Former Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi launches report at UN University (Tokyo)

On Thursday, 3 December, the Rector of United Nations University, Dr. David Malone, hosted and moderated a public launch event in Tokyo for the report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. On behalf of the Commission, former Japanese Foreign and Environment Minister Professor Yoriko Kawaguchi presented the findings and recommendations from the “Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance” report and engaged in a dialogue with experts from the Tokyo policy, research, and NGO communities.

Given her own expertise and the Commission’s concern for climate governance, Professor Kawaguchi remarked in her opening statement, “As the UN Climate Summit gets underway this week in Paris, many are concerned that a binding climate agreement remains elusive. Mitigating and adapting to climate change globally may well require a new understanding of what constitutes security and justice in the twenty-first century.”

In response to Professor Kawaguchi’s initial remarks and exchange with Dr. Malone, two panelists were welcomed to contribute their feedback on the Commission’s report. First, Ambassador Makita Shimokawa, Japan’s Ambassador in charge of UN Affairs and Cyber Policy, welcomed the report on behalf of his government and outlined Japan’s position on several related UN reform topics, including Security Council reform. Second, Mr. Sebastian von Einsiedel, Director of UN University’s Centre for Policy Research, commented, in particular, on the Commission’s analysis and recommendations on coping with violent conflict and state fragility.

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During the interactive dialogue that followed, members of the audience raised questions on, for example, defining “just security” and its relationship to “human security”, the selection process for the next UN Secretary-General, and the importance of the Secretary-General maintaining neutrality while exercising leadership on the global stage. Questions specific to Japan were also raised, including on the relationship between Japan’s security policy reform (including the maintenance of military bases in Okinawa) and its proposal to reform the UN Security Council.

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