From 28 November to 3 December 2014, the United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, visited Tokyo, Japan, to open the "Global Alumni Meeting" marking the 10th anniversary of the "United Nations - Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Programme", to hold meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and to visit the United Nations University (UNU).
In 2004, the United Nations and the Nippon Foundation of Japan established a Fellowship Programme with the objective of providing capacity-building opportunities to Government officials and other mid-level professionals from developing States to enhance their knowledge and skills in oceans and law of the sea-related matters. In the decade since its establishment, 100 individuals from 64 developing States have been trained in the framework of the Fellowship Programme which is managed by OLA's Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS). While regional alumni meetings have been held in the past, the week-long 2014 Tokyo Global Alumni Meeting was the first meeting that brought together the 100 alumni, representatives of the Nippon Foundation of Japan and representatives of the 50 partner academic organizations around the world .
Mr. Serpa Soares addresses the Global Alumni Meeting marking the 10th anniversary of the United Nations - Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Programme
In the margins of the opening of the Global Alumni Meeting, Mr. Serpa Soares met with the Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Mr. Sasakawa, to express his gratitude for the generous support and ongoing commitment to capacity-development in ocean affairs and the law of the sea through the Fellowship Programme.
Mr. Serpa Soares meets with Mr. Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation of Japan
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Serpa Soares was received by Mr. Takashi Uto, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.
He also held a substantive meeting with the Director-General of the International Legal Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Takeo Akiba, and several members of his Bureau. .
Mr. Serpa Soares and Mr. Uto, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
On 2 December, Mr. Serpa Soares visited the United Nations University where he was hosted by Under-Secretary-General David Malone, the Rector of UNU. In the framework of his day-long visit to UNU, Mr. Serpa Soares met and discussed current legal issues with the students and fellows of UNU, did a video interview with Rector Malone on current legal issues which was placed on UNU's website , and participated in a public event in the evening.
Mr. Serpa Soares at United Nations University
The public event in the evening was a conversation with Rector Malone entitled "Law at the United Nations: Does it matter?" In addition to members of the general public, the evening event attracted many diplomats, academics and former UN staff members of Japanese nationality.
Mr. Serpa Soares and Rector Malone at the public event at UNU