The United Nations University (UNU) Library will host the launch of the book published by the Routlege recently. The Security Council’s decisions are legally binding on all UN member-states, effectively complementing obligations under the conventional international law, agreed in treaties or customs between states. The Security Council therefore acts as a global ‘legislator’, in addition to a global ‘policeman’ (two roles clearly separated in domestic constitutionalism). There have been quantitative and qualitative shifts in the Council’s activity since the end of the Cold War: historically the Council addressed specific country situations, defining threats to the peace and adopting measures to mitigate or, ideally, eliminate these threats; more recently the Council, in parallel with country-specific situations, started discussions on issues of global concerns – terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, children in armed conflict, protection of civilians, piracy, climate change – and adopted thematic resolutions addressing global threats. To what extent do the thematic resolutions represent a legislative standard-setting contribution? Are the thematic resolutions useful for the maintenance of international peace and security? This book demonstrates how the Council can create an entirely new ‘hard’ law (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and non-state actors; jurisdiction of international criminal tribunals), but also how the Council can address a variety of ‘soft’ security issues and build up important ‘soft’ power in the international constitutional system.
The Speaker: Dr. Vesselin Popovski, Editor of the book, Senior Academic Officer, UNU-IAS.
The Commentator: Dr. David Malone, Rector, UNU.
The Chair: Dr. Sukehiro Hasegawa, Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste.
This Library Talk is open to the public and will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. If you wish to attend the event, please contact the UNU Library by email (), phone (03-5467-1359) or fax (03-5467-1360) by Friday, 8 October 2014.
The United Nations University (UNU) Library together with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) held the launch of ‘Religion, War and Ethics: a sourcebook of textual traditions’ edited by Gregory M. Reichberg, & Henrik Syse (Cambridge University Press, 2014). The UNU partnered with PRIO at the conference “Conceptions of Peace and War in the Abrahamic Religions” (Rome, 2006) which resulted in a previous book, World Religions and Norms of War edited by Popovski, Reichberg & Turner (UNU Press 2009).
This sourcebook explores how the world’s leading religious traditions have approached the normative problems associated with war and armed conflict. The idea is that the use of armed force may be justifiable within determinable limits, in order to uphold fundamental human values, such as protection of one’s homeland from attack, defence of the innocent, or preservation of the rule of law. If “just war” designates the search for a middle ground between “no violence whatsoever” and “anything goes,” then it can be a useful term in discussion of the abundant literature which arose first in Hindu culture, then among the ancient Israelites and Chinese, to a certain extent among Buddhists and Sikhs, and finally with much explicit articulation by Christians and Muslims.
The talk included a presentation by some of the book’s contributors including: Gregory Reichberg (PRIO), Kaushik Roy (Jadavpur University), and Yuri Stoyanov (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). The event commentators will be Vesselin Popovski (UNU), Kazuhiro Obayashi (Hitotsubashi University) and Yvonne Chiu (University of Hong Kong).
Library Talk held on Friday, 18 April 2014 from 15:00-17:00
Dr. Madoka Futamura, Academic Programme Officer, UNU-IAS was the guest speaker of the second “Library Talk” who spoke about her latest book entitled “The politics of the death penalty in countries in transition” co-edited by Futamura and Nadia Bernaz published by Routledge in 2014.
The research subject is unique in focusing on countries in transition, either in the process of democratization or emerging out of armed conflicts, where people and society face big social and political changes. The death penalty issues and cases of Argentina, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Iraq and the Northern African states are examined in the book. Those countries face various tasks, such as restoring and maintaining security, reforming institutions, achieving justice for past violence, and reconciliation, rebuilding infrastructure, and so on. And in such contexts, quite a few countries abolish the death penalty, face pressure to abolish it, or else resort to the death penalty in order to tackle those tasks, as the case of Iraq shows.
Two discussants namely Ms. Kazuko Ito, Attorney at Law & Secretary General, Human Rights Now and Prof. Yasue Mochizuki, Professor, School of Law and Politics, Kwansei Gakuin University joined Dr. Futamura to discuss further. The participants’ thought-provoking comments and questions made the discussion very lively.
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The Secretariat received 151 submissions, 28 essays in Japanese and 123 essays in English throughout the world. The contest result was released on 17 September 2014.
The theme of the 2014 contest was: ”Discuss the merits and demerits of extending long-term assistance to developing countries whose own self-help efforts are inadequate, as well as potential measures that could promote greater self-help efforts.” For details, please refer to the announcement page.