Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and current President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Ms. Sadako Ogata discussed her new book entitled "The Turbulent Decade: Confronting the Refugee Crises of the 1990s" with a group of scholars and international aid workers at an NYU event today. Ms. Ogata's tenure at UNHCR coincided with some of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern history, including those in Iraq, the Balkans, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. At great personal risk, Ms. Ogata traveled to these troubled regions herself to fully understand the crises and to inform her direction of relief efforts through the UN.
Ms. Ogata mentioned that the burden of alleviating these unprecedented crises fell to the UN in the 1990s because the conflicts that precipitated them were so large and multinational in scope. She also noted that financial aid from the international community tends to dwindle once military conflict ends. However, providing continued assistance for such needs as repatriation, food, and shelter is crucial in preventing a relapse of the conflict, because human security provides a foundation for political stability.
Joining Ms. Ogata for the panel discussion that followed her presentation were Dr. Barnett R. Rubin, Director of Studies at NYU's Center on International Cooperation, and Dr. Andrea Bartoli, Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University. Ms. Ogata's book will be released by W.W. Norton & Company on 30 March 2005 in the US, and a Japanese translation will be forthcoming.
Japan's Refugee Policies
Japan International Cooperation Agency