"Sophia University United Nations Weeks, June 2018" was held from June 1 to 11
“To consider our world and the future through the U.N activities”
Started in 2014 with the concept “To consider our world and the future through the U.N activities”, this was its 9th time for Sophia UN weeks to be held. Eight events focusing on SDGs took place. It was another year of a great success with more than 1000 attending the event from high school students to adults.
The event was held for students who are considering careers in international organizations or in the field of international cooperation. An opening lecture was given via skype by the former lead urban specialist of World Bank, Hiroaki Suzuki. Attending members included Tetsuo Kondo, Director of UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo, UNHCR Japan Representative Dirk Hebecker, Kunio Senga, CEO of Save the Children International and others in total of 10 members from 9 organizations. Each member took questions from students at the individual booth. Students commented that they felt fortunate to have a special opportunity to meet and to talk face to face to high ranking officers of international organizations.
We welcomed David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet to the Director General of UNOG, for this session. In a key note speech, he explained roles and issues of UN along its history following the talk session joined by Yasushi Akashi, Former Under-Secretary General of the UN and Special Representative of UN Secretary General and Ichiro Fujisaki, Visiting Professor of Sophia University and former Japanese Ambassador to the United States. The session was moderated by Professor Yukihiro Ueki of Faculty of Global Studies, former UN Spokesman.
More than 250 attended the seminar to introduce peace building activities promoted by JICA and its partnerships with UN. Panel discussion was held by Koji Sakane of JICA, Professor Masashi Anno of Faculty of Liberal Arts and Daisaku Higashi of Center for Global Discovery.
The symposium was co-hosted by Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies and our partner institution in Colombia, Javeriana University. Welcoming two professors from Colombia the topic ”Building Pan-Pacific Partnerships: Transcending boundaries towards collaborative rehabilitation of wetland and their communities” was discussed aiming to create a partnership between Japan and Colombia.
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Sophia University, Global Compact Network Japan, EY Japan and IDE-JETRO co-hosted the event welcoming Lene Wendland, OHCHR Chief of the Human Rights and Economic and Social Issues Section. In the keynote speech she presented the topic “Chief of the Human Rights and Economic and Social Issues Section” followed by the panel discussions regarding three topics: “The role of finance to promote respect for human rights”, ”Business & Human Rights Challenges abroad: Promoting respect for human rights in overseas supply chains” and “Business & Human Rights Challenges at home in the context of Mega Sporting events, with particular focus on foreign workers in Japan”.
Dr. Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, Director of Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University gave a keynote speech “How Does Social Science Contribute ESD in Higher Education?”. Following his speech,Professor Yoshiyuki Nagata of at University of the Sacred Heart, Dr. Philip Vaughter of United Nations University- Institute of the Advanced Study of Sustainability and Professor Taro Komatsu of Department of Education joined for the panel discussion.
On the last day of the UN Weeks, the event related to “SDGs Student Photo Contest“ took place. The workshop was given for the photo shooting by instructors from Asahi Shimbun, a partner corporation for the contest. Based upon the theme “Let’s discover and capture SDGs in Japan” for the contest this year, participants including high school students gave presentations for the photos prepared prior to the workshop.