Sakiko Fukuda-Parr speaks about the danger of relying too much on data for assessing the efficacy of the Sustainable Development Goals. (20/03/2019)


In the Special Issue of Global Policy, 2019. Knowledge and Politics in Setting and Measuring SDGs. Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor and Director at the Studley Programs in International Affairs at The New School in New York, and Desmond McNeill of the University of Oslo point out the working of knowledge and politics in setting and measuring the SDGs and danger for too much reliance on indicators that can distort social norms, frame hegemonic discourses, and reinforce power hierarchies. 14 articles and 10 commentaries in the special issue is freely accessible by the following website:


The World Happiness Ranking never reflects Japan’s such a low status in happiness. (21/03/2019)


NHK reported that Finland maintained its top position for the second consecutive year in the 2019 edition of the World Happiness Ranking and that Japan was downgraded 4 ranks to 58th. “Happiness” reflects a subjective feeling of people, and it does not reflect Japan’s such a low status in happiness. Japan should question the intention of the producer of the indicator. It is inappropriate use of indicators or the theme. The indicator “development” seems more appropriate than “happiness” of a nation.


Setsuko Yamazaki, former UNDP Country Director in Vietnam and Cambodia, proposes paradigm shifts to advisory services in Japan’s development cooperation with Asian countries for realization of the Sustainable Development Goals through SDG 16. (15/03/2019)


Yamazaki suggests three shifts in the Japanese co-operation approach: (1) provision of advisory policy services to meet emerging needs of middle income countries (MICs); (2) an integrated approach to new MICs which are still Least Developed Countries (LDCs), recognizing that their development gains are still fragile and vulnerable to shocks; and (3) sharing of Japanese experience with countries still in the “demographic bonus” period to prepare for a future graying population, all with an aim to institutionalizing their social policy, laws and practices.


Journalist Judi Rever makes a Presentation: “In Praise of Blood: Crimes by the Rwandan Patriotic Front’’ (28/02/2019)


On the 28 February 2019 Canadian Journalist Judi Rever made a presentation of her book suggesting that systematic killings of Hutus had been carried out by the Rwandan Patriotic Front during and after what is known to the international community as the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. Her claims provoked a vivid debate among the participants of the round table.


Revamping of UN Security Council stressed by former Chef de Cabinet Dayal and SRSG Hasegawa (20/02/2019)


Virendra Dayal, former Chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary General said, “The UN must address many challenges faced by the world, including forced displacement, hunger, inequality, trade disputes, increasing debt burden and danger to media freedom,” while former UN Special Representative Hasegawa spoke about the significance of Gandhian non-violence and Meiji Revolution in Japan and recommended the re-composition of the Security Council.


The Chinese ambassador declares China will continue to actively participate in UN PKO to restore the peace and stability of the concerned countries and areas. (13/02/2019)


At an exhibition on “The Chinese Army to Protect the World Peace” held in New York, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, commended China for currently deploying a total of 2,508 uniformed personnel, including 70 women, to 8 of the UN’s current peacekeeping missions, including UNMISS, UNIFIL, and MINUSMA. Khare also noted China has contributed approximately 5.8 million dollars to UN Peacekeeping through the Peace and Security Trust Fund since 2017.