“State Security to Human Security”, a Conversation with Mrs. Sadako Ogata

  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•02•27    18:30 - 19:30

    On 27 February 2015, UNU will host “State Security to Human Security”, a conversation with Mrs. Sadako Ogata, former President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This event will start at 6:30 PM at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    Security issues have long been considered in the context of “state security” — protection of the state, its boundaries, institutions and values from external attacks. People were considered secure through the protection extended by the state. But when security problems originate from internal conflicts and expand to include social, economic and environmental causes, the traditional concept of “state security” can fail to identify and protect the needs of affected populations.

    Mrs. Sadako Ogata will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation examining the concept of “human security” in comparison to the traditional concept of “state security”. Starting with the birth of this concept in geopolitical terms, the conversation will explore its advancement and application as it has expanded to socioeconomic initiatives. The discussion will cover practical examples from Mrs. Ogata’s vast operational experience at JICA and UNHCR as well as observe current global dynamics and challenges in line with the “human security” concept.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 26 February) is required.

    About the speaker

    Mrs. Sadako Ogata is a Japanese academic, diplomat, author, administrator and professor emeritus at Sophia University. From 1991–2000 she served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and from 2003–2012 she was the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, where she is currently a Distinguished Fellow. Since 2012 she has been an Adviser to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.

    Mrs. Ogata holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley (1963) and an MA in International Relations from Georgetown University (1953). From 1965–1979 she was Lecturer on International Relations at the International Christian University (Japan), where she was also an Associate Professor in Diplomatic History and International Relations from 1974–1976. From 1976–1979 she served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

    Among a long list of distinguished academic and professional positions, Mrs. Ogata served from 1978 to 1979 as Chairman of the UNICEF Executive Board, Professor (1980–1987) and Director (1987–1988) at the Institute of International Relations at Sophia University, Independent Expert of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar (1990), Member of the UN High Level Panel on Threat, Challenges and Change (2003 -2004), and Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Japan on Afghanistan Assistance (2001-2004).

    Mrs. Ogata concurrently holds a number of positions on esteemed boards and committees including Honorary Counselor, Asia Society Policy Institute; Chairperson, World Economy Forum Japan (April 2012– ); Honorary Chair, Advisory Board on Human Security (2012– ); Co-Chair, Global Coalition for Africa (April 2004–); Member, Board of Directors and Cooperation, International Rescue Committee; and Member, Visiting Committee, JFK School of Governance, Harvard University.


    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925