UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi Visits University of Tsukuba and Engages with Students
On October 20, 2023, Mr. Filippo Grandi, the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, visited the University of Tsukuba along with Mr. Indrika Ratwatte, Director of the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Ayaki Ito, UNHCR Representative in Japan, and Dr. Tatsuo Igarashi, Mayor of Tsukuba City. They engaged in discussions with President NAGATA Kyosuke, Vice President IKEDA Jun (Global Affairs), Vice President HOMMA Miwako (Student Affairs), Dr. OHNEDA Osamu, Executive Officer for International Strategy, and Dr. SAKURAI Takeaki, Director of the Office of Global Initiatives.
After Mr. Grandi explained the activities of the UNHCR, they exchanged views on the challenges related to Japan's reception of refugees.
Following the courtesy call to the President, Mr. Grandi held a dialogue with students from the University of Tsukuba. A total of 44 students from 15 countries, including 16 Japanese students, attended the event.
After the welcome address by Vice President HOMMA, Mr. Filippo delivered a speech: he mentioned the crises frequently broken out in the world and the complexity of refugee issues in recent times, and emphasized, "The world must not be divided, and we must cooperate with each other beyond national borders."After the welcome address by Vice President HOMMA, Mr. Filippo delivered a speech: he mentioned the crises frequently broken out in the world and the complexity of refugee issues in recent times, and emphasized, "The world must not be divided, and we must cooperate with each other beyond national borders."
Subsequently, two students, one Japanese graduate student specializing in international law and an exchange student from Ukraine, gave talks based on their backgrounds and experiences, sharing their perspectives on refugee issues.
After their talks, a question-and-answer session followed: Students raised questions about Japan's stance on refugees. Mr. Grandi and others expressed that Japan should continue to take a leading role in humanitarian support and maintain its commitment to peace. They also encouraged students to consider working in international organizations or grassroots international exchange organizations after graduation, urging them to have a broad perspective and a compassionate heart and to collaborate for world peace.
The direct dialog with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees provided the students with a very significant study opportunity.