UH hosting first-ever UN University seminar outside of Asia

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Viet Ngo, (808) 956-0902
School of Hawaiian
Posted: Mar 16, 2004

The United Nations University and the University of Hawaiʻi‘s School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies (SHAPS) will co-host a four-day seminar March 19 — 22, 2004 on the Manoa campus. Keynote speeches on March 19 will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the William S. Richardson School of Law, Classroom 2, and are open to the public.

The 2004 United Nations University Global Seminar Hawaiʻi Session is a program designed to increase understanding and enhance international awareness among the student population and young professionals in the Asia Pacific region. The seminar will address global issues facing Pacific islanders and the role of the United Nations in addressing those issues.

The theme of the seminar, "Negotiating Pacific Identities — Ethnicity, Encounters and Self-Determination," will speak to such topics as identity and peaceful coexistence, culture and place, land and resources, and self-determination for indigenous peoples. Keynote speakers for Friday‘s opening day will include Hans van Ginkel, Rector of United Nations University; Konai Thaman, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific and UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education and Culture; Vilsoni Hereniko, filmmaker and UH Professor of Pacific Islands Studies; and Katerina Teaiwa, performance artist (dance) and UH Assistant Professor of Pacific Islands Studies. This is the first UNU Global Seminar held in the United States since the series began in Japan in 1985.

United Nations University was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973 and is located in Tokyo. The UNU has four key goals: 1) to support an international community of scholars, 2) to be a bridge between the United Nations and the international academic community, 3) to serve as a think-tank for the United Nations system, and 4) to be a builder of capacities, especially in developing countries.

The School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies was established in 1987 to offer academic programs in Hawaiian Studies, Asian Studies and Pacific Islands Studies. SHAPS also houses the Centers for Chinese Studies, Hawaiian Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Pacific Islands Studies, Philippine Studies, South Asian Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies. Through these centers and programs, SHAPS helps to coordinate the efforts of some 300 faculty specialists throughout the University of Hawaiʻi who offer more than 600 courses related to Hawai‘i, Asia and the Pacific.