The International Symposium on Refugees in Africa will be held in commemoration of World Refugee Day (WRD)

For over a decade, Japan has supported UNHCR's operations in Africa. Japan has placed refugee issues at the centre of its attention in terms of not only humanitarian but also developmental assistance. Taking a leading role in the resolution of refugee problems and the development of Africa, Japan hosted the first Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD I) in 1993 and TICAD II in 1998. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes necessity to assist Africa's efforts to reconstruct their countries hosting refugees, with the view that refugees are the victims of conflict but refugees have the potential to play an important role in the development of Africa.

UNHCR shares this view that refugee problems in Africa must be dealt in the context of development initiatives. To further develop our partnership with Japan and celebrate World Refugee Day (WRD, 20 June) in the same year TICAD III will be held in Tokyo, UNHCR will host an international symposium on 19 - 20 June, under the co-sponsorship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), and Japan Association for UNHCR.

Among the Symposium's participants will be a number of prominent personalities from governmental, inter-governmental, NGO and academic sectors from both Japan and abroad who are directly involved in and/or concerned with the refugee situations in Africa, including Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation and former Secretary-General of the OAU. The three plenary sessions will be chaired by Mr. Ruud Lubbers, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Sadako Ogata, Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security and former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and H.E. Ambassador Said Djinnit of the African Union.

- Title:

International Symposium on Refugees in Africa: "Renewed Partnership between Japan and UNHCR"

- Date & Time:

19th (Thu) June, 2003 9:30-18:15
20th (Fri) 9:30-11:30

- Venue:

U Thant International Conference Hall (3rd floor), UN House (UNU Building, 5-53-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)

- Organized by:


- Sponsored by:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Japan Association for UNHCR

- Supported by:

Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Nihon Keizai Shimbun,
The Daily Yomiuri, The Japan Times, Yomiuri Shimbun (alphabetical order)

Provisional programme

<English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation available>

Thursday, 19 June 2003 9:30- 9:45 Opening address by Mr. Tetsuro Yano, Senior Vice-Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan
9:45-10:05 Address by Mr. Ruud Lubbers, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) "Tackling Africa's refugee problems: new solutions"
10:05-10:25 Speech by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security and former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: "African refugees and human security"
10:25-10:45 Speech by invited guest Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Chairman, The Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation: "Forced population displacement in Africa: perspectives from a concerned African citizen"
11:00-13:00 First plenary panel discussion on "Protracted refugee situations in Africa: self-reliance strategies pending durable solutions"
Chair:   Mr. Ruud Lubbers, High Commissioner
Panelists:   Mr. Ichiro Aisawa, Member of the House of Representatives
Mr. Peter Mumba, Government of Zambia
Mr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Government of Japan
Mr. Peter Robleh, Economic Commission for Africa
Dr. Bonaventure Rutinwa, University of Dar es Salaam
14:00-16:00 Second plenary panel discussion on "Return, reconstruction and peace-building: the contribution of returnees"
Chair:   Mrs. Sadako Ogata, Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security
Panelists:   Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, The Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation
Mr. Sylvanus Fannah, Government of Sierra Leone
Mr. Yasuo Matsui, JICA
Mr. Cécile Kpenou, African Concern
Ms. Akiko Yuge, UNDP Tokyo Office
16:15-18:15 Third plenary panel discussion on "The role of regional, sub-regional organisations and civil society in early warning, emergency response, conflict prevention and peace-building.
Chair:   Ambassador Said Djinnit, African Union
Panelists:   Ambassador Rachad Farah, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Japan
Ambassador Keitaro Sato, Government of Japan
General Cheick Oumar Diarra, ECOWAS
Dr. Dawit Zawde, Africa Humanitarian Action
Mr. Ilunga Ngandu, UNHCR Addis Ababa
Friday, 20 June 2003 9:30-10:30 Adoption of the Rapporteur's report and recommendations of the Symposium
Co-chairs:   Mr. Ruud Lubbers, Mrs. Sadako Ogata and Ambassador Said Djinnit
10:45-11:30 Concluding remarks by Ms. Shinako Tsuchiya, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and by Mr. Ruud Lubbers

- For applications and inquiries:

Public Information Unit, UNHCR Tokyo Office
6th floor, UN House other site
5-53-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
Tel: 03-3499-2310   Fax: 03-3499-2273

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