UNU Conversation Series

A public platform for influential experts to share personal insights on contemporary global affairs

Conversation Series Event

Discussing key issues with key players

The UNU Conversation Series provides a unique public platform for influential experts, world leaders and respected scholars and authors to share personal insights on contemporary global affairs, politics, and media. Held in Tokyo at UNU headquarters, the conversations are hosted and moderated by UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General Tshilidzi Marwala. The events are free and open to the public, and offer a distinctly cordial atmosphere allowing the audience to engage with featured guests, ask questions and share their ideas, both during the conversations and at casual receptions that follow each event.

Key issues

Conversation Series topics span the full breadth of UNU’s work, touching on matters of critical importance to Japan and the world. Topics of discussion have included peace and security, international relations, migration, governance, sustainable development, climate change, employment, higher education and many others.

Key players

UNU has welcomed more than 100 notable speakers to the Conversation Series stage, including ambassadors, members of the Japanese government, United Nations leaders, distinguished academics, and public personalities from media and civil society.

Conversation Series Event
“Reimagining Higher Education for a Complex World”, a Conversation with Professor Adam Habib, Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Photo: C. Christophersen / UNU

Upcoming and previous conversations

Showing 1-20 of 35 results

Conversation Series

Healthy Land: Why Combating Desertification is Crucial for Human Security

TOKYO: On 20 February, UNU will host a conversation with Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

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Conversation Series

Climate Action: Can We Avoid Climate Tipping Points Through Global Cooperation?

TOKYO: On 15 December, UNU will host a conversation with Dr. Hoesung Lee, former Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Conversation Series

Peaceful Negotiation under International Law — Lessons from Timor-Leste’s Maritime Boundaries

TOKYO: On 18 December 2023, UNU will host a conversation with His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste.

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Conversation Series

The Role of Education for Sustainable Development in Transforming Education

TOKYO: On 19 December, UNU will host a conversation with Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.

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Conversation Series

Food Systems in Africa: The Role of Food Sovereignty in Promoting Sustainable Development

TOKYO: On 28 November, UNU will host a conversation with Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger.

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Conversation Series

Global Crises and United Nations Response and Innovations: Lessons Learned, Challenges and Prospects

TOKYO: On 9 November, UNU will host a conversation with Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria.

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Conversation Series

Clean Water and Sanitation for All by 2030? What Needs to Be Done

TOKYO: On 6 November, UNU will host a conversation with Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO of Sanitation and Water for All.

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Conversation Series

Japan's Foreign Policy in Turbulent Times

On 12 October, UNU will host a conversation with Kuniko Inoguchi, Member of the House of Councillors of Japan.

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Conversation Series

A Dialogue with Lord Patten: Japan and Britain in a Changing Asia

On 16 October 2023, UNU and the University of Oxford Japan Office will co-host a special Conversation Series event with Lord Patten of Barnes.

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Conversation Series

Artificial Intelligence and Society: On the Brink of Change

TOKYO: On 03 October 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Professor Benjamin Rosman from University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

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Conversation Series

Higher Education, Science and Innovation for Sustainability: Unlocking Africa’s Potential

TOKYO: On 26 September 2023, UNU will host an event with Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of South Africa.

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Conversation Series

Peacebuilding in the Wake of Ukraine and Sudan

TOKYO: On 31 August 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Dr. Sukehiro Hasegawa, Distinguished Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts.

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Conversation Series

Enhancing Global Actions for the Paris Agreement and the SDGs — Towards the SDG Summit, COP28 and Beyond

Tokyo: On 24 August 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Dr. Youssef Nassef, Director of the Adaptation Programme at UNFCCC.

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Conversation Series

Unpacking the Just Energy Transition: A Development Priority for Africa

TOKYO: On 25 August 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP.

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Conversation Series

A New Agenda for Peace: Opportunities and Next Steps for Disarmament

TOKYO: UNU will host a conversation with Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

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Conversation Series

Leadership and Agency in Nuclear Disarmament: Lessons Learned from the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

TOKYO: On 1 August 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Ambassador Elayne Whyte.

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Conversation Series

The Future of Artificial Intelligence 

TOKYO: On 6 July 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Professor Marc Deisenroth.

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Conversation Series

Reimagining Higher Education for a Complex World

TOKYO: UNU will host a conversation with Professor Adam Habib, Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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Conversation Series

How Will Perspectives of Peace and the State Change among Leaders of the Future?

TOKYO: UNU will host a conversation with Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President and Vice-Principal International at King’s College London.

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Conversation Series

“Is the UN Security Council Paralyzed? The Impact of Ukraine on the UN and the World”

UNU will host a Conversation Series event with Ms Karin Landgren, Executive Director of Security Council Report.

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