UN University, UNESCO host Tokyo forum on globalization

30 July 2003

The United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo today teamed with the world body’s cultural heritage agency and leading development experts to kick off an international conference to explore ways to make globalization work for the benefit of all humankind.

“Globalization With a Human Face – Benefiting All” is the subject of the two-day conference organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UNU in Tokyo.

The conference, which will run through tomorrow, will take stock of the achievements made in understanding the many links between the economic and political driving forces of globalization and socio-cultural development. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of political action taken to balance the negative with the positive effects of globalization on people’s lives.

This assessment will serve as a basis to identify areas and means for improving the policy response on part of governmental and civil society actors on the international, regional, national and local levels to the challenges of globalization.

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura was scheduled to open the conference. A public forum following the opening ceremony will explore current understanding of the factors promoting globalization, the side-effects of globalization – intended or unintended – in a number of key policy areas, and the impact on cultural diversity and ethics brought about by globalization. The forum will be followed by a workshop tomorrow that will focus on best policy practices as well as areas and means for improving the policy response to the challenges of globalization.

In four working groups, more than 30 participants attending the conference will explore the effects and potential of globalization in culture, education, environmental policy and communication.

Among the keynote speakers are Fidel Ramos, former President of the Philippines, Moeen Qureshi, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Andries van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Eduardo Aninat, former Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).