• UNU Library Talk series

    UNU Library Talk is open to the public. It is intended to be a public forum for dialogue among authors/editors/creators and audience on international issues. 

    The 18th Library Talk, 26 April 2016 (18:00-19:30)

    On 26 April 2016, the UNU Library will host a book launch for Memories of Citizenship: A journey back into an ongoing play: The life and times of a besieged ‘Polis’ as told by the Uruguayan Experience (Memorias de Ciudadanía. Los Avatares de una Polis Golpeada. La Experiencia Uruguaya) by Amparo Menéndez-Carrión (Editorial Fin de Siglo, Montevideo, 2015). The announcement and registration page.

    The 17th Library Talk, 30 March 2016 (18:00-19:30)

    book “Green Growth: Ideology, political economy and the alternatives” by Gareth Dale, Manu V. Mathai and Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira (Zed Books, February 2016).

    The 16th Library Talk, 26 March 2016 (11:00-13:00)

    Syrian people and their heritage: beyond the headlines. Exhibition of photographs and a public forum. Announcement and registration, please visit the Japanese website.

    The past Library Talk series invited the authors/editors of the following books or creative works:

    The 15th Library Talk, 29 January 2016 (18:00-19:30)

    Japan’s development assistance : foreign aid and the post-2015 agenda edited by Hiroshi Kato, John Page and Yasutami Shimomura (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) The summary of the Library Talk is provided by the Global Peacebuilding Academy.

    The 14th Library Talk, 18 December 2015 (18:30-20:00)

    Satoumi Capitalism (Satoumi Shihonron) by Kyosuke Inoue and NHK Satoumi Group (Kadokawa, 2015)

    The 13thLibrary Talk, 2 December 2015 (18:30-20:00)

    The UN Security Council in the 21st Century by Sebastian von Einsiedel, David M. Malone and Bruno Stagno Ugarte (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2015)

    The 12th Library Talk, 23 October 2015 (18:00-19:30)

    Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor by Dr Daisaku Higashi (Routledge, March 2015)

    Dr. Higashi published an article about the Library Talk in the Journal by Global Peacebuilding Academy. Please refer to this link (external).

    The 11th Library Talk, 24 September 2015 (18:30-20:30)

    God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation” by Joseph Sebarenzi and Laura Ann Mullane (Atria Books, 2009), translated by Masako Yonekawa (Rikkyo University Press, 2015)

    The 10th Library Talk, 9 June 2015 (17:30-19:00)

    Diplomacy on Ice: Energy and the Environment in the Arctic and Antarctic by Rebecca Pincus and Saleem H. Ali (Yale University Press, 2015)

    The 9th Library Talk, 2 June 2015 (17:00-19:00)

    The Urato Islands by SATOYAMA Initiative, UNU-IAS and collaborators. Presentation of a video programme filmed in Urato Islands, Shiogama city in Miyagi Prefecture.

    The 8th Library Talk, 24 April 2015 (18:30-20:30)

    Profiting from alternative agriculture: what “SATOYAMA” means for Japan and beyond by Wataru Suzuki (Management Publishing, 2014)

    The 7th Library Talk, 17 April 2015 (15:30-17:30)

    Art, Culture and International Development: Humanizing social transformation by John Clammer (Routledge, 2015)

    The 6th Library Talk, 28 January 2015 (15:00-16:30)

    Governing the Use-of-Force in International Relations: The Post-9/11 US Challenge on International Law by Aiden Warren and Ingvild Bode (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

    The 5th Library Talk, 14 January 2015 (15:00-17:00)

    Manga The Earth Charter. The UNU Library together with the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS) – Japan held the presentation of the booklet “Manga the Earth Charter” jointly published by Norio Yamanoi & the Earth Charter Committee of Asia Pacific and Japan.

    The 4th Library Talk on 10 October 2014

    “The Security Council as global legislator” edited by Vesselin Popovski and Trudy Fraser

    The United Nations University (UNU) Library held 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.

    The 3rd Library Talk, Thursday, 18 September 2014 (14:00-16:00)

    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).

    The 2nd Library Talk, Friday, 18 April 2014 (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.

    The 1st Library Talk held on Monday, 3 March 2014 (17:00-18:30)

    Primordial Leadership: Peacebuilding and National Ownership in Timor-Leste by Sukehiro Hasegawa (United Nations University Press, 2013)

    On 3 March 2014, the 1st Library Talk at the UNU Library in UNU Headquarters in Tokyo was held. In our very first Library Talk, we invited Dr. Sukehiro Hasegawa, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timo-Leste. Dr. Hasegawa introduced his new publication, Primordial Leadership: Peacebuilding and National Ownership in Timor-Leste, published by the UNU Press in September 2013, in which he presents his insightful account of his interactions with the Timorese national leaders during his term as Special Representative from July 2002 to September 2006.

    In post-conflict Timor-Leste, primordial leadership proved to be the key to building sustainable peace. It facilitated national ownership and accountability, helping national leaders to successfully turn the security crises of 2006 and 2008 into opportunities for fostering respect for democratic governance. This change in mindset and the ensuing spirit of national unity—rather than the externally induced, exclusive efforts in building institutional frameworks for the rule of law and democratic governance—were instrumental in achieving peace and stability.

    Speaker. Dr. Hasegawa, author of the book. Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste and Head of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL), and the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) from May 2004 to September 2006. Currently, a professor of the Faculty of Law, Hosei University, Tokyo.

    Commentator. H.E. Ambassador Isilio Coelho da Silva of Timor-Leste in Tokyo.

    Moderator. Dr. Vesselin Popovski, Senior Academic Programme Officer in the Peace and Security section at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).

    2016 Eisaku Sato Essay Contest Now Open

    Submissions are now being accepted for the 32nd Eisaku Sato Essay Contest. This international contest is open to anyone who has an interest in both the United Nations University and the designated contest topic. There are no restrictions as to age, nationality, or profession.

    The theme of the 2016 contest is:

    “Considering the multiple and pressing challenges the United Nations faces today, what is the proper role of the Secretary-General as top international public servant? Discuss the required qualities and discipline of a Secretary-General in view of the practices and achievements of the successive Secretary-Generals.”

    For details, please refer to the announcement page.