Statement by Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Decision Announcement of the Next Rector of the United Nations University

May 10, 2007

  1. On May 9 (Wed), the Secretariat of the United Nations announced its decision that Professor Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, would be the next Rector of the United Nations University (UNU), whose headquarters are in Aoyama, Tokyo.  The Government of Japan welcomes this decision.
  2. UNU, the only United Nations organ whose headquarters are located in Asia, conducts research that could contribute to resolving urgent and crucial problems confronting the world as a think tank for the United Nations System.  As the international community has had growing expectations of the UNU in recent years, the University’s research activities now encompass issues concerning peace and security including peacebuilding and peacekeeping, and the environment and development, including development and poverty reduction, and also the environment and sustainability.  The Government of Japan hopes that succeeding Professor Hans van Ginkel, the present Rector, who has taken a major part in expanding UNU’s research network in and out of Japan, Professor Osterwalder will shoulder this important responsibility and play an active role as the UNU Rector.
  3. As the host country of the UNU headquarters and the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (Yokohama), Japan has been supporting UNU activities and intends to deepen its relations with the UNU to extend further proactive contribution to its activities.