Former UNESCO Director-General Visits Chuo


On October 3rd (Wed.), Dr. Koichiro Matsuura (former UNESCO Director-General) was invited to give a special lecture to commemorate the establishment of the Association for Global Initiatives. The event was held on the Tama Campus of Chuo University and began with a speech by Chancellor and President Tadahiko Fukuhara, who is also Director of the Association for Global Initiatives which was established in July 2012. The next speaker was Dr. Matsuura, who became UNESCO Director-General in November 1999 and then worked to reform UNESCO for 10 years until November 2009. Dr. Matsuura’s speech was entitled “Recommendations for International Citizens” and he discussed important elements of international citizens. His speech was based on his 50 years of experience; 40 years as a foreign diplomat and 10 years at UNESCO.

Currently, from a historical perspective, Japan is facing a great turning. In such a situation, there is an increasing need in Japanese society for international citizens and global professionals. For that reason, it is necessary to cultivate as many international leaders as possible from among global professionals. While introducing his personal experiences, Dr. Matsuura explained 10 conditions required for global professionals. These conditions include study of Japanese history and culture as a Japanese citizen, the ability to communicate in English, and expertise in a specialized field (if working at a foreign university or international organization, it is necessary to acquire at least a master’s degree and preferably a PhD).
Chuo University positioned the speeches as an event to commemorate the establishment of the Association for Global Initiatives. For students, the event was a precious opportunity to learn what is necessary in order to become a global professional and to realize self-actualization overseas. In addition to students interested in the field of international cooperation or World Heritage Sites, our university called for active participation by students with even a slight interest in activities/lifestyle during study or life overseas. Approximately 300 students gathered at the venue. During the Q&A session which followed his speech, Dr. Matsuura graciously answered the questions asked by students. The event was vibrant and attendees could sense Dr. Matsuura’s desire for students to increase their understanding of important elements for international citizens.
Dr. Matsuura’s speech was a memorable and meaningful for Chuo University, which has been selected for the MEXT’s 2012 Project to Cultivate Global Professionals and which has implemented policies for producing Global Professionals.