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Peace and Security

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November 2018
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Peace and Security

UPF-Japan Holds 33rd Peace Diplomats Forum

Tokyo, Japan—UPF-Japan sponsored the 33rd Peace Diplomats Forum, whose theme was the role of Japan in the transformation of armed conflict, on July 4, 2018 at the Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall of the United Nations University. Five current ambassadors and three chargé d’affaires as well as 39 other guests, who included former members of the National Diet, UN representatives, former ambassadors of Japan, and academics and scholars, participated in the forum.

Hon. Yoshinori Ohno, a former minister of defense and a facilitator of the forum, gave the welcoming remarks to open the conference on behalf of UPF-Japan.

After a report of international and domestic activities of UPF-Japan, given by Mr. Masayoshi Kajikuri, president of UPF-Japan, Dr. Hideaki Shinoda, professor at the Graduate School of Foreign Studies of Tokyo University and an expert on such topics as the formulation of new policies for peace by the UN, gave a lecture about UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) and Japan's role in UN peacekeeping.

Dr. Shinoda first introduced a conceptual framework of UN peace operations and then talked about armed conflict, which has been occurring more frequently in recent years, in such places as the Middle East, the Sahel region of Africa and Southeast Asia. He pointedly explained that the rise in violence is leading to “globalized civil war.”

Also, due to the transformation of armed conflict, the PKOs are facing various challenges, and Dr. Shinoda emphasized that partnerships with regional organizations are crucial. In addition, as Japan’s Self Defense Force faces difficulty in deploying troops in overseas missions, he expressed that it is possible for Japan to make other global contributions such as cooperating with nations participating in capacity-building efforts in Africa and PKOs in Asia, as well as providing technical support in supervision and analysis assignments.

In the panel discussion after the lecture, ambassadors of countries dealing with conflict expressed their appreciation for Japan and its global contributions made until now. Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, former undersecretary-general of the UN for disarmament affairs, raised a point that each country has its own unique role to play as the nature of certain conflict changes and diversified activities will be required after conflicts  are resolved.

As the forum came to a close, UPF-Japan appointed a new Ambassador for Peace: Ms. Abigail Kwashi, a minister at Ghana’s embassy in Tokyo, who was presented with a certificate by Mr. Kajikuri.

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