Veteran Sri Lankan Diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala Appointed as Chair of UNU Council
Colombo, 25 November, (Asiantribune.c.): The Council of United Nations University, which met for its annual session earlier this month at UNU Centre in Tokyo, has elected Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka as UNU Council Chair.
Ambassador Dhanapala, who currently serves as Senior Adviser to the President of Sri Lanka, has had a distinguished four-decade career as a diplomat, peace-builder and disarmament expert. In his role as UNU Council Chair, he succeeds Peter Katjavivi, the Republic of Namibiaâ€™s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Council of United Nations University, which acts as the governing board of UNU, comprises 24 appointed members (who serve as individuals and not as representatives of their home countries), the Rector of UNU and 3 ex-officio members (the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research).
Jayantha Dhanapala was appointed to the Council in May 2004 for a six-year term. With UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel planning to retire in 2007, Amb. Dhanapalaâ€™s selection as UNU Council Chair comes at a transitional period for the University, and he will play a key role in overseeing the changeover.
"I am deeply honoured to be elected to lead the UNU Council at this time of momentous change for UNU, the entire UN system and the world," said Amb. Dhanapala. I am confident that, on the basis of its past achievements, UNU will consolidate and further develop its unique role as a UN â€˜think-tank,â€™ generating and transferring ideas and knowledge through a network of scholars and institutions serving the purposes and principles of the UN. There are vast untapped intellectual resources in the world, especially in developing countries, and UNU has the capacity to mobilize them."
Jayantha Dhanapala has received numerous international awards for his accomplishments in diplomacy and disarmament. In addition to his new role as Chair of the UNU Council, he serves on the advisory boards of such organizations as the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces; the Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies; and the International Committee of the Red Cross. He serves on the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and is Honorary President of the Geneva-based International Peace Bureau. He has written four books and several articles in international journals.
- Asian Tribune -