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close this bookUnited Nations University - Work in Progress Newsletter - Volume 14, Number 2, 1993 (UNU, 1993, 12 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentThe case for sustainable development
View the documentMeasuring sustainability - Spotting signals in the noise
View the document"Overshooting" environmental cures
View the documentTo avoid gridlock - Governance without government
View the documentCovenants and protocols
View the documentIndustrial restructuring - Does it have to be "Jobs vs. Trees"?
View the documentSustaining Africa's genetic riches
View the documentManaging international waters
View the documentEnergy - The bad news, the good news
View the documentSustaining the mountains
View the documentThe case for agrodiversity - Drawing on the farmer's adaptability
View the documentUNU update

UNU update

The following items are from the Rector's letter to members of the UNU networks, the latest issue of UNU Nexions, and other materials prepared by the Public Affairs Section. The reader will note that many of the activities cited are in support of the UNU's work on Agenda 21 and sustainable development, the main theme of this issue of Work in Progress. - Editor

· Over the past year, the UNU Public Forum series brought to Tokyo headquarters leading figures from the international community to discuss a wide range of questions in the global development debate. Space does not permit a full listing of speakers, but the topics covered included: Latin America and the Pacific Basin; natural disaster reduction; ocean governance; Japan and the Middle East; population strategies; UNEP after the Earth Summit, technology and human rights; and water, environment and health.

· Prof. Mihaly Simai, former Director of the Institute for World Economics, Hungarian Academy of Science, and former Chairman of the UNU Council, was appointed by the Rector in March 1993 to a one-year term as interim Director of UNU's World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland. He succeeds Dr. Lal Jayawardena, first Director of UNU/WIDER, who retired from that post in February.

· An inter-agency meeting on the UNU/INFOODS Project at FAO in Rome in February briefed the Director and staff of the Food Policy and Nutrition Division of FAO on the food composition data handling system developed by the project.

· At a Dublin meeting in February, the UNU-Irish Microinformatics Project discussed ways of improving electronic mail links between former UNU fellows and Irish institutions, and reviewed the applications of eight new candidates for training in Ireland.

· The Middle East Water Forum, organized with the International Water Resources Association and supported by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and UNEP, was held in Cairo in February. The project plans to publish a definitive text on Middle East water issues and establish a network of research workers, development specialists and policy makers throughout the region.

· The African Mountain Association met in Kenya in March to discuss "Planning for Sustainable Use of African Mountain Resources." Chapter 13 of the UNCED Agenda 21, on Managing Fragile Ecosystems played a major role in the discussions. An integrated pilot project on managing resources on Mount Kenya and other African mountain watersheds is being launched.

· UNU's Programme for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU/BIOLAC) organized a two-week training course in March at the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados in Mexico City. The course, on molecular techniques for analysing plant genomes, was attended by 15 scientists from several Latin American countries. A second UNU/BIOLAC training course, concerned with immunology and molecular genetics of human and animal retroviruses, was held in Caracas in May at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas.

· At the invitation of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Rector participated in a seminar on programme planning in the United Nations in Mohonk, New York, in April. The seminar, attended by 30 participants, reviewed UN planning activities and sought to develop new methodological tools for improving the relevance and effectiveness of planning within the organization.

· A meeting on "Peace and Security Functions of the United Nations in the Post-Cold War Era" was held at UN Headquarters in New York in April. The meeting suggested several priority activities for the University in light of the UN's evolving peace-keeping role, including: (a) legal and ethical aspects of UN peace actions; (b) evaluation of such operations and their alternatives; and (c) the role of regional organizations.

· A workshop on "Turning Points in International Labour Migration," organized jointly with ILO and the Korean Labour Institute, was held in Seoul in April. The meeting reviewed country reports on international migration from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.

· Two advanced training workshops on software development were conducted by UNU's International Institute for Software Technology (UNU/IIST) in the spring. The first was held at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok in April, a second, in May, took place at the Institute of Informatics in Hanoi.

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 0259-4295

· A workshop on multi-media education was held at UNU/IIST in Macau in May. This resulted in the MacShubert Educational Software Technology project proposal which would network UNU/IIST with the Chengdu Institute of Computer Applications in Chengdu, China, and two Austrian institutions, the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation in Linz and the Research Institute for Multi-media in Graz. Preliminary discussions have been held with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Art about their support of the MacShubert project.

· A symposium on "East Asia-Pacific Mountains: Implementing Agenda 21," was held in Canterbury, New Zealand, in May. Designed to promote regional cooperation, the meeting was co-organized with Lincoln University and the East-West Center, with co-sponsorship of the International Mountain Society, the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Mountain Program of the World Conservation Union.

· The Government of Italy has approved a grant of US$1,851,000 in support of the UNU project on microprocessor technology at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste. This is part of the expansion of the UNU/ICTP activities under the Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

· The UNU's Institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH) held a workshop on "The Politics of Technology Policy Institutions in Latin America" in Maastricht in April. A number of country studies were commissioned on the role of political factors in technology. UNU/INTECH hosted another April conference on information technology and women's employment; 14 papers are currently being edited for publication.

· A memorandum of understanding, calling for Iran to provide three to four Ph.D. internships annually, was signed in April with the Iran Telecommunications Research Center and the Tarbiat Modarres University in Teheran.

· Five trainees in the People's Republic of China Railway Computing System project have begun their nine-month training at UNU/IIST; they come from the Beijing, Shanghai and Zhengszhou Computer Centres of the Chinese Ministry of Railways.

· A UNU/INTECH workshop in Arusha, Tanzania, in May examined the impact of new technologies on export-oriented growth with focus on experiences in Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

· The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Tokyo Branch Office moved into the UNU permanent headquarters in June, and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Office in Japan, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Liaison Office in Tokyo relocated to the UNU headquarters building in December.

· Construction is now under way on the new Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS) which will be located directly behind the UNU headquarters in Tokyo. The new building is expected to be completed in summer 1995.

· The UNU, together with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), will launch a new scholarly journal, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organization. Editorial offices of the new journal, which will begin in fall 1994, will be located at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, the United States.

· A UNU/WIDER Research Conference was held in Bellagio, Italy, in August to discuss the UNU/WIDER project on alternative approaches to the greening of economics.

· A UNU Symposium on Global Political Economy and New Multilateralism, jointly organized with the Nordic Network on International Development Studies and the Nordic International Studies Association was held in Oslo, Norway, in August.

· The IGU World Political Map Conference on the Asia-Pacific and Global Geopolitical Change was held at UNU headquarters in Tokyo from 30 August-3 September. The session was jointly sponsored with the International Geographical Union, the University of Tokyo, the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the Association of Japanese Geographers.

· UNU Global Seminar 1993 was held from 6-10 September in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.

· A UNU Symposium on Challenges of African Development: Structural Adjustment Policies and Implementation, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Japan Society for International Development, and Sasakawa Africa Association, was held at the UNU headquarters in October.

· Tokyo Conference on Global Environment, Energy and Economic Development, Jointly organized by the UNU and International Development Centre of Japan was held at the UNU headquarters from 25-27 October.