages. A participation fee covers accommodation, meals and seminar documentation. A limited number of fellowships are available for foreign students studying in Japan.


国連大学グローバル・セミナーは、現代社会が直面している 地球規模の問題と国際連合の取り組みについての意識を高める ことを目的に開催されています。学生や若い社会人の方々が、 国内外の著名な学者や実務家と、講演やグループ討論を通して 交流し、特定の問題について話し合うまたとない機会となります。 2008年は日本国内7 地域において、4日~5日間のセミナー 開催を予定しています。

セミナーは、国内に在住する、大学の学部生、大学院生、若い 社会人が対象となります。講義は日本語または英語で行われるため、 参加者は両言語での理解力が求められます。参加費には、宿泊費、 食事代、及びセミナー資料代が含まれます。尚、日本で学ぶ私費 留学生は、参加費用が一部免除されることがあります。

Shimane-Yamaguchi 島根・山口

Towards a New Paradigm for Education

Date: 2008.08.07-10

Seminar participants will explore a variety of issues related to current educational issues and to explore the question of What is a desirable education? (what, and how we should learn?), in order to live with human dignity in today’s world.




Shimane-Yamaguchi Session Brochure (4.2 MB PDF)

Lectures & Presentations

Keynote Lectures

Human resources development for tomorrow: Teaching and learning
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Abstract | Full text

Culture, teaching and learning with specific references to Oceania
Prof. Konai H. THAMAN
Professor, School of Education, the University of the South Pacific
Abstract & full text

Session I: Social needs and education

Problems in ‘Transition from school to work’ in Japan
Prof. HONDA Yuki
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo
Abstract | Full text | Presentation

Training for the workplace: System changes in developing countries
Skills Development Specialist, ILO Sub-regional Office, Bangkok
Abstract (English, Japanese) | Presentation

Session II: Current issues and challenges in human capacity development

NGO advocacy and quality education for disadvantaged children in developing countries
Mr. ZHAO Zhonghua
Programme Director, Save the Children UK in China
Abstract (English, Japanese) | Full text | Presentation

Gender equality in education and empowerment of women
Ms. KITA Keiko
Senior Consultant, Global Link Management, Inc.
Abstract | Full text

Session III: Perspectives on education: past, present, and future

Knowledge, intellect, and education from a historical perspective
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Kansai University
Abstract | Full text

Social capital and its synergy with education
Prof. NISHIDE Yuko
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University
Abstract | Full text | Presentation

Group presentations

Hokkaido 北海道

Cultures and Languages in the Era of Globalization

Date: 2008.08.17–20


Location: Hokkaido University of Education, Sapporo City 札幌市

An increasingly globalized world requires the re-examination of the concepts of the nation state, indigenous culture and language, and indeed the very notion of self-identity. This seminar will introduce the idea of dynamic multiculturalism and examine aspects of culture, language, and human rights as they shape, and are shaped by, an ever more interconnected world.



Brochure (976 KB PDF)

Keynote Lectures

Multiculturalism and Its Transformation: from Multicultural Cooperation to Multicultural Competition
Prof. Masami SEKINE
Professor, Faculty of Law, Keio University
Abstract (Japanese)

Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Democracy
Prof. Audrey OSLER
Professor, School of Education, University of Leeds, UK
Full text | Presentation

Lecture 1
On the International Diffusion and Multicultural Diversification of English
Prof. Nobuyuki HONNA
Professor, School of International Politics, Economics and Communication, Aoyama Gakuin University
Presentation (Japanese) | Abstract (English/Japanese)

Lecture 2
Ainu: Promotion of Language/Culture and Suppression of History
Prof. Osami OKUDA
Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Sapporo Gakuin University
Abstract (English/Japanese)

Lecture 3
Identity and Education of Koreans in Japan
Prof. Koomi SUNG
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nagoya City University
Presentation (Japanese) | Abstract (Japanese)

Lecture 4
Multicultural Education as Human Rights Education
Prof. Yasumasa HIRASAWA
Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University
Outline (Japanese)

Lecture 5
Globalization of Human Rights in a Multicultural World: Universalism Versus Cultural Relativism Dr. Obijiofor AGINAM
Academic Programme Officer, Director of Studies on Policy and Institutional Frameworks, Peace and Governance Programme, United Nations University
Presentation | Abstract

Workshop for Physical Culture
Prof. Kimiko SHINDO
Professor, Faculty of Education, Hokkaido University of Education
Abstract (Japanese)

Group Presentations

Shonan 湘南

In Search of Global Solidarity: Justice, Peace and Equality
地球的連帯を求めて ― 正義・平和・平等

Date: 2008.09.01–05


The Millennium Declaration, adopted by the United Nations in 2000, identifies several basic values—freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility—as being indispensible for international relations in the 21st century.

Against this background, the 2008 seminar will take up the question of what we, as individuals and as members of civil society, can do to bring about the realization of these public values of justice, peace and equality. Eminent scholars from Japan and overseas will deliver a series of lectures on aspects of the issues involved and the seminar participants, through their group discussions, will seek to deepen their understanding of how the construction of global solidarity will be even more crucial for mankind in the decades to come.



UNU Global Seminar Shonan Session participantsShonan Session participants (click photo for larger version in new window)


Shonan Session Brochure

Kobe-Awaji 神戸・淡路

New Challenges for the UN: Strategy, Theories, and Perspectives from the Field
新たな段階に入る国連 — 戦略、理論、現場

Date: 2008.09.16–19


The peace and welfare of the Global Community will only be realized through the effective linkage of strategy, theory, and perspectives from the field. The goal of this year's Global Seminar Kobe-Awaji Session is to consider and discuss the new challenges for the UN with a strong emphasis on perspectives from the fields and the linking of strategy, theory, and the field.




Tohoku 東北

Human Potential and a Sustainable Future: How Education Can Contribute
地球をささえるヒューマンリソース ― いま教育にできること

Date: 2008.09.20–23

Public Lecture: Sendai International Center, Sendai City 仙台市
Seminar: Greenpia Iwanuma, Iwanuma City 岩沼市


The UN’s declaration of the “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)” provides an important opportunity to think further about the needs of our current globalized world as well as local society in the twenty-first century. This seminar will focus on issues of capacity building in order to achieve sustainable development.



Brochure (3.4 MB PDF)

Public Keynote Lectures

Lecture 1
Action By All toward Sustainable Society: Our Role in Achieving Sustainable Development
Prof. Hiroyuki YOSHIKAWA
President, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)/ Executive Director, Japan Foundation for United Nations University

Lecture 2
A Science for Global Sustainability
Prof. Kazuhiko TAKEUCHI
Vice-Rector, United Nations University/ Deputy Executive Director IR3S, The University of Tokyo
Presentation | Abstract (English/Japanese)

Public Special Lecture

Human Resources for ESD: A Global Perspective
Prof. Charles HOPKINS
Professor, York University, Canada Presentation

Session A

Lecture 1
How to Think Globally
Prof. Charles HOPKINS
Professor, York University, Canada

Lecture 2
MDGs and Population as Development Agenda
Ms. Kiyoko IKEGAMI
Director, UNFPA Tokyo office

Session B

Lecture 3
Sustainable Food and Agriculture for Local Communities and Local Living
Prof. Tomio YUKI
Folklore Researcher/ Docent, Miyagi University of Education

Lecture 4
Living in the Local Area: A Social welfare Point of View
Director of Vocational Aid Center, Social Welfare Service Corporation Warashibe Home
Abstract (English/Japanese)

Session C

Lecture 1
Reconsidering ‘Intimacy’ and ‘Relationship’
Prof. Hitoshi KANNO
Professor, Social Studies Education, Miyagi University of Education

Lecture 2
Linkage and Collaboration with Local & Global Expertise for Progressing ESD
Mr. Yukihiko OIKAWA
Vice Principal, Kesennuma Nakai Elementary School
Presentation | Abstract (English/Japanese)

Group Presentations

Kanazawa 金沢

Challenges to Sustainable Development: Working towards Poverty Reduction

Date: 2008.11.21–24


This seminar will look at various facets of sustainable development issues and international development policies. Day 1 will present a keynote speech about the findings of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and poverty reduction. On Day 2 participants will be encouraged to understand development initiatives and challenges in developing countries, and to think about the relations between sustainability and poverty reduction. Day 3 will look at development issues from global environment and economic perspectives as well as considering potential working solutions to achieve sustainable development from the perspectives of foreign aid and education for sustainable development.



Brochure (1.9 MB PDF)

Public Keynote Lectures

Linking Local Actions, Research and Policy Making in Hokuriku to Meet the Challenges of Sustainability
Anne McDonald
Director, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, Ishikawa/Kanazawa Operating Unit

The findings of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and Poverty Reduction
Christian Prip
Adjunct Fellow, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies
Abstract | Presentation

Session 1: Sustainable Development Challenges in Developing Countries

Case Studies from the Field, Development Assistance in Sub-Sahara Africa
Kimiaki Jin
Director, East Africa Division 2, Africa Department, JICA

Addressing Poverty to Achieve Well-being: Reflecting from Indian Experience
Suneetha Subramanian
Postdoctorial Fellow, United Nation University-Insitute of Advanced Studies

Session 2:Addressing Poverty Reduction and Sustainability

Media's Role in Raising Global Consciousness about Poverty
Fumiko Endo
Journalist, The Yomiuri Shimbun

Poverty Reduction Approaches in the West and Japan
Osamu Aoki
Professor, Faculty of Education, Hokkaido University

Session 3: Global Environment and Economic Development

Impact of Poverty to rural sustainability in Java and Japan
Hiroshi Tsujii
Professor, Department of Bioproduction Science, Ishikawa Prefectural University
Text | Presentation

What is Effective Assistance? Human Security Perspectives
Michiya Kumaoka
Trustee, Japan International Volunteer Center

Capacity Building for Sustainable Society
Katsunori Suzuki
Professor, Frontier Science Organization, Kanazawa University

Group Assignments
  1. Awareness, Motivation and Creativity towards Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
  2. Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
  3. Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
  4. 持続可能な発展に向けて
  5. 個人の意識改革―100年後の地球のために―

Okinawa 沖縄

Science and Technology: The Human Security Perspective

Date: 2008.12.18–21


Today, we enjoy the benefits of science and technology more than ever before: our lives have become more convenient, easier and richer in so many ways. The rapid growth of information communication technologies, in particular, is a driving force for globalization, and has dramatically shaped the ways in which we interact and perceive the world. But advances in science and technology have not benefited the world’s population equitably. What is more, concurrent with these advances, we must confront a number of emerging global problems (such as climate change, poverty, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, and others) that have raised the awareness of human security: peoples’ aspiration to enjoy freedom from fear and want. In tackling today’s global problems and concerns, what role should science and technology play in the quest to achieve better lives for all of humankind?



Brochure (2.7 MB PDF)

Public Keynote Lectures

Building a Society Based on Respect for Life
Keiko Nakamura
Director General, JT Biohistory Research Hall
Abstract (Japanese | English), Full text (JP)

Science and Technology for a Sustainable World
Govindan Parayil
Vice-Rector, United Nations University
Abstract (EN)

Session 1: Security and Science & Technology

Managing the Risk of the Misuse of Science and Technology
Katsuhisa Furukawa
Fellow, Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society, Japan Science and Technology Agency
Abstract (JP)

Session 2: Life and Medical Science

Contributions of Neuroscience to Understanding Human Behaviour
Gail Tripp
Human Developmental Neurobiology Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion Corporation
Abstract (EN), Full text (EN)

Session 3: Development and Science & Technology

Technology and the South-North Divide: Critical Perspectives on Development in the Global South
Obijiofor Aginam
Academic Programme Officer, United Nations University
Presentation (EN)

Science and Technology for Human Development
Mizuho Yokoi
Programme Manager, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Tokyo Office
Outline (JP/EN), Presentation (JP)

Group Presentations


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