“Why the World Needs More Soft Power for Peace”, a Conversation with Irina Bokova

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2016•05•13    18:30 - 19:30

    On 13 May 2016, UNU will host “Why the World Needs More Soft Power for Peace”, a conversation with Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This event will start at 6:30 p.m. at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    The adoptions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement represent a resounding affirmation of multilateralism and a shared vision of what makes societies more just, inclusive and prosperous. Translating this blueprint for humanity and the planet into veritable change in the lives of people calls for a deep paradigm shift in how the global community confronts the unprecedented challenges it faces today.

    Irina Bokova will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation on why ‘soft power’ is more than ever necessary for taking forward these agendas and addressing the gravest threat to global peace today: the rise of violent extremism, including deliberate attacks against millennial cultural heritage and religious and ethnic minorities, together with a tragic humanitarian crisis. UNESCO’s answer lies in changing mindsets and building resilience through quality education, including for global citizenship; empowering youth with the right skills to shape the future; advancing the rights of girls and women; strengthening institutions; and safeguarding culture and cultural diversity as forces for inclusion, dialogue and understanding. These are foundations for building a culture of prevention and preparing the ground for human development over the long term.

    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 12 May) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

    About the Speaker

    Irina Bokova has been the Director-General of UNESCO since 15 November 2009, and was successfully re-elected for a second term in 2013. From Bulgaria, she is the first woman and the first Eastern European to lead the Organization.

    As Director-General she is actively engaged in international efforts to advance gender equality, quality education for all, and combat terrorist financing by preventing the illicit traffic of cultural goods. She is a leading advocate for ensuring quality education for all and has championed gender equality, making this her own personal priority for the Organization. Other fields of action include enabling scientific cooperation for sustainable development, such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements and global advocacy for the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.

    Ms Bokova graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University).



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