Cover Image
close this bookUnited Nations University - Work in Progress Newsletter - Volume 14, Number 1, 1992 (UNU, 1992, 12 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
Open this folder and view contentsA World of CHAOS
View the documentThe Interplay of Many Ideas
View the documentChaotic Movement in the Economy
View the documentThe Origin of Chaos
View the documentChaos and Social Order
View the documentPopulation Dynamics and the Arms Race
View the documentEnlarging Knowledge: The Road to Universality
View the documentImproving Earthquake Prediction
View the documentHow Ships Capsize
View the documentWaking from Dreams of Determinism
Open this folder and view contentsThe Body's Chaotic Rhythms
View the documentUNU Update

UNU Update

The following is taken from the Rector's Report to the Council of the United Nations University for the year 1991. - Editor

· The Rector, Professor Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to a second five-year term beginning in September 1992.

· The UNU Council met in December in the Toho Seimei Building for the final time. By the time of the next Council session, the University will have moved into its new permanent headquarters in Tokyo, a building designed by the noted Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and constructed by the Government of Japan.

· Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw, the Director of the UNU programme on Food and Nutrition for Human and Social Development, received the World Food Prize for his outstanding contribution in the area of nutrition. He was also awarded the Alan Shawn Feinstein Award of the World Hunger Program of Brown University (USA) for research and education.

· The UNU is making significant contributions to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The report of the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) on A Global Environmental Compact for Sustainable Development was quoted extensively and adopted by the preparatory Committee for UNCED. The UNU's programme on Mountain Ecology and Sustainable Development will take the lead in formulating the mountain agenda for the UNCED, with substantial support from the Swiss Development Cooperation. The programme on Human Dimensions of Global Change is also making an input through reports and recommendations stemming from the UNU Conference on International Governance and Global Environmental Change and the project on International Law and Institutions. The programme on Sustainable Development in the Humid Tropics will also add to the UNCED deliberations.

· An international symposium, jointly organized with the International Peace Research Institute, at the UNU headquarters in Tokyo in September discussed the future prospects of the United Nations Peace-keeping Operations and emphasized the role of civilians.

· A major meeting in November in Rome, supported by the Italian Government, presented the results of the Project on Household, Gender and Age. Analysing the impact of macro-events on women and the consequent changes in the household, the project conducted case studies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

· Steps toward starting up operation of the Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU/INRA) continued in 1991 with financial support of US$ 1 million from UNDP. The Government of Zambia has paid $1.2 million of its pledge of $2 million in support of INRA's mineral resources unit at the School of Mines at the University of Zambia. The Government of Ghana has made a commitment to host INRA's main centre and provide $4.75 million to the University's Endowment Fund for the Institute, and has recently paid the first tranche of US$1 million. Ghana has previously contributed US$2.5 million to the Endowment Fund, of which $250,000 was earmarked for the Institute. The Programme for Natural Resources in Africa, which is designed to lead to the full realization of INRA, continued to implement activities.

· UNU sponsored an international conference on the culture of violence in Lima, Peru in October, with the Peruvian Peace Research Association. The conference reviewed examples of routinized violence and is impact on life in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

· In Villeta, Colombia, experts instructed 22 participants from eight Andean nations at a month-long training seminar in October on conflict resolution, organized in cooperation with the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. A similar Asian seminar was held in Diliman, Philippines, in November with the University of the Philippines Centre for Integrative and Development Studies.

· The research of the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER), is having a profound impact on policy-making at the domestic and global levels, particularly in the areas of the reform process in Eastern Europe, structural adjustments in developing countries, and the resource transfer implications of environmentally sensitive development in the developing countries.

· The UNU Global Environmental Forum: Monitoring and Action for the Earth (supported by the Japanese Environment Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Ministry of Construction, and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), and sponsored by Obayashi Corporation) held in Tokyo in July brought together internationally renowned scientists and Japanese scientists to discuss major issues and new methodologies. The event received wide media attention in Japan; a video documentary has been produced by the NHK network.

· An international workshop on mass production of photovoltaics was held in collaboration with UNCSTD in São Paulo, Brazil in September. The strategy for mass production of solar cells, in both industrialized and developing countries, that was developed will be considered at the 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development

· The Japanese City of Minamata, which has become a byword for a toxic environment, was the site of a UNU conference in November that examined problems of heavy metal pollution and related health effects. The meeting was jointly sponsored by the City of Minamata and Kumamoto Prefectural Government.

· A regional training workshop on scientific and technological information management was held in New Delhi in October as part of the programme on science and technology for development. The session was held in cooperation with UNESCO/ROSTSEA, the Science and Technology Policy Asian Network, and the Indian National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies,

· The first meeting of the plant biotechnology network was held from 11 November-6 December at the Universidad de Rosario, Argentina, as part of the work of the programme for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU/BIOLAC). A course was also organized on control of Pertussis vaccines at the Universidad Nacional de la Plata in Argentina.

· The Government of Ireland pledged 240,000 Irish punts to support a three-year micro-informatics project by the UNU to develop institutional capacities of universities in developing countries. The training will be provided at Irish universities with follow-up workshops in the home countries of various trainees.

· An international conference on information technology for social purposes was held jointly by UNU and the Universidad de Las Palmas in the Canary Islands in November. The University also collaborated with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the University of Zimbabwe in the Fifth International Workshop on the use of microcomputers in science and mathematics education in Africa in January 1992.

· The Ph.D. internship programme began in the last quarter of 1991 at the Institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH) in Maastricht, the Netherlands. In addition to its research activities, the initial work of UNU/INTECH is placing great emphasis on the programme. The effort brings three to four Ph.D. candidates from other universities to the Maastricht centre for a period of about three months.

· The UNU sponsored a symposium on rapid assessment procedures (RAP) and played a significant role in discussions on iron deficiency and nutrition composition of foods at the Sixth Asian Congress of Nutrition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September.

· The initial phase of the new UNU project jointly with UNRISD on the socio-economic and political consequences of the international drug trade has been completed. This is a literature survey accompanied by a bibliography; in a second phase, country reports are being prepared on Bolivia, Colombia, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and the United States (in Kentucky).

WORK IN PROGRESS aims at providing an edited sampling of the research of the United Nations University in various stages of progress or outside material related to it. It draws on reports, working papers, books, periodicals and uses occasionally original articles. UNU copyrighted articles may be reprinted without permission provided credit is given to WORK IN PROGRESS (United Nations University) and a copy is sent to the Editor. French, Spanish and Japanese editions are also available.

Consulting Editor: John M. Fenton (Connecticut, USA)
Administration, Production and Distribution: Sumiko Sudo ISSN 0259-4285