Symposium in Memory of Dr. Sadako Ogata “In Pursuit of Multilateralism and Human Dignity”

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi attended as a guest speaker
Professor Emeritus Sadako Ogata

On October 24, the United Nation Day, a symposium “In Pursuit of Multilateralism and Human Dignity” was held in memory of Dr. Sadako Ogata, Professor Emeritus at Sophia University who had passed away last year. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi among four other guest speakers joined this online event and over 1,000 participants gathered from Japan and overseas.

Following her works at our university as Professor and Dean of Faculty Foreign Studies as well as Director of Institute of International Relations, Ogata had been appointed the first female UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Known as “diminutive giant”, admired greatly for her solid belief in human security and decisive leadership, she held key posts both at home and overseas, earning worldwide acclaims for her tremendous dedication for humanitarian aid.

The Sustainable Development Goals the United nations Sustainable Development Goals

At an opening of the symposium President Yoshiaki Terumichi addressed that an approach of the UN Sustainable Development Goals “Leave No One Behind” and Sophia’s educational spirit “Men and Women for Others, with Others” shares a common idea and he would like to make sure educational and research activities conducted at the University would lead to creating a better world.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi

Then an address on the United Nations Day from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and a video message of UN Under-Secretary General for the United Nations Izumi Nakamitsu who is a great admirer of Ogata were introduced by Director, UNIC Tokyo Kaoru Nemoto. In his address, the UN Secretary-General expressed that the UN belongs to everyone and represents us all thus calling everyone to uphold unwavering value of the UN Charter. Following in her message, Nakamitsu shared four qualities needed for leaders and wished all participants to conduct leaderships in any fields of their interests to create great force in making differences for the future.

As for the panel discussion, moderated by Professor at Graduate School of Global Studies Yasuhiro Ueki, former Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations and Professor at Osaka University Toshiya Hoshino, former Special Representative of the UN secretary General for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, Rector at UN University and Under Secretary General for the UN David M. Malone and UNHCR Chief Grandi joined and reflected on memories with Ogata and her achievements as well as discussing the roles the UN play for multilateralism and bringing human dignity.

At last Senior Director NHK World Aiko Doden moderated Q&A session. For questions presented by participants regarding the wide range of topics as to “worldwide cease-fire” and “educational program for refugees”, panelists responded thoroughly and on a high note the event came to close.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others