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UNU Global Seminar Japan - 2012 Shonan Session

Responses of Global Society to Humanitarian Emergencies


Brochure (621 KB)

Organized by: UNU-ISP, Kanagawa International Foundation (KIF)

Contact: Mari Arimitsu, UNU-ISP;

In recent decades, several phenomena have become more frequent than before at national, regional and global scales. We have witnessed numerous major-scale natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, or floods, in both developed and developing countries. Japan, for example, experienced the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Civil wars, terrorism and organized crime have also increased. Conflicts, in combination with natural disasters, cause complex damage and bring about emergency situations such as disorder or anarchy. Thus, international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) have started to term such situations complex humanitarian emergencies. Moreover, HIV/AIDS and malaria, poverty and environmental destruction also pose a serious global-scale threat.

The people affected by these crises are those born and living in each local
community. Since the twenty-first century began, various actors such as the UN and NGOs have continued to bring relief to those stricken by large-scale natural
disasters or complex humanitarian crisis, such in the case of Sumatra, Haiti, China, Japan or Somalia. This global seminar session will take a closer look at how globalhumanitarian assistance help people after natural and man-made disasters, saves lives, supports people and affected areas during and after a natural disaster or armed conflict, and provides further support for rebuilding and regeneration.

The policy debate about how to (and who should) tackle these issues, and what isthe proper role of the UN, is an important issue. Such a debate requires a deeper understanding of unsafe situations and consideration of the needs of both the people who receive that support as well as those who assist them. In addition, it is essential that we establish the norms for dealing with these issues. (According to a UN General Assembly resolution, the norms are humanity, neutrality and impartiality; the concepts of “Human Security” or the “Responsibility to Protect” are also thought essential.) We also must consider such fundamental questions as: If any additional risk may emerge due to the assistance, why is the humanitarian assistantneeded to begin with? Is it proper to think of humanitarian assistance only from the aspect of our conscience or good intentions?

This seminar will focus on global humanitarian assistance in the twenty-first
century from the perspective of its norms, actors, recipients, current status of
humanitarian crisis and assistance. Participants will be challenged to think
academically about the diverse security issues between nations and people, and
about the challenges for humanitarian assistance and the meaning of security in our modern, globalized society where security is no longer ensured by the framework of sovereign nations enacted under Westphalian sovereignty.

Each participant will receive a UNU certificate upon successful completion of the seminar.


3 - 6 September, 2012 (Monday-Thurday)
Registration begins at 13:00 on 3 September; the seminar ends on 6 September after lunch. Further details will be sent to the selected participants directly. Participants are expected to stay for the entire duration of the seminar.


Shonan Village Center
1560-39 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama-machi, Kanagawa-ken 240-0198   » Map
TEL: 046-855-1822   
FAX: 046-858-1210

Participation Requirements

The seminar is open to Japanese and foreign students at Japanese universities (undergraduate/ graduate students), irrespective of their major. Young professionals who are interested in the theme of the seminar are also welcome, although those working in the subject area are not admissible. Non-Japanese residents (persons living outside Japan) are not eligible to apply. Participants are required to understand both English and Japanese, as lectures will be delivered in either language. Simultaneous interpretation will NOT be provided.

Number of participants

The maximum number of participants is 100.


Participation Fee

The participation fee of JPY38,000 covers accommodation, meals and seminar
documents. Transportation costs to/from the seminar site are not included. Foreign students (excluding those who receive a monthly scholarship of 123,000 yen or more) may apply for a JPY30,000 waiver of this seminar fee.


How to apply

Please complete the Application Form, including a brief essay on the reverse explaining your reasons to apply for the UNU Global Seminar, and send to the Shonan Session Secretariat office by post, fax or e-mail:

Download Application Form (59 KB)

Download Application Form (313 KB)


The application deadline for UNU Global Seminar 2012 Shonan Session is Thursday, 31 May 2012.

Notification of Selection

Applications will be reviewed by the Programme
Committee. Candidates will be notified around 6 July 2012. The participation fee,
38,000 yen, must be deposited to the designated bank account by 24 July 2012.
Details will be sent to the selected participants directly.



United Nations University Global Seminar Japan Shonan Session Secretariat
Mari Arimitsu, UNU-ISP
5-53-70 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925
TEL: 03-5467-1266 (Office hours: Monday-Friday  9:30-13:00, 14:00-17:30)
Fax: 03-3499-2828