The Council of the United Nations University — UNU’s governing board — will convene its 68th session at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo on 4–5 December.
The 16-member Council, which meets semi-annually, comprises 12 appointed members (who serve in an individual capacity, not as representatives of their countries) as well as the UNU Rector and 3 ex officio members (the UN Secretary-General, the Director-General of UNESCO, and the Executive Director of UNITAR).
This Council meeting coincides with the 49th session of the Conference of Directors (CONDIR) of UNU’s institutes and programmes. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the first day of the Council meeting will incorporate a joint session with CONDIR.
To launch the meeting, the Council will hear a presentation by the UNU Rector on “The State of the University in 2017”, then discuss and adopt the “2017 Report of the UNU Council” — the document that serves as UNU’s annual report to the UN General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council, and the Executive Board of UNESCO.
The rest of the first day will be devoted to the joint Council–CONDIR session. After reviewing progress to date in implementing the “UNU Strategic Plan 2015–2019”, and agreeing on priorities for the plan’s remaining two years, Council and CONDIR members will split into breakout groups to discuss UNU’s three thematic clusters: peace and governance; global development and inclusion; and environment, climate, and energy. Discussions will focus on the challenges of bridging research with policy, and how UNU can more effectively communicate to policymakers the relevance of its work to the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the second day, the Council’s agenda will cover a variety of reports, including the proposed UNU work programme and budget for the 2018–2019 biennium; procedures and criteria for the selection of new Council members (the cohort who will join in 2019); UNU’s Global Communications Strategy; UNU’s Policy on Gender Equality; ongoing institutional development initiatives; and recent institute evaluations.
In addition to these formal sessions, Council members will hold an aperitif to thank outgoing CONDIR members, and will attend a dinner reception hosted by the Government of Japan.
This will be the final CONDIR meeting for several institute Directors: Dr Elias Ayuk (UNU-INRA in Accra), Dr Michael Best (UNU-CS in Macau), Prof. Dr Jakob Rhyner (UNU-EHS in Bonn), Dr Kazuhiko Takemoto (UNU-IAS in Tokyo). and Prof. Finn Tarp, (UNU-WIDER in Helsinki). A sixth Director, Dr Reza Ardakanian (UNU-FLORES in Dresden), left UNU in October upon his appointment as Iran’s Minister of Energy.
This will be the first CONDIR meeting for three Directors who joined UNU earlier this year — Prof. Pascale Allotey (UNU-IIGH in Kuala Lumpur), Prof. Madeleine Hosli (UNU-CRIS in Bruges), and Prof. Delfina Soares (UNU-EGOV in Guimaraes).
This 68th session will be the final Council meeting of UNU Rector Malone’s first term; earlier this year, Dr Malone was reappointed to a second term as Rector (2018–2023).