U.N. official speaks on conflict resolution at Hiroshima Shudo University

by Kei Kinugawa, Staff Writer

On July 20, Luis Gallegos, the Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, delivered a lecture on “Humanitarian Intervention” at Hiroshima Shudo University in Asaminami Ward, Hiroshima. An audience of about 190 people, mainly students, learned about the current reality of conflicts in the world and the challenges facing the United Nations.

Mr. Gallegos has served as the President of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, among other posts. Referring to the massacre in Rwanda and conflicts in Congo, he pointed out that while political gamesmanship was taking place, human rights were being abused and many people were dying.

Mr. Gallegos also stressed the need to reform the U.N. Security Council, where a series of vetoes have been exercised. At the same time, he said that the reality of entangled interests among nations meant that reforms would be difficult to enact. Erika Okamoto, 21, a junior studying international politics in the Faculty of Law, said, “I’d like to think about what I can do to help build peace.”

The lecture was part of a series of public seminars organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Hiroshima Office, which has established cooperative ties with Shudo University. After the lecture, Mr. Gallegos visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and offered flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. He also met with Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki.

(Originally published on July 21, 2012)