U.N. Academic Impact Public Event: "Challenges Facing Afghanistan and the Role of the UN" Held

Update: October 19, 2017

An open lecture titled "Challenges facing Afghanistan and the role of the UN" was held at the university's Kiyoshi Togasaki Memorial Dialogue House on Monday, Oct. 9 (in English). As the speaker, we welcomed Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). This lecture was held as a part of U.N. Academic Impact public event.

The lecture began after Distinguished Professor Motohide Yoshikawa, former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, introduced Yamamoto as the third Japanese to serve as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative. Yamamoto noted that Afghanistan shares borders with many countries and pointed out, giving specific examples, that deteriorating international relations are making the conflict in Afghanistan more complex. And he also discussed the difficulty that UNAMA has to have talks with anti-government forces and explained the differences between diplomats and international civil servants based on his own experience as a diplomat.

In the question and answer session, a Rotary Peace Fellow asked Yamamoto about the role of the United Nations in elections in Afghanistan. In response, Yamamoto said UNAMA has been holding dialogue on the importance of human rights and the peace process while respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty.

In the audience were, in addition to students who are taking the graduate school class on "International Relations and Global Order" Professor Yoshikawa is giving this term, faculty members, students, and ICU alumni who worked or are currently working for the United Nations. The lecture provided an opportunity for the participants to feel the ICU community's interest in and the strength of its bond with the United Nations.

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